April 2012     Peak Climbing Section, Loma Prieta Chapter, Sierra Club   Vol. 46 , No. 4

http://peakclimbing.org | http://www.facebook.com/peakclimbing

General Meeting

Date          April 10, 2012

Time          7:30 – 9:30 pm

Where       PCC

                  3921 E. Bayshore Road

                  Palo Alto, CA

Program   Share Your Favorite Sierra Experiences At The April 10 Meeting!


Presenter YOU!

As a mental preparation for the upcoming climbing season, there will be a group show on peak-climbing in our Sierra Nevada for the April 10 PCS meeting. Bring 10 to 15 good pictures united by a particular Sierra theme to share with the group! The theme could be one climb, a trip to a region, a set of climbs over a short period, or a focus on PCS trips or List-progress. Pictures can be recent or from the distant past, and you might want to bring a larger number in case we have enough time. Bring your images to the meeting on a memory stick or as slides for a Kodak projector. Or you can e-mail them to Terry Cline (terry_cline@yahoo.com) before the meeting.


Directions from 101

Exit at San Antonio Road, go east to the first traffic light, turn left and follow Bayshore Rd to the PCC on the corner of Corporation Way. A sign marking the PCC is out front. Park and enter in the back of the building.

Google     http://tinyurl.com/28ngaw

Editor's Notes

We only have one trip report again this month, from January, but loads of wonderful trips planned for spring, summer, and fall for you to choose from.

So dive in, take your pick, and see you on the trail! Happy Spring!


Chair Column

Welcome to PCS members and others from the Sierra Club and beyond. This month's meeting (at 7:30 PM on April 10 at the Peninsula Conservation Center) might well be a perfect introduction to the wonders of our Sierra Nevada mountains.   A cross-section of Section members will be contributing a series of mini-shows, each on some aspect of the Sierra (a trip, a region, a focus) that is very meaningful to them.

At the start of the meeting, before the refreshment break, there will be descriptions of upcoming PCS trips, as well as short reports of recent peak climbs.  Then get ready to lather up over all the wonderful parts of the Sierra you might get into this season!

Rod McCalley

Advance Trip Planning Schedule

Check out the excellent trip possibilities coming up this spring, summer, and fall. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Ar3ERRQWOQJPdGk2ZW5EVW8xSkRUT3l1SWV1Ry1FWnc#gid=0

PCS Trip Calendar

These are required statements.

Note: CST 2087766-40. Registration as a seller of travel does not constitute approval by the State of California.

Note: All Sierra Club trips require you to sign a Liability Waiver.


April 14 - 15 - Backcountry Ski Bridgeport

Leader: Louise Wholey

April 21 - 22 - Cone Peak - Rescheduled!

Leader: Joe Baker

April 27 - 30 - Split Mountain

Leader: Lisa Barboza

May 12 - 13 - Backcountry Ski Sierra

Leader: Louise Wholey

May 19 - 21 - Eclipse on Mount Shasta

Leader: Jesper Schou

May 25 - 28 - A Diamond Is Forever

Leader: Aaron Schuman

July 4 - 8 - Contrarian Marion

Leader: Aaron Schuman

July 14 - 22 - Meysan Dixon

Leader: Aaron Schuman

August 17 - 19 - Rule of Thumb

Leader: Aaron Schuman

September 14 - 16 - Tehipite Dome

Leader: Aaron Schuman

October 12 - 14 - Senator, You are no Mount Kennedy (part 2)

Leader: Aaron Schuman

PCS Trip Details

Backcountry Ski Bridgeport

Goal:  TBD

Location: Bridgeport, Eastside of the Sierras

Dates: April 14, 15

Leader: Louise Wholey

Come join us for our sixth of the Backcountry Skiing Series, this one in the wonderful Bridgeport area. Expect multiple one-day

outings, such as Crater Crest. Requires advanced skiing skills (resort black diamond), avalanche training. Randonee or Telemark skis, climbing skis, avalanche beacon,

shovel, and probe.

Leader: Louise Wholey (louisewholey at yahoo.com)

To sign up send $8 for leader training to Louise Wholey, 21020 Canyon
View Drive, Saratoga, CA 95070.

Cone Peak - Rescheduled!

Goal:  Cone Peak (5155')

Location: Ventana Wilderness, Limekiln Campground

Dates: April 21, 22

Leader: Joe Baker

We will climb Cone Peak from Highway 1. Cone Peak is the most spectacular mountain on the Big Sur coast of California. It is the second highest mountain (Junipero Serra Peak is higher) in the Santa Lucia Range. The trip is officially on-trail but somewhat strenuous, and parts of the trail are rough to non-existent. On Saturday, we'll backpack to Goat Camp via Vicente Flat and the Stone Ridge Trail. Then we'll climb our peak on Sunday morning, and hike out via the rest of the Stone Ridge Trail and then back to Limekiln. This should be an excellent time to see lots of wildflowers.

Contact Judy Molland: judy@judymolland.com for more information.

Split Mountain (CA 14er and SPS Emblem Peak)

Goals: Split Mt (13,042'), Tinemahah (12,520'), Prater Mt (13,471')

Location: Red Lake TH, Eastside of Sierras

Dates: April 27 - 30

Leader: Lisa Barboza

Snow climb of Split Mtn via the North Slope from Red Lake TH. This will be a strenuous 3-day trip requiring good fitness and experience

with an ice axe and crampons on 3rd class terrain. Day 1: Hike in to Red Lake, climb Tinemahah. Day 2: Climb Split, traverse over to Prater if conditions allow. Day 3: Hike out, drive home

Leader and Contact: Lisa Barboza, lisa.barboza@gd-ais.com
Co-leader: Terry Cline, terry_cline@yahoo.com

Backcountry Ski Sierra

Goal:  Mt. Tom, Elderberry Canyon

Location: Mt. Tom, Eastside of the Sierras

Dates: May 12, 13

Leader: Louise Wholey

Come join us for our grand finale of the Backcountry Skiing Series, skiing a classic route in the high Sierra. Requires advanced skiing skills (resort black diamond+), avalanche training. Randonee or Telemark skis, climbing skis, avalanche beacon,
shovel, and probe.

Leader: Louise Wholey (louisewholey at yahoo.com)

To sign up send $8 for leader training to Louise Wholey, 21020 Canyon
View Drive, Saratoga, CA 95070.

Diamond Is Forever

Goal:  Diamond Peak (13, 127')

Location: Above Independence

Dates: May 25 - 28

Leader: Aaron Schuman

We’ll start low at the end of the Oak Creek Road (6000) and hike the Baxter Pass trail from desert up into spring slush. The snow will be firmed up by the time we reach our camp

at Summit Meadow (10800). We’ll ascend the southeast face of Diamond Peak (13127), which RJ Secor calls “a splendid snow climb in the spring”. Participants are skilled with ice axe for self-arrest and use of crampons on a mid-angle slope. Some members of the party will choose skis; others snowshoes.

Leader: Aaron Schuman a.j.Schuman AT gmail DOT com.

Contrarian Marion

Goals: State Peak (12,620'), Marion Peak (12,719')

Location: Kings Canyon Cedar Grove

Dates: July 4 - 8

Leader: Aaron Schuman

We’ll make an early season quest to the peaks that offer the most outstanding views down into the canyon of the South Fork of the Kings River. Starting at Cedar Grove (5035) we’ll head up the Copper Creek trail over Granite Pass (10673), then down and around, taking two days to reach a camp at State Lake (10400). We’ll follow the challenging cross country route documented by Larry Hoak in 1990 (http://angeles.sierraclub.org/sps/archives/sps00159.htm). We will make a long day trip to our summit destinations, and retracing our path to the same camp. We’ll return the way we came. An ice axe may be necessary.

Leader: Aaron Schuman a.j.Schuman AT gmail DOT com.

Meysan Dixon

Goals: Mt. Corcoran (13,714'), Mt LeConte (13,845'), Mt Mallory (13,845'), Mt Irvine (13,780'), Lone Pine Peak (12,943'), Joe Devel Peak (13,327'), Mt Pickering (13,485'), Mt Langley (14, 027')

Location: Above Lone Pine, from Horseshoe Meadow

Dates: July 14 - 22

Leader: Aaron Schuman

There are enough tremendously tall and remarkably complex peaks in a small region at the southern end of the Whitney Massif that

we can make a base camp and climb all week long. A steep trail leads up from Whitney Portal (7849) to Meysan Lake (10700) in just four miles. From the lake, we will climb many class 2 and 3 peaks until we wish to climb no more. An ice axe may be necessary for self arrest.

Leader: Aaron Schuman a.j.Schuman AT gmail DOT com.

Rule Of Thumb

Goal: The Thumb (13,346')

Location: South fork of Big Pine Creek

Dates: August 17 - 19

Leader: Aaron Schuman

The Thumb is a digit extended skyward by the mountain range in an ominous gesture of defiance. The enraged appearance of the peak suggests that it may not be climbed, but we shall seek out a class 3 route. Beginning at the ruins of Glacier Lodge (7796) we will pack primarily on trail to our two-night campsite at Upper Brainard Lake (10800). We will climb over class 3 Southfork Pass (12560), where ice axe and crampons may be necessary. From the pass, the guidebook says the summit route goes class 2, but be prepared for something tougher.

Leader: Aaron Schuman a.j.Schuman AT gmail DOT com.

Tehipite Dome

Goal: Tehipite Dome (7708')

Location: Wishon Reservoir

Dates: September 14 - 16

Leader: Aaron Schuman

Tehipite is the tallest dome in the Sierra Nevada, standing higher by far over the Middle Fork of the Kings River than its famous sibling Half Dome stands over the Merced River. Tehipite would be a California landmark if only it were not so impossibly inaccessible. From an unnamed trailhead south of Wishon Reservoir (6800) in Sierra National Forest, 16 miles of up down up down trail lead us across Crown Creek (7881) to an anonymous point (8400) in Kings Canyon National Park, where

we begin 2 miles of cross country travel through forest and brush down to the base of the dome (7500). The summit itself is a class 3 climb, enlivened by an appalling drop of thousands of feet to the river below. Limit 4 participants.

Leader: Aaron Schuman a.j.Schuman AT gmail DOT com.

Senator, You Are No Mount Kennedy (part 2)

Goal: Kennedy Mtn (11,433')

Location: Kings Canyon Cedar Grove

Dates: October 12 - 14

Leader: Aaron Schuman

From Cedar Grove (5035), we’ll pack up the Copper Creek trail. We’ll set up camp in or above Upper Tent Meadow (9189). Saturday, we’ll hike over Granite Pass (10673) to the north side of the Monarch Divide, traverse up and down through the Volcanic Lakes basin, pass East Kennedy Lake (10100), climb Kennedy Mountain (11433) and return to our camp. Memorial Weekend 2011, this trip was stopped at 11000 feet by a blizzard. It’ll be a different experience as an October outing.

Leader: Aaron Schuman a.j.Schuman AT gmail DOT com.

Private Trip Calendar

Important: Private trips are not insured, sponsored, or supervised by the Sierra Club. They are listed here because they may be of interest to PCS members. Private trips may be submitted directly to the Scree editor.

April 6 - 8 - Pinnacles

Leader: Jeff Fisher

May 5 - Snow Climbing Practice

Leader: Kelly Maas

May 19 - 21 - A Waterfall - Really?

Leader: Terry Cline

May 19 - 21 - Eclipse On Mount Shasta

Leader: Jesper Schou

October, 2012 - Nepal

Leader: Warren Storkman

January, 2013 - Argentina

Leader: Warren Storkman

Private Trip Details


Goal: Climb, Hike, Bike

Dates: April 6 - 8

Leader: Jeff Fisher

Come down for a weekend of climbing and/or hiking or even biking. There will be climbers of varying abilities. Group site #126 has been reserved for 2 nights at the Pinnacles campground on the east side of the park. Holds total of up to 20 people (We’ve had more). Shoes, harness and helmet needed if you are going to be climbing.

You can stay the night, or just come down for one of the days.

The cost for the camp site is $75 night for up to 20. Leader; Jeff Fisher 650-207-9632, E-mail; jeff_fisher_5252 at sbcglobal.ne

Snow Climbing Practice

Goal: Leavitt Peak, Class 2 (11,569')

Date: May 5

Leader: Kelly Maas

Join us for a day of ice axe practice in the high country at Sonora Pass. I anticipate being able to include a peak climb along with the practice. Optional car camping - details TBD.

Crampon practice is also an option, though we rarely find suitable snow conditions. Participants supply their own gear, and should have some knowledge of how to use an ice axe, but experience is not required.

Dress for lying down in wet snow (full rain gear). Note that this year I'm changing from a 2-day format to one day. Location and date are tentative and subject to road, snow and weather conditions.

Contact the leader for final details on when & where to meet: Kelly Maas, (408)-378-5311, kellymbase-pcs@yahoo.com

A Waterfall - Really?

Goals: Mounts LeConte (13,960'), Corcoran (13,760')

Dates: May 19 - 21

Leader: Terry Cline

Objectives are to climb the NW Couloir of Mount LeConte under spring alpine conditions, encountering the "waterfall" pitch near the top, summit LeConte and traverse over to Mount Corcoran on its west side. We'll hike up to the Meysan Lakes to camp on the first day, climb the peaks the second, and hike out the third. Depending on conditions, a rope may be used. Because of the early season conditions, participants must be comfortable on steep mixed terrain without a rope. The July trip to the same area led by Aaron Schuman may be a more appropriate trip for many people.

Leader: Terry Cline, terry_cline@yahoo.com

Eclipse On Mount Shasta

Goal: Mount Shasta (14,104')

Dates: May 19 - 21

Leader: Jesper Schou

Why not combine two great activities and watch a solar eclipse from the top of a mountain? On May 20 there will be an annular solar eclipse visible in northern California and we are planning to watch it from the top of Mt. Shasta. But there is a catch! The eclipse is on the 20th at 18:25. Yes, that is half past 6 in the evening! So the current plan is to camp on the summit plateau. Route is planned to be West Face Gully, but this may change. As always the conditions vary, so we may end deciding to descend after the eclipse, watch the eclipse from further down the mountain, not make the summit or watch the eclipse from the local bar.

While we are not planning on a difficult route, the time of day presents some obvious problems and all participants are thus expected to have a reasonable level of experience and past experience with sleeping at high altitude.

Leaders: Jesper Schou (schou AT sun.stanford.edu and Jeff Fisher (jeff_fisher_5252 AT sbcglobal.net)


Goal: Rara Lake

Dates: October, 2012

Leader: Warren Storkman

If you are interested in Nepal, October 2012, and going to Rara Lake in the remote Mugu District, contact Warren Storkman: dstorkman@aol.com.

No obligation, but I need your email address.


Goal: Aconcagua (22,841')

Location: Argentina

Dates: January 2013

Leader: Warren Storkman

If you are interested in visiting Argentina and climbing Aconcagua in 2013, contact Warren at dstorkman@aol.com and he will send you an informational letter.

Trip Report

Dome Land Wilderness

A No-Snow MLK Weekend Trip To Taylor Dome And Sirretta

January 13 - 16

By Sonja Dietrich

This winter was highly unusual. Mid-January and with it MLK weekend rolled around, and no snowfall yet in the Sierra. What to do? I poked around on the SPS list and decided Sirretta, Rockhouse and Taylor Dome would be fun. They are fairly low, and far away from the Bay Area, which made having a 3-day weekend for driving really nice. I went to the USGS Map room in Menlo Park, stocked myself up with maps (also for Moses, Maggie, Coyote and Angora for the future), and figured out how to get to the Big Meadow trailhead.  Terry Cline and Larry Jang decided to join me. Ironically, this was the same group that got stuck in too much snow last July in the Desolation Wilderness.


We took off Friday night to get part of the drive behind us. We stayed at Leary Flat FS Campground on M-99 just before the hamlet of California Hot Springs.  The CG has a running stream, which made for a cold and damp night. The water pipes were still working, so we did not even need the stream for water. I loved crawling into the back of the truck, seeing brilliant stars above me, ready for adventure.

Saturday morning, we drove the two hours to the Sirretta trailhead (7800 feet) at the Northwestern end of Big Meadows. Cherry Hill Road is paved at first, then a well-graded dirt road. In shady patches, there were some patches of snow and ice on the road. We also met two dudes who tried to find Church Dome using a AAA map. Whatever?! Without the snow on the ground, I would have gotten my VW Jetta to the trailhead without too much trouble, although having a high-clearance 4WD was nice. The Sirretta trailhead has plenty of flat spaces for tent spots, but no water. Someone even left a smoker next to the fire ring. We should have brought the shortribs!

At noon, we took off from the clearly marked Sirretta trailhead. The trail leads about two miles uphill to Sirretta Pass. I was thrilled to feel really fit and energetic. The altitude did not bother me much, other than fast heart

beat. Less stress and better nutrition is starting to work .The use trail to Sirretta Peak, well marked by ducks, takes off to the left before you get up to Sirretta Pass. If you find yourself at the pass, you missed it! We traversed over to the ridge between Sirretta Pass and the peak to the west and soon found the ducks. The trail leads up the ridge and then toward the summit ridge connecting the three high points. The LOWEST summit to the south is indeed the actual, named, Sirretta Peak with the summit register. The summit is an easy scramble on solid granite boulders with a unique summit “block”. Views over the southern Sierra are gorgeous. We did not backtrack, but bushwhacked down from the summit toward the drainage in southeastern direction, where we met the trail again. Getting down through the brush was not too bad, but I would not recommend taking this direct route up.

Back at Big Meadow, we moved our car clockwise around the meadow to 3 o’clock, where the southern trailhead to Manter Meadow and the trailhead 34E15 to Taylor Meadow are located, with a corral in between them. After the sun set at 5:30 pm, it got chilly really quickly. We cooked dinner, prepared our packs for the next morning, and crawled into our sleeping bags. The night felt warmer, even though I remember waking up a few times worrying about the next day’s climb. I always tend to do that, although it is getting better as I get more experienced.

The next morning, we started (30 minutes later than planned) at 7 am on the Manter Meadows trailhead toward Rockhouse. It took me a bit to see the actual trail, probably because the truck was parked right on it! We expected a long 17-mile day, with the sun setting at 5 pm this early in the year. 10 minutes into the hike, we discovered there was still plenty of snow left on west-facing forested slopes. This made navigation challenging, cost time, and wading through a foot of snow slowed us down while using energy. I would have felt ok with navigating

part of the trail back to the car in the dark, with a 3/4 moon and GPS. But definitely not through snow! After 45 minutes, we decided trying to reach Rockhouse would not make sense under the circumstances, and turned back to climb Taylor Dome instead.

Taylor Dome is marked as 8802T on square #10 of the USGS Cannell Peak 7.5′ quadrangle. The (at times faint) Taylor Meadow trail heads along a low ridge before making a right (south) turn up a drainage to a pass. From the trailhead to this point, there was still a mix of ice, hard-packed snow, and foot-deep snowdrifts on the ground. I was very happy to have my brand-new Yaktrax on, giving me good grip and hiking speed. From the pass, you will get a beautiful view of the twin peaks of Taylor Dome to the East. The trip report from Will Molland-Simms mentions a boulder pile marking the place where you turn off the trail. This 20-foot, really obvious boulder pile is roughly at elevation 7900′ below the saddle further down, and right next to, the Taylor Meadows trail.

We decided instead to follow the west-east ridge from the saddle toward Taylor Dome just below the rock outcroppings. You get to admire the rock formations at close view, but this approach is more of a bushwhack and takes longer. We eventually reached the lightly forested, manzanita-covered slope leading to the summit. Just below the twin summits is a large summit plateau. The northern peak is the true summit, with an exposed Class 3 crack on solid granite with good holds. It is fun climbing up the chimney on the other summit as well, although considering the strong wind we all decided against trying the last move onto this summit.



Because it was a cold and very windy day with gusts up to 30 mph, we left the summit plateau quickly and dropped down into the forest to find cover for lunch. For our descent, we mainly followed the drainage south until it turned west toward Taylor Meadow. At this point, we left the drainage, climbed over a small hump, and were right back at the trail with the obvious boulder heap marking the spot.

Back at the car, we decided we would head home early. We found a nice italian restaurant in the Central Valley to fuel up, and got home by 11 am. It took a while to unload the truck and get everything cleaned & stored. Terry’s shaving kit was uncovered, so no, he won’t be wearing a beard anytime soon.

Elected Officials


    Rod McCalley/rodmccalley@sbcglobal.net


Vice Chair and Trip Scheduler

    Terry Cline/ terry_cline@yahoo.com

Treasurer and Membership Roster (address changes)

Sassan Hazeghi/sassan.hazeghi@hp.com

Publicity Committee Positions

Scree Editor

    Judy Molland / screeeditor@gmail.com

PCS World Wide Web Publisher
    Joe Baker/ pcs@joebaker.us

    1975 Cordilleras Rd, Redwood City, CA         94062


Scree is the monthly newsletter of the Peak Climbing Section of the Sierra Club Loma Prieta Chapter.  Current and back issues are posted on the web in PDF and HTML.

Our official website is http://www.peakclimbing.org.  Joining the PCS is easy.  Go to   http://www.peakclimbing.org/join

PCS Announcement Listserv

If you join the PCS Announcement Listserv you will receive announcements and updates of trips and meetings. Use the http://lists.sierraclub.org/SCRIPTS/WA.EXE?A0=LOMAP-PCS-ANNOUNCE&X=&Y= web page.

Climbing Classifications

The following trip classifications are to assist you in choosing trips for which you are qualified. No simple rating system can anticipate all possible conditions.
    Class 1: Walking on a trail.
    Class 2: Climbing using hands for balance.
    Class 3: Climbing requires the use of hands, maybe a rope.
    Class 4: Requires rope belays.
    Class 5: Technical rock climbing.

Trips may also be rated by level of exertion: easy, moderate, strenuous, or extreme

Deadline for submissions to the next Scree is Wednesday , April 26. Meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month.