March 2013             Peak Climbing Section, Loma Prieta Chapter, Sierra Club                                    Vol. 47 No. 3 -

General Meeting

 Date                  March 12, 2013

Time          7:30 pm – 9:30 pm

Where       PCC

                  3921 E. Bayshore Road

                  Palo Alto, CA

Program   From Kilimanjaro to the Himalays

Presenter Pamela Levine

During her service in the Peace Corps in Tanzania, Pamela Levine made two ascents of Mt. Kilimanjaro, Africa’s tallest mountain. This adventure sparked a taste for high altitude mountain climbing that has taken her around the world. In a presentation that ends (until next climb!) at Kala Patthar mountain and Everest Base Camp in Nepal, she will share stories and pictures of how climbing Kilimanjaro led her to the Himalayas.

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

The Upcoming Trips list is awesome! Check out this list, and see which trips you'd like to be part of!  Also encourage everyone to read this story of an avalanche near-miss:


Chair Column

With the dry winter, we should be able to get out into the high Sierra a little more easily this spring to get a head start on the season; that is, if the trailhead gates aren't locked.  Though we had a relatively small turnout for the trip planning meeting, we were able to put together a pretty full schedule with a mix of twenty-seven short and long trips with a range of challenge levels.  Thanks to the trip leaders for volunteering for this important role.  This issue includes a preliminary list of these trips.  Upcoming issues will fill in the details for you.  I request the leaders to give Rod their trip descriptions as soon as possible and please include an indication of difficulty, special equipment, and qualifications required of candidate participants.  Most of the trips could use a co-leader.  Being a co-leader is a good way to build experience and is a prerequisite to becoming a full leader; besides, it's fun.  So contact the leader, Rod, or myself if you'd like to help out in that way.

If past experience is any guide, expect this schedule to change some as the season proceeds.  So if any of you could not make it to the planning meeting, but have a trip you'd like to do, please let Rod or myself know and we can always add to the schedule.  Nothing wrong with multiple trips over a particular set of dates either.  Variety is the spice of… (you know)

The presentation at this month's meeting illustrates the diverse ways we come to acquiring a passion for mountaineering and the many ways we exercise that passion.  Join me at our March meeting in hearing Pamela Levine's story of how she came to high altitude mountaineering.

Terry Cline

Preliminary Trip List For Summer

Preliminary Trip List (details subject to later revision, or possible immediate correction by those on the above e-mail list):

April 26-28, Lisa Barboza -- Basin Mtn.

May 10-12, Lisa Barboza -- Kern Pk.

May 18 or 25, Aaron Schuman -- ?

June 8, Lisa Barboza -- Mt. Brewer, South Guard

June 11-13, Lisa Barboza -- Mt. Izaak Walton, Recess Peak

June 13-15, Bob Summers -- Backpack loop from Tenaya Lake, over Clouds Rest

June 14-16, Lisa Barboza & Aaron Schuman -- Silver Peak

June 21-24, Lisa Barboza -- Mt. Mills, Bear Creek Spire

June 28-July 5, Lisa Barboza -- Mt. Julius Caesar, Mt. Hilgard, Mt. Gabb; & Foerster Pk.

June 29-July 7, Aaron Schuman -- Kaweahs from Mineral King (& Eisen, Lippincott, +?)

July 8-14, Bob Summers -- Mt. McAdie (+?), from New Army Pass to N. Fk. Lone Pine Ck.

July 20, Kelly Maas -- Mt. Acrodetes, from Baxter Pass

July 22-August 2, Bob Summers -- Evolution region from Courtright (in over Hell-for-Sure Pass)

July 28-31, Lisa Barboza -- Triple Divide Pk. (Seq.), Lion Rock, Mt. Stewart

August 1-3, Rod McCalley -- Cirque Peak (& 70th Birthday Party)

August 9-11, Lisa Barboza -- Mt. Winchell, from Big Pine Ck.

August 9-12, Kelly Maas -- Center Basin, from Onion Valley

August 16-18, Lisa Barboza & Aaron Schuman -- Mt. Giraud, via Bishop Pass

August 19-30, Bob Summers -- Peaks of (and north of) the Kings-Kern Divide

August 24, Kelly Maas -- Tenaya Canyon descent

August 30-Sept. 2, Lisa Barboza -- Deerhorn and E. & W. Vidette, from Cedar Grove

Sept. 6-8, Lisa Barboza, Rick Booth, & Linda Sun -- Mt. Humphreys (E. arete)

Sept. 12-15, Bob Summers -- Muir Gorge of the Tuolumne River

Sept. 14, Lisa Barboza & Daryn Dodge -- North Peak (& LIST-FINISH Party, Saddlebag Lk.)

Sept. 21, Aaron Schuman -- ?

Sept. 23-29, Bob Summers -- Spiller & Whorl Mtns (+?), from Virginia Lakes

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.

March 11 - 26: Ojos del Salado, Chile

Leaders: Jesper Schou, Jeff Fisher

March 29 - 31: Telescope Peak

Leader: Sonja Dietrich

April 19 - 21: Lost Coast Backpack

 Leader: Kelly Maas

August 31 - Sept 9: Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

Leader: Emilie Cortes

November 7 - 23: Annapurna Base Camp, Nepal

Leader: Emilie Cortes

Private Trip Details

Ojos Del Salado, Chile

Goals: Ojos del Salado (22,615') and Friends

Location: Northern Chile

Dates: March 11 - 26

Leader: Jesper Schou, Jeff Fisher

Difficulty: Class 2 and 3

Organizers: Jesper Schou (schou at sun dot stanford dot edu) and Jeff Fisher. Description: We will fly to Copiapo, Chile and meet up on March 11, 2013. We will spend several days acclimatizing, mostly by dayhiking smaller (up to 20000ft or so) peaks and going sightseeing. Once we feel that we are sufficiently acclimatized we will drive to the lower refuge on Ojos at 17000ft. From there we will carry equipment to the higher refuge at 19000ft and return to the car. Next day we will go back to 19000ft and camp. Morning after we will attempt the summit. Plans are, of course, flexible and subject to change as we see how things develop. Note that at least one of the participants is only planning on doing the

warmup peaks and not Ojos. You are free to pick and choose and go sightseeing or go home instead. While the peaks are technically easy (Ojos has a short class 3 section) and while we will not be many days from the car, the altitude presents a significant challenge. Also the peaks are quite remote. If interested please email Jesper with information about dates you can go, previous experience at high altitude and so forth. This trip is not official in any way and is neither endorsed by the PCS or SAC. We are not guides and are not responsible for your safety.

Telescope Peak

Goals: Telescope Peak

Location: Death Valley

Dates: March 29 - 31

Leader: Sonja Dietrich

Difficulty: Class 2, may require crampons, ice axe

On Friday, we will meet at Shorty's Well (-245 feet) and hike up to Hanaupah Springs (10 miles, 4000 feet). Dropping our packs there, we will explore the first narrows of Hanaupah Canyon. Saturday, we will carry daypacks and our 10 essentials to climb 7.8 miles and 7000 feet to Telescope Peak (alpine start!). Participants should bring crampons and ice axe for the likely case of snow on the peak. We will return back to our camp at Hanaupah Springs. Hike out and drive home on Sunday. Contact Sonja Dietrich:

Lost Coast Backpack

Goals: Enjoy!

Location: Lost Coast

Dates: April 19 - 21

Leader: Kelly Maas

Difficulty: Class 1

Enjoy a 3-day, 2-night backpack in the King Rage National Conservation Area. We'll go north-to-south from Mattole to Black Sands Beach near Shelter Cove.  A long car shuttle will be involved.  Total distance is roughly 25 miles.  We will need to time things carefully to avoid high tide at two key locations.  Stream crossings will be required.Leader: Kelly Maas (408) 378-5311

Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

Goals: Kilimanjaro (19, 341')

Location: Tanzania

Dates: August 31 - Sept 9

Leader: Emilie Cortes

Difficulty: Class 1

This is an all female expedition to the roof of Africa with Emilie's new company, Call of the Wild Adventures, Inc. Emilie will be guiding this trip personally. Kilimanjaro is one of the seven summits and stands at 19,340ft. We will ascend via the Machame route over 7 days

total. The Machame (aka "Whiskey Route") is

a bit more challenging due to its rolling nature and scramble up the Barranca Headwall, but has a better summit success rate. Climbers typically try to ascend over 5, 6, or 7 days. The more days you take, the better your chances, so why fly all that way not summit because you tried to save a day of vacation? While this peak is "just hiking," you will need to train in order to handle 7 days of trekking without rest days and to prepare your body to acclimatize as best it can. This trip is scheduled over the Labor Day holiday weekend to help those who are vacation constrained. There are additional optional extensions to do a camping safari and a trip to the island of Zanzibar. Cost is $3995 (compare to other outfitters!) with a 10% discount for current PCS members. Contact Emilie Cortes at 415-260-3618,, or sign up at

Annapurna Base Camp

Goals: Anna Purnapurna Base Camp (13,550')

Location: Nepal

Dates: Npvember 7 - 23

Leader: Emilie Cortes

Difficulty: Class 1

This is an all female expedition to the famous Annapurna Base Camp in the Annapurna Sanctuary.  Emilie will be guiding this trip personally.

This challenging trek is one of the most popular in Nepal and for good reason! Annapurna Base Camp (ABC) is surrounded by a cirque of awe-inspiring peaks, including the awesome south face of Annapurna I (8,091m), in a natural amphitheatre which is quite simply mind-blowing. Our trek starts from Pokhara with a short drive to the road head. A short diversion up to Poon Hill (3,190m) offers us a chance to obtain great views of Himalayan giant - Dhaulagiri (8,167m). The sunrise views from here are legendary.

As we climb through ancient oak and rhododendron forest, across sparkling streams and past waterfalls, the world of snow and ice starts to unfold above us. This combination of villages and terraced fields of millet and rice, coupled by the majestic splendor of Machapuchare (6,993m), Annapurna I and Himchuli (6,441m) make this an extremely rewarding trek. Climbing up the Modhi Khola valley towards the sanctuary, we are teased with views of towering peaks and dizzyingly high rock walls with waterfalls tumbling down into the roar of the river below.

We ascend to Machapuchare Base Camp (3,700m) on the lateral moraine of Annapurana South glacier. The steady climb up to ABC reveals the full splendor of this natural amphitheatre. When we reach our destination, we are spoiled with a 360-degree views of Himalayan peaks, the 'Throne of the Mountain Gods'. 

Cost is $3295 with a 10% discount for current PCS members. Contact Emilie Cortes at 415-260-3618,, or sign up at

Climb Mt. Shasta and Fight Liver Disease

Each year in June the American Liver Foundation sends a team of climbers to Mt. Shasta to climb, have fun, and raise money to fight liver disease.  To date, the Liver Life Challenge Mount Shasta Climb Team has raised over $650,000 to support liver-disease research and education. 

This is a great opportunity to do something you love while helping others in need. 

If you're interested, go to for more information, and send an email to our climb team leader, Dave Hinman, at


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 Monday, March 25. Meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month.