August 2012     Peak Climbing Section, Loma Prieta Chapter, Sierra Club   Vol. 46 , No. 8 |

General Meeting

Date          September 11, 2012

Time          7:30 pm – 9:30 pm

Where       PCC

                  3921 E. Bayshore Road

                  Palo Alto, CA

Program   Rock Climbing in the Land of Banditos: El Potrero Chico

Presenter Emilie Cortes

El Potrero Chico is the "Little Yosemite" of Northern Mexico. Not dissuaded by expressions of concerns by loved ones, Emilie Cortes spent Thanksgiving vacation in the heart of the drug violence. She took precautions while traveling, but had no regrets taking the opportunity to explore this gem. Almost more spectacular than the thousands of feet of former ocean bed limestone that are now jutting vertically into the sky, was the warmth and friendliness of the locals and the climbers hailing from all over the world.

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.


Editor's Notes

Check out the variety in our trip reports this month, a great reflection of the diverse group that we PCSers are.

Thanks to all of you, and a special thanks to

Steve Eckert for putting together such a thorough and detailed trip report for Granite, the highest peak in Montana.

Happy fall trails to everyone!


Chair Column

The regular summer climbing season may be coming to an end, but it's not too late to climb a few more peaks (September weather is usually great), and we still have more PCS trips scheduled.  Also, for our monthly meeting, on September 11, last year's PCS chair Emilie Cortes will be giving a show on a new region for us -- remote rock-climbing in northern Mexico (El Potrero Chico).  It's not too early to start thinking of winter (and spring) trips, so bring your ideas to the Fall Planning Meeting, which will be scheduled for later this month or October.  Feel free to send suggestions in advance to Vice-Chair/Scheduler Terry Cline.

This month, we need to put together a nominating committee for November's PCS elections of 2013 officers (please contact me if you’re interested -- either in being on the committee, or being an officer.)  Meanwhile please send trip descriptions (and any changes to them) to Terry Cline; and be sure to give some exciting trip reports to Editor Judy Molland for the next month's Scree!

Rod McCalley

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.

September 14 - 16 - Tehipite Dome

Leader: Aaron Schuman

September 22 - 25 - Pioneer Basin

Leader: Terry Cline

September 29 - 30 - Black Hawk

Leader: Linda Sun

Late September - Early October

South Warner Wilderness Loop

Leader: Tim Hult

October 5 - 7 - Kern Peak

Leader: Lisa Barboza

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

Leader: Aaron Schuman

PCS Trip Details

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.

Pioneer Basin Color and Peaks

Goals: Mts Hopkins (12,304'), Crocker (12,458'), Stanford (13,973'), and Huntington (12,400')

Location: Pioneer Basin

Dates: September 22 - 25

Leader: Terry Cline

Difficulty: Class 2, 3

The fall colors are expected to be spectacular in Pioneer Basin, rivaling New Hampshire's.  Bring your camera!  We'll pack into a camp in the basin over Mono Pass from Mosquito Flat on Rock Creek.  From the pass we'll get a good look at the Mono Recesses.  From the basin we have a menu of peaks to climb the next two days: Mts Hopkins, Crocker, Stanford, and Huntington, with some unnamed summits along the ridge linking them.  The last day we'll hike out. 

Leader: Terry Cline,

Black Hawk

Goal: Black Hawk Mountain (10,348')

Location: West of Sonora Pass

Dates: September 29 - 30

Leader: Linda Sun

Difficulty: Class 2

Start from the Kennedy Meadow Resort, west of Sonora Pass in the Stanislaus National Forest. Sat backpack to camp, 8 miles with

2,900’ of gain. Sunday early morning climb the peak, and hike out. Contact
Arun for sign ups.

Leader(s): Linda Sun
Arun Mahajan

South Warner Wilderness Loop

Goal: Circumnavigate Warner Mtn Range

Location: NE California, about 20 miles from Alturas

Dates: End September/Beginning October

Leader: Tim Hult

Difficulty: Class 1 and 2

South Warner Wilderness Loop "Late September - Early October"
Objective of this 3- 4 day, 40 mile loop trip will be to circumnavigate the Warner Mountain Range in NE CA, about 20+ miles from Alturas. Leader is seeking partners interested in exploring dates for this trip and to discuss logistics. The loop trip begins and ends at Pepperdine trailhead with all travel except optional peaks on class 1 trail (Summit trail to Owl Creek Trail). Potential class 2 Peaks: Eagle Peak (9892 ft), Warrent Peak (9710 ft).
contact: timdhultatsbcglobaldotnet for a discussion of this trip, planning and timing.

Kern Point

Goal: Kern Peak (11,510')

Location: Kennedy Meadows, Southern Sierra

Dates: October 5 - 7

Leader: Lisa Barboza

Difficulty: Class 1

Join us to go deep into the Southern Sierra for a climb of Kern Peak. This is an ideal beginner’s trip into a beautiful part of the Southern Sierra. This is a remote peak, on the SPS list and a fun, beginners climb. It’s CL1 all of way to camp, and the peak itself is CL1. Depending on the wishes of the participants, we will either day-hike the peak or climb it only on the actual weekend of Saturday and Sunday – I know that people are busy. Start: 10/5/12 at the Black Rock TH out of Kennedy Meadows. This is a later year trip, the weather should be quite nice. Day 1: 8 miles, 2000 feet of gain on trail to camp at Redrock Meadows. Day 2: Climb Kern Peak, 8 miles, 3000 feet Day 3: 8 miles, hike out, drive home. Contact Lisa Barboza:

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

Difficulty: Class 2

From Cedar Grove (5,035'), we’ll pack up the Copper Creek trail. We’ll set up camp in or

above Upper Tent Meadow (9,189'). Saturday, we’ll hike over Granite Pass (10,673') to the north side of the Monarch Divide, traverse up and down through the Volcanic Lakes basin, pass East Kennedy Lake (10,100'), climb Kennedy Mountain (11,433') and return to our camp. Memorial Weekend 2011, this trip was stopped at 11,000 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.

Sept. 1 - 3 - Hooper, Senger, Gemini, Seven Gables

Leader: Tim Hult

Sept 15 - 16 - Cloud's Rest, Wallace

Leader: Matt Blum

November 10 - Telescope Peak

Leader: George van Gorden

Private Trip Details

Hooper, Senger, Gemini, Seven Gables

Goals: Hooper Mt. (12,349'), Senger (12,286'), Gemini (12,088'), Seven Gables (13,080')

Location: Florence Lake

Dates: September 1 - 3

Leader: Tim Hult

Difficulty: Class 2,3,4

We will begin at Florence Lake ferry ride on September 1. Trip is rated at class 3/4 for some of the peaks, and 2 for others. Permit is for 4. Participants must be comfortable with climbing up to class 4 and knowledgeable on use of a rope and proper technique. Contact

Cloud's Rest and Wallace

Goals: Cloud's Rest (9926'), Wallace (13,377')

Location: Yosemite NP and Eastside Sierra

Dates: September 15 - 16

Leader: Matt Blum

Difficulty: Class 1,2

I'm planning on a weekend of dayhikes in the Eastern Sierra on Sept 15-16. On Saturday, we'll hike Cloud's Rest in Yosemite (10 miles round trip, 2000 ft gain) as a warm-up / acclimation hike so we can head to Bishop the next day and hike Mt Wallace (14 mi, 4000 ft gain). Cloud's Rest is all on trail and Mt Wallace is mostly on-trail with some class 2 scrambling for the last section. We may visit a hot spring Saturday night if people are interested. Leader: Matt Blum (

Telescope Peak

Goals: Telescope Peak

Location: Death Valley

Date: November 10

Leader: George van Gorden

Difficulty: Class 1

The walk is along a high ridge overlooking Death Valley over 11000 feet below. It is a beautiful walk that just fits into a late fall day. The weather should be cool or even cold while just below in the valley it is probably in the 80's. The hike is 14 miles roundtrip. The last 2 miles to the trailhead take four wheel drive but we can always ferry people. The Friday before the hike is a holiday for many people. Camp at trailhead or at motel in Ridgecrest less than two hours away. Location - West of Death Valley at 11000 ft. Class 1 a good trail Leader George Van Gorden -

Trip Reports

North Peak Couloir

July 7 - 8

By Terry Cline

Robert Walker, whom I had met on a storm-marred early spring trip during 2011's heavy snow year, wanted to learn something about alpine ice climbing.  This is among my favorite type of climbs and I was looking for someone to repeat the North Peak (right-hand) northeast couloir with me, having done it back in the 1970's in preparation for my first trip to the Canadian Rockies.  That time we encountered enough water ice to be able to protect with ice screws.  This time we could only hope for that because of the low snow year.  July 8 was bound to be a bit early for good ice, but it was the only time our schedules sync'ed up.

Driving up to the mountains Friday afternoon we expected to be stealth camping somewhere over Tioga Pass.  Coming down from the pass, we were amazed to find spots left in the Tioga Lake campground.  Score!  Luxurious camping for two nights.

Getting up early, we drove up to Saddlebag Lake for the hike in.  We were just a little bit early for the boat shuttle across the lake so we impatiently hiked around the lake.  My old legs would have preferred to save a little energy for the climb, but I've always hiked around the lake.  Oh well.  Around the lake, as we began the hike towards Steelhead Lake, the boat arrived and we were passed by a pair coming off it headed for the Galen Rowell Northeast Face Route on the rocks to the right of the couloir.  One of them talked about how he had one time soloed the couloir at mid-night just for fun and wished us good day. This was just one of the unusual coincidences occurring this weekend.

The other occurred the next day: while rock climbing on Stately Pleasure Dome above

Tenaya Lake, we followed Bill McConachie, who was rope-soloing.  Conversation at the belays led to finding out he had been soloing the north ridge of North Peak when we were on it and he had taken photos of us.  "Leave me your email address when we get down and I'll send you pictures."  I did, he did, and here's a great view of the couloirs on North Peak from an angle you don't see in the guidebooks.  We're circled in red.


The climb went pretty smoothly.  When I had done it before, we belayed on the left-hand rocks at the bottom and off screws at least once going up.  This time we belayed on the right-hand side and despite what Secor says, we were hard pressed to find anchors on the right wall above.  We did two not full-length pitches belayed on the right wall before running it out and crossing the couloir to the left for two and half more pitches (60 m rope).  I found an old fixed pin at the top to belay from (backed up by a cam) and let Rob lead the exit pitch.  Here's a view of Rob coming up on the third pitch.


The snow/ice conditions were strange: a mix of corn over ice, neve, and ice. I was never sure what I was going to get when making a placement; sometimes it buried and held, sometimes I could pull on it only to have the pick slide back to me, and sometimes the pick would only penetrate a quarter of an inch.  All these conditions could be found within inches of each other.  Nevertheless, the angle was not that steep and I could easily find secure footing.

We both had been to the summit before so we headed down the class 2 slopes on the other side of the notch to the lakes below and the trail out to the lake.  We hoped to catch the boat back across, but alas after waiting almost an hour we gave up and hiked back around the lake.  About halfway around, the boat finally came across the lake.  Too bad, I would have enjoyed the ride.

We celebrated with a good dinner at the Tioga Pass Resort and went rock climbing Sunday before driving home.  Not having done much multi-pitch climbing before, Rob got some good experience.  And I got to visit an old friend.

Granite Peak, No Rope Required

(Montana State High Point)

July 17 - 20

By Steve Eckert

Peaks: Cairn Mtn 12200, Granite Peak 12799

Trailhead: Lady of the Lake near Cooke City MT

Difficulty: class 3, ice axe, crampons


Granite From Cairn

Everyone I know who has considered or done Granite says you have to approach from Froze to Death Plateau and there's a Class 4-5 section with a rap on the way down. I wanted to do it solo so I kept looking for another way. See for a more detailed report with waypoints, maps, pictures, and links to other reports I found useful. Grizzlies have killed several people near Cooke City in recent years, so pack that bear spray!

The well-marked turnoff to Lulu Pass is 2 miles east of Cooke City on Hwy 212. This is an excellent dirt road, suitable for any vehicle and only a 15 minute drive from the highway to the trailhead. The turn to the official Lady of the Lake trailhead is NOT marked, and the trailhead sign is barely visible from the main road, but it's just under 2 miles from the pavement. Turn right and drive slightly downhill toward Fisher Creek.

It's a great trail as you climb over a bump and drop to Lady of the Lake. Trail junctions here don't have signs and aren't always where the map shows them. Bear right at the junction beyond the lake and cross the inlet stream before climbing over a low saddle to the critical but unmarked trail junction before the confluence of Star and Zimmer Creek, where the Broadwater River starts at 9k elevation. In 2012 there were sticks across the right trail fork, indicating you should bear left and go to Aero Lake. Ah, but that's NOT the easy way to Sky Top Lakes!! Step over those sticks, go straight north to the Broadwater River, and wade across to the north side. Find the use trail that descends to the east along the north side of Broadwater and continues all the way to Lone Elk Lake with none of the infamous Aero Lake boulder-hopping!

Just over a mile from Broadwater is the first tough stream crossing. Descend slightly to where the side stream from Aero Lake braids into 6 branches and start wading. Now you're in the main Sky Top drainage but still less than 5 miles from your car. The use trail hugs the north side of the river, with a few minor obstacles like scrambling through some pine trees or hopping 100' of boulders.

Feeling the altitude, knowing the weather would improve, and not being pushed by a group, I camped just after crossing the outlet of Shelter Lake on a cool bench with good backrest rocks and a light breeze to keep the mosquitoes away. I had walked about 6.5 miles in 5 hours (not counting the rain shower). Rather leisurely! Others have camped at Lone Elk Lake (less than half a mile from where I camped) and done the peak from there, but I wanted to camp high and be off the peak before noon.

The use trail basically vanished at Lone Elk Lake, but stay west of the lake and cross the direct outlet of Rough Lake. There is a second (indirect) outlet of Rough Lake further east, and that's the really rough crossing (pun intended). On the way in I followed ducks to the outlet of the small lake that is only slightly

detached from Rough Lake, and found a dangerous channel. On the way out I ignored the ducks and crossed at the inlet of the next lower lake where the wading was simple.


Rough Lake

Close to the Rough Lake inlet the outlet of Sky Top Lakes is wide and tame, and I managed to cross it without getting my feet wet. There were large snow patches here (at 10.2k) and no trees. Bypass the lowest Sky Top Lake on the west by climbing the second gully left of the stream. Follow the west edge of the Sky Top Lakes, then hop large flat boulders across the drainage at the outlet of the highest real lake. The good campsites are up on the east side of the valley, which keeps the sun a little bit longer and avoids ice and rock falling from The Spires.

I set up camp at 10.6k on idyllic grass dotted with wildflowers. A pair of ground-nesting birds kept vigil over me the whole time and the mice and marmots left my stuff alone. With plenty of daylight left (it was only noon) and no desire to be stuck on Granite in a late afternoon shower, I opted to climb the talus pile called Cairn Mtn. There was no register, but a huge dropoff on the back side was spectacular.

I left camp around 6am, walking mostly on snow all the way from the lakes. I angled over to The Saddle south of Granite, above which

are huge boulders, an unstable talus field, a chute which often has a Snow Tongue, a more stable talus field, and finally The Slab which marks the start of both routes described below: the Southwest Couloir and the Southwest Ramp. (I made up the "Ramp" name to reduce confusion, since the report links below describe two completely different routes but call it the same thing. I went up one of them and came down the other.)


Granite Face

Refer to the picture above for the south face of Granite. This was taken from the inlet of highest Sky Top Lake, a good place to get your bearings. The lines are about right, but only intended to give you a feel for where you'll be on the face. Use my GPS waypoints and descriptions below to follow the routes described, or check out the interactive map link in my full report for a 3D view of the actual waypoints in Google Earth.

The Southwest Ramp turns left at the edge of The Gash and tops out just left of the black patch on summit ridge. The Southwest Couloir hits the summit ridge west of the Ramp route, but it's an easy scramble to the summit. The high point is the light patch on the extreme right of summit ridge, maybe not where you'd expect it!

There is often a Snow Tongue in the chute below the slab. When I was there part of it could be climbed on the rocks to climber's left, but the lower point was easier (for me) front-

pointing in crampons. It was steep and hard, so I'd suggest you leave those aluminum crampons and lightweight axes at home. Above the Snow Tongue chute, the talus gets more stable, then a use trail appears right along the base of The Slab, and finally you end up walking on a bedrock ramp at the base of The Slab. A right-ascending ramp is formed by the left upper edge of The Slab. I did not think this was the right route because it had been described as a hidden gully or couloir, and this was really just a ramp. I went past the ramp and ended up on a harder route. Oops! But it turned out to be a happy accident because I descended the easy route after climbing the hard one. Hopefully these two descriptions will help future climbers find and stay on whichever route they choose. Note that each route follows a defect that's visible in the topo lines if you zoom in far enough.

There is a critical junction here (just below 12k) where what I'm calling the Southwest Ramp and the Southwest Couloir diverge. The ducks and the defect at the base of The Slab both continue past this unmarked junction, although the ramp dips slightly before going around a corner into a very distinct chute.

"The Real Southwest Couloir" (harder than the Southwest Ramp)

Continue almost level on the ramp beyond The Slab, going through black rocks and turning right in a chute you can't see at all from The Saddle or anywhere else. This chute is near the huge and prominent snow filled gully that leads to a saddle in the west summit ridge. Go steeply up and right in dark rock that is very different from the rock that forms the slab. The 3rd class starts right away, and it might be dangerously icy earlier in the season. Just above 12.2k there was a vague fork in the chute where I stayed right in unavoidable water ice.

The right fork worked out but it didn't look inviting at the time. Real crampons and a real ice axe were absolutely required due to very

steep hard water ice. The sides of the chute were narrow steep Class 4-5, smoothed by falling rocks. Even with sharpened steel points I sometimes had to kick twice or swing the axe several times to get a good bite. The chute got less steep around 12.5k but this was not the end of the hard stuff. There was more thin ice mixed with rock but it felt better because the chute wasn't as narrow and it was not as exposed. I was quite happy when I reached the summit ridge roughly 100 yards from the high point.

"The Southwest Ramp" (easier than the Southwest Couloir)

Turn up at big piles of rocks immediately after you pass under The Slab. The defect under the slab levels and continues into darker rock for the SW Col, but you want to look up right at the left (west) edge of The Slab for the SW Ramp. From here the route does not look like a chute at all, much less a couloir. Go up the ramp formed by the left upper edge of The Slab. You'll end up in a broad rubble-filled chute that soon narrows, where I found ice still hard enough to require crampons and an ice axe but not as steep as the SW Col. The narrowest section (around 12.3k) features polished bedrock, probably from continual rockfall. This bit would be tricky if wet or icy.

The polished narrow section is the hardest part. Get through that and you're back in unstable talus and boulders. Drift right in this chute, choosing the easiest terrain, until you end up on the rib (at 12.5k), which forms its right (southeast) edge. There was a pile of rocks at this crossing and more ducks above it, but no ducks below it. Take note of this rib crossing for your return, because going further down the upper chute will cliff you out!

Once across the rib, you are near the upper end of another broad chute. Traverse right onto the improbably easy edge of The Gash which also forms the right (east) edge of this upper chute, less than 50 yards from the rib crossing. From here you can look across The Gash to the dark summit face. Once you see

this black summit face it's time to traverse left. Follow the edge of The Gash or traverse on the west side, but continue north until you reach the main ridge before turning right (east) to the summit.

"The Summit Ridge"

The high point is at the far east end of the summit ridge, a light colored patch of rock to the east of a dark patch. When viewed from the Sky Top drainage, these color variations should help you believe it's really that far over. I reached the summit at 10:30am, where my GPS said the elevation was only 12060', a huge error from the 12799' shown on the map. I wonder if the map elevations are accurate in this area.

I had the top to myself until a pika showed up in search of salt. I soaked up the sun for a long time before my thoughts turned to the descent. I know, I know, it's bad to descend a different way than you climbed, but the wind had stopped and the clouds had cleared and it was still before noon. I had 10 hours of daylight left, plenty of time to climb back up and go the other way if I cliffed out.

I found ducks leading down onto the rib at the edge of The Gash, which is closer to the summit than where I hit the ridge, and decided I'd give it a go. This turned out to be far easier than the Real SW Col, more of a broad chute and/or a ramp than a couloir... so I'm calling it the Southwest Ramp! I got back to camp at 2:30pm after spending half an hour on the summit and wasting time finding routes in both directions. Now that I know the easy route (SW Ramp) and assuming no crampon use, I could easily shave a couple hours off my 6-hour climb.

Rather than hiking down into bug and bear territory, I relaxed all afternoon, taking a dip in the lake, reading, napping, and thinking about climbing Mt Villard the next day. Almost no mosquitoes, a very gentle breeze, warm temps, a few early morning and late afternoon clouds drifting by, wildflowers, ground-nesting

birds guarding unseen offspring, water cascading off The Spires... it was a very idyllic setting that I was loathe to leave. I'm sure things would have been different had I been with a group.

That was summit day. A perfect day.

The next morning I awoke to rain on the tent before first light and ditched my vague plan to bag Villard. The rain let up long enough for the tent to dry while I packed and had breakfast, then a light drizzle started under really threatening skies as I started the hike out at 6:30am. Just before noon I parked my pack under a tree and ate lunch hoping the rain would stop. It did! Then it was hot and there were more mosquitoes. It took only 9 hours to hike all the way back to my car from Upper Sky Top, including several long breaks. I met only 3 people on the way out, none at all on the way in.

Mt. Baldwin (12,614')

July 24 - 26

By Debbie Bulger

Photos by Richard Stover

Mt. Baldwin from Bright Dot Lake is not difficult; getting there on the recently washed-out trail, however, was a challenge. Perhaps 20 washouts—some large enough to drive a school bus into–complicated the hike. There were mudslides, rock slides and large sections with no trail at all.

The low snow year made the crossing of Convict Creek easier. Richard Stover and I managed to cross in our hiking boots without getting wet, but most years one would require water shoes.

That evening as the sun set, Bright Dot Lake reflected the setting sun and shimmered in the soft light. Down by the lake hundreds of Elephant heads poked through the Arctic willows. Away from the lake near our campsite fading Clarkia splashed pink on the landscape.

On the climb of Mt. Baldwin the next day, Richard and I saw a Golden Eagle soaring above us. There is a grand view from the summit and the special dividend of the Calcite mine which we visited on the way down.


Richard and Debbie on summit of Mt. Baldwin

When we got back to camp, we discovered the marmots had nibbled at the hand grips of our new trekking poles which we had left in camp. The sun was hot when we returned to camp, so we set up a shelter under which we had afternoon tea.


Debbie descending to Bright Dot Lake

The next day we hiked out.

Mt. Warren and Mt. Goode

August 18 - 19

By Sonja Dietrich

Matt Blum (lead), Christophe Vivensang, Sonja Dieterich (trip report author) and Larry.

Ah, the pleasures of working in Sacramento. I did enjoy a traffic-free drive across Monitor Pass and got treated to a double rainbow over

Owen's River Valley, while the rest of the hiking group was fighting traffic out of the Bay Area. We met at Lake Ellery, and for lack of campsites there pulled into the gravel lot across the trailhead to sleep in our cars.


We woke up early in the morning to discover we had parked on the helicopter landing patch of a construction staging site! We got out of there and parked across the street about 5 minutes before two helicopters landed. We were buzzed all day by them, transporting material to a place up Warren Canyon.

We started hiking around 8:30 am up the use trail, passing the campsites, which are indeed only a few hundred yard in from the

trailhead. We generally followed Steve Eckert's trip report from 1997.

About 1.5 miles in, one can spot the rocky slope leading up the hill to the right. Not much underbrush there, and what remains is

criss-crossed by deer trails. We came up to the "outlet" of the formerlake, now a meadow,

and traversed to the east side of it in the

forest. I imagine this stretch would be a bit dusty normally, but it had recently rained so that kept the dust down. We contoured over to the obvious drainage between two rocky

outcroppings. It is best to travel directly in the drainage, because the rock is a bit more settled. The creek flowing underground with the echo in this drainage canyon combined to provide nice audio for the dramatic lighting visuals we got thanks to the building clouds.


Once we topped out of the canyon, Mt Warren became clearly visible and was

straightforward. We enjoyed the building cloud drama over Dana and Conness from the summit, as well as a good view onto Mono Lake. We made it a point to photograph Bob Burd's "Boom - got hit by lightning" entry.


Because of the building clouds, we headed down shortly after noon. It started raining just as we dropped into the drainage. Boulder-hopping downstream on wet granite, yeah! As we reached the first Jeffrey Pines, thunder rolled overhead. Dana was socked in, but we were lucky, and just got a warm shower while we were hiking out. The little creek at the base of the hike had swelled noticeably.

We drove to Bishop in driving rain to have dinner, then found a campsite on the 4 Jeffreys CG on the way to South Lake.

The weather forecast had predicted clear skies, but we woke up to slightly cloudy

skies and could still feel the moisture over the air. This was my first time hiking up Bishop Pass, and I was enthralled by the scenery.

By the time we got to Long Lake on our way to Mt Goode, however, the clouds had again built up impressively. At that point, I decided if anyone would be fast enough to outrun the weather and summit, it would be Matt and Christophe. The two of them went ahead, while Larry and I decided to hike up toward Bishop Pass but turn around in time to have a leisurely lunch in Bishop.

Around 1 pm we were back at the trailhead. By that time, an impressive, major storm had built over the mountains just 2-3 miles east of Mt Goode. The mountain itself was never socked in, but it was definitely raining over it.

On our way down from South Lake to downtown Bishop we discovered Bishop Burger Barn on the left side of the road. Best fries I have had in a long time, and great burgers and lemonade too. This will be my

standard stop now if I need a burger fix in Bishop. As Larry and I pulled out of the Burger Barn to drive home, Matt and Christophe

texted me. They also had decided the storms were too dicey to risk being on a high peak, and had hiked over Bishop Pass into Dusy Basin instead.  Joining the PCS is easy.  Go to

PCS Announcement Listserv

If you join the PCS Announcement Listserv you will receive announcements and updates of trips and meetings. Use the 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 Thursday, September 27. Meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month.