Oct 2013             Peak Climbing Section, Loma Prieta Chapter, Sierra Club                                    Vol. 47 No. 10

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

General Meeting

Date          Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Time          7:30 pm – 9:30 pm

Where       PCC

                  3921 E. Bayshore Road

                  Palo Alto, CA

Program   A Century of Change: a history of women and girls climbing and adventuring

Presenter Priscilla McKenney

This multi-media presentation begins with images of women climbing over a century ago on Mount Rainier and finishes with contemporary photos of women and girls climbing and adventuring in the Nepal Himalayas, Alaska, North Cascades and the California Sierra Nevadas. This herstory goes beyond women as participants and spotlights women who took bold steps as organizers, leaders and guides in the context of mountaineering and outdoor pursuits. The slide show also outlines a timeline of girls’ and women’s outdoor programs as they have evolved in the outdoor adventure program movement. Come meet Miss Dish, and hear how Women Will Save Climbing!

About Priscilla McKenney:

Starting with Pacific Crest Outward Bound School and Woodswomen in the 1980’s, Priscilla has worked with outdoor adventure-based programs as director, instructor/guide, team leader and trainer. In the 1990’s, she was co-founder/director of Lois Lane Expeditions, a guiding service that offered mountaineering trips to the Himalayas and Andes for spunky, brave and curious women. During the past decade, Priscilla has provided leadership in the girls’ outdoor adventure program niche in the areas of innovative program design, research and publication. Currently, Priscilla works with Girl Scouts NorCal and also serves as an Advisor for Outward Bound California and San Francisco State University’s Department of Tourism, Parks and Recreation. She is an avid sea kayaker, sailor, mountaineer and backcountry skier. Currently, Priscilla guides an occasional trip in the Himalaya and frequent local trips in the SF Bay Area and Sierras. She is currently passionate about outrigger canoe racing. She is a contributing author to Sea Kayaker Magazine.

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/28ng

Editor's Notes

My good friend Gail Storey is an author who has written a book about hiking the PCT. She'll be doing a slideshow with talk/reading/q&a for her book I Promise Not to Suffer: A Fool for Love Hikes the Pacific Crest Trail at the REI Corte Madera on October 2, 7 pm, the REI Brentwood on October 3, 7 pm, the Avid Reader in Davis on October 4, 7:30 pm, and the Avid Reader at Tower in Sacramento on October 5, 2 pm.  All the deets are on the Events page of her website: http://www.gailstorey.com/events


Chair Column

By the time you read this we will have had our fall trip scheduling meeting. The details will be published on the web site as soon as possible.

It is also time to put together a nominating committee for next year's leadership team. I am calling for volunteers to be on this committee. Also, if you would like to serve in one of the fun and rewarding officer positions next year please let me know.

As most of you know by now, Sibylle Hechtel made available a number of copies of her father's excellent autobiography (includes interesting experiences in the Sierra and references to friends in the RCS) to the section

 with proceeds of their sale going to the section. I've gotten a good response to this, but have three copies not spoken for. Yours for a donation to the section. I will deliver them at the next meeting.

This month's meeting presentation will be an interesting walk through the history of women's climbing from early days on Mt Rainier to the present in the Sierra Nevada by Pricscilla McKenney. Join us, it should be fun.

PCS Trip Calendar


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.

November 7 - 23: Annapurna Base Camp, Nepal

Leader: Emilie Cortes

Private Trip Details

Annapurna Base Camp

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

Location: Nepal

Dates: Npvember 7 - 23

Leader: Emilie Cortes

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, emilie@callwild.com, or sign up at http://www.callwild.com/trip.php?id=66

Trip Reports

Pyramid Triple

May 26 - 28, 2013

By Jim Ramaker

Since I recently moved to the Sacramento area foothills, I figured it was time to climb some Tahoe area peaks. So on the Saturday evening of Memorial Day weekend, Bob Suzuki and

Eddie Sudol showed up at the house I share with my girlfriend Donna, and early on Sunday the three of us made the short drive up to the Tahoe area.

The first goal was Freel Peak (10,881).  One mile east of Luther Pass on Highway 89, we turned left onto a bumpy dirt road and drove 3.5 miles northeast to the Armstrong Pass

trailhead. A very short uphill hike brought us to

Armstrong Pass, followed by a couple of miles northward on a scenic sidehill trail with views of the Tahoe basin to the west. After the trail crossed a ridge, we turned right onto a use trail across the barren scree basin NW of the peak.  We topped out around noon and were back at the car by 3.

While having supper in South Lake Tahoe, we studied trip reports and discussed the pros and cons of the various routes up Pyramid Peak (N) (9983). The shortest route (Rocky Canyon, seven miles round trip) also has the most elevation gain (4100 feet), and the other short route from Highway 50 (Horsetail Falls) has some class-4 slabs next to the

waterfall, according to some trip reports. So we decided to try Lyon Creek, because while long (12 miles round trip), it has the least elevation gain (3300 feet), and we thought

it would be easy to find a camping spot on Wrights Lake Road, the side road into the trailhead. That road is narrow but paved, and except for one avoidable pothole, fine for

low-clearance vehicles. We found a nice bug-free camping spot at a turnoff three miles in from Highway 50, and about one mile short of the trailhead.

On Memorial Day morning, we started hiking at 6:30 a.m.. The trail is beautiful -- a nearly flat hike through lush forest with Lyon Creek on your left. As on Sunday, Bob unfortunately had to drop out with leg pain after a few miles -- while he is doing much better than he was last year, he is not yet up to long hikes or boulder hopping. After Eddie and I arrived at Lake Sylvia, we climbed a snow gully on the right with ice axes and crampons, except that Eddie had forgotten his crampons, so I cut steps for him on the

steep upper section, until we could escape off to the left onto some dirty class-3 slabs. Above that we headed up the rounded and very easy west "ridge" of Pyramid, as clouds closed in and a few snowflakes started to swirl around us.

The wind and snow steadily increased, and about 500 feet below the summit I got the brilliant idea to drop our packs and dash up to the summit to ensure that we got the peak.

That worked fine, and we took a short break at the summit, huddling behind the rock walls there to read the register.  When we stood up to leave, I was surprised to be looking into a full-on white-out.  I'd forgotten how disorienting they are -- we could see nothing but the boulders at our feet, and were literally not sure which way to walk off the rounded summit. Our packs, which had been visible from half a mile away next to a solitary bush in the middle of a large snowfield, suddenly felt like buried treasure. I had a compass bearing to them, but it was hardly precise.

We followed the bearing down the slope until arriving at the approximate elevation where we had dropped the packs, and then began traversing, and traversing some more. I was

starting to despair when Eddie did one of his famous intuitive "zone scans" and announced that we were within 150 feet of the packs.  And so we were -- within a minute, we spotted them 30 feet away in the thick mist and swirling snow. I re-learned a lesson I have learned before: Do not drop your gear unless you have an accurate GPS waypoint, or a huge landmark such as a lake or a saddle on a ridge.

The rest of the descent was uneventful but wet and cold, as the snow turned to sleet and then to rain as we descended. At 3:30 p.m., we reached the car to find Bob waiting, and by 5 I was home in Shingle Springs, still shivering a bit in the 70 degree warmth there.

Since I now knew that the Lyon Creek trailhead is just a one-hour drive from my home, my climbing gene was activated, and I was back the next weekend for a solo adventure. I wanted to try Pyramid's northwest couloir, which according to one trip report, has snow up to 50 degrees. I hiked up the same Lyon Creek trail, except this time I passed Lake Sylvia on the left and continued up into the basin above. Unfortunately I climbed the first snow couloir I saw, and while enjoyable, it was not the true northwest couloir.

After summitting Pyramid, I dropped down the class-3 north ridge, to the consternation of the hikers on the summit up from Highway 50. The ridge had three deep notches, and I figured

at least one of them would let me drop down the cliff onto the large snowfield northwest of Pyramid, and then traverse north to Mt Price (9975). The first and last notch had vertical cliffs, but the second notch had continuous steep snow, so I put my crampons back on and hopped onto it. Soon I was down on the snowfield, traversing the very easy terrain over to Mt Price, where I arrived at 4 p.m.

Instead of returning to Lake Sylvia, I realized I could save some miles by heading to Lyon Lake and picking up a side trail there. The cross-country terrain between Mt Price and

Lyon Lake was the nicest I saw all day, with smooth granite slabs, cascades, and grassy gardens on small ledges. However, you need to descend into the head of the canyon instead

of directly toward Lyon Lake to avoid an area of steep wet slabs. At Lyon Lake, I talked to a young dad who had backpacked in with his son, who was just four years old and had

hiked in all the way! I finally arrived back at the car at 8 p.m. for a 14-hour day of about 15 miles (with several long breaks).

The next weekend I was back for a third go -- it turns out I had hiked right past Mt Agassiz (N) (9975) on my way to Price (it was not marked on my map), so I wanted to bag it as well as climbi the true northwest couloir of Pyramid. I had the routine down now -- out of bed at home at 4 a.m., trailhead and breakfast at 5:30, and hiking at 6. I passed Lake Sylvia before 9 a.m., and this time continued to the highest basin under the north face of Pyramid. The northwest couloir is short but nice -- 700 feet, about 40 degrees in

the lower section, then a low-angle snow shelf, and over 50 degrees near the top where it merges with a near-vertical cornice. Snow conditions were good, so I tried to force

myself to crampon straight up the steepest line, which required a bit more willpower than I had at the time.

I took a break on the summit around 11 and talked to some fellow climbers and hikers -- Pyramid is very popular with Tahoe area locals. Then I basically repeated the previous

weekend's circuit, adding a short diversion to the

 diving-board-shaped summit of Mt Agassiz, which juts out over its sheer east face. I continued on to Mt Price, summited around 4, and got to my car around 6:30, reducing my time from 14 hours to 12.5 despite a slightly more ambitious agenda. At my age, you have to take your modest victories where you can.

Mount Whitney

July 13, 2013

By Jim Ramaker

Bob Wyka reserved a coveted Mt. Whitney trail permit at the deadline last April, and so on Friday July 12, I met Lisa Barboza in Manteca for the oft-repeated drive across

Yosemite and down the east side. Lisa's talking iPhone (Siri) led us to a new dinner find in Bishop -- a Thai restaurant called Thai Thai, two miles east of downtown at the

Bishop Airport. The food, staff, and setting were all very nice, and by 10 p.m. Lisa and I were asleep in an undisclosed location near the Whitney Portal parking lot.

Getting up by headlamp at 4 a.m., we quickly packed and met the rest the team at the trailhead -- Kathy Rich, Elena Sherman, Scott Sullivan, and leader Bob Wyka. We were rolling

right on schedule at 4:45, hiking by headlamps for a few minutes until the eastern sky lightened, the headlamps clicked off, and we settled in for a very long day -- 22 miles and 6500' up and down.

Around 8:30 we reached Trail Camp at 12,000 feet, and paused to let the slower people catch up. Feeling tired at this point, I went ahead very slowly and luckily caught a second

wind, and breezed up the "99 Switchbacks" to Trail Crest and the Sierra Crest at 13,650'.  

At this point, Kathy and Lisa, looking fresh as daisies, scampered off to climb Mt.

Muir (14,012') with its interesting class 3/4 moves near the summit, while the rest of us continued doggedly on to Whitney.

Just two miles and 850 feet of gentle uphill, this

last section seemed the hardest, probably because I was not acclimatized and we were now near or above 14,000' all the time.  Bob sailed ahead and summited at noon, and I

joined him about 20 minutes later. Incredible weather -- while Trail Crest had a cold breeze, the summit was nearly windless and around 70 degrees, as the usual crowd of several

dozen climbers lounged about. Around 1 pm, Bob and I headed down, reuniting with Kathy and Linda at Trail Crest around 2 pm.

While waiting for Scott and Elena, we climbed Discovery Pinnacle (13,750), the small but scenic peaklet just southeast of Trail Crest (I hope it's on the list). Scott and Elena

soon returned from Whitney, and after a nice nap, we had to face the fact that napping was not moving us closer to the cars or our beds, and so we started the long hike down.

Those hours have been blissfully erased from my memory, except that the six of us stayed more or less together and I got sick of eating PowerBars for the first time and resolved

to bring something salty next time.  The last part of the descent was nice, as the shadows lengthened and the evening sun shone on the vast mountain walls to the north and south

of us. We reached the cars at 7, and quickly washed up to start our various long drives home.

Like everyone else on this trip, I had climbed Whitney several times before by various routes, but now I can finally wear without guilt the T-shirt I bought years ago that says "Mt. Whitney in a Day."

Triple Divide Peak (S), 12634'

August 19, 2013

By Debbie Bulger

Triple Divide Peak, on the border of Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks, divides the drainages of three great Sierra rivers: the Kings, the Kern, and the Kaweah. The view from the summit is breathtaking.


Triple Divide Peak. Our route was on the ridge to the left of the summit.

Since Richard Stover and I had climbed Triple Divide Peak (N) in the Clark Range on the southern border of Yosemite in June, we just had to balance things up by climbing the more impressive Triple Divide Peak, south this August. We left from the Horse Corral/Marvin Pass trailhead climbing 1000 feet in the first mile. Then we dropped 2000 feet to the Sugarloaf Creek drainage.

We were hot and tired and started a pattern that worked well for the duration of the trip. At about 2 or 3 in the afternoon most days we took a break, jumped in a creek, soaked off the trail grime, and rinsed out our clothes. Ahh, refreshing. Most days we put our clothes back on wet to protect ourselves from the hot sun. They dried very quickly.

Every creek or river crossing was easy this August, a major contrast to our backpack on the same trails to Colby Lake in 2005. The Brewer Creek Crossing was rebuilt by a trail crew about five years ago, eliminating a deep hole which made the crossing difficult. The log spanning Brewer Creek, however has broken, and I am not sure what one does during high water. In July of 2005 the Roaring River was up to my thighs, and I spilled all our maps as I crossed with difficulty above Big Wet Meadow.

We had planned to hike to Glacier Lake below Triple Divide Peak in three days, which seemed entirely reasonable since the distance is about

25 miles. However, on the third day we either overestimated our speed or underestimated the steep and rocky terrain. We started up the slope toward Glacier Lake at 4:20 p.m. By 7:30 we were not yet at the lake (about a 1500-foot gain). Prudence dictated that we set up camp in the best spot we could find. Not ideal, but safer than continuing in the dark.

At dawn we walked the remaining 20 minutes to the lake and got much needed water. That was supposed to be our climb day, but fate was looking out for us. By the time we had our tent set up, it was raining, so day four became a layover day.

Glacier Lake is very beautiful, and there are only a few small snow patches left where the map shows a permanent snowfield. It is populated by a flock of American Pipits and one American Dipper.

Although there were clouds building in the morning of the fifth day, we started up the drainage toward Triple Divide Pass. The pass is easier than it looks, but I would not enjoy crossing it with a full pack. Once we gained the East Ridge, the climb was for the most part a fun third class scramble. In a few places we temporarily dropped to the south side of the ridge for easier passage.


Richard crossing Roaring Rive in 2013


Debbie crossing the same spot in 2005

We had planned to hike to Glacier Lake below Triple Divide Peak in three days, which seemed entirely reasonable since the distance is about 25 miles. However, on the third day we either overestimated our speed or underestimated the steep and rocky terrain. We started up the slope toward Glacier Lake at 4:20 p.m. By 7:30 we were not yet at the lake (about a 1500-foot gain). Prudence dictated that we set up camp in the best spot we could find. Not ideal, but safer than continuing in the dark.

At dawn we walked the remaining 20 minutes to the lake and got much needed water. That was supposed to be our climb day, but fate was looking out for us. By the time we had our tent set up, it was raining, so day four became a layover day.

Glacier Lake is very beautiful, and there are only a few small snow patches left where the map shows a permanent snow field. It is populated by a flock of American Pipits and one American Dipper.

Although there were clouds building in the

morning of the fifth day, we started up the drainage toward Triple Divide Pass. The pass is easier than it looks, but I would not enjoy crossing it with a full pack. Once we gained the East Ridge, the climb was for the most part a fun third class scramble. In a few places we temporarily dropped to the south side of the ridge for easier passage.

The sky was becoming increasingly more threatening as the day wore on, so we moved as quickly as we could. The view from the top of this special peak is awesome: Wilderness in every direction. Because it was starting to rain, I spent only a few minutes with the summit register, then headed back.

When the hail started, we dropped off the ridge for a few minutes, but the quickest way down was to stay on the ridge, so we did.

At times the lightning was blinding, brighter than usual. Especially bright flashes were followed by ear-splitting thunder that usually made me startle even though I knew it was coming. We had donned our rain jackets, but foolishly had not put on our rain pants. By the time we reached our tent, our pants were soaked through.

But our sleeping bags were warm and dry. Our tent vestibule held a pile of wet clothes as we warmed up and listened to the storm around us. At last we had a chance to eat most of the lunch we had neglected in our haste to descend.

It rained into the evening. The next morning we had lots of warming soup and tea while we dried out our gear, a process that took us until after noon. We then descended to Cloud Canyon where we managed to pitch our tent with minutes to spare before the rain started again, but not before we were treated to one of the best light shows we have ever seen. There was to be yet another rainy day before we could hike out.

As we looked for Shorty’s Cabin. Shorty Lovelace was a fur trapper who worked in Sequoia and Kings Canyon in the 1920s and 1930s before they became National Parks. He

built as many as 37 cabins, each a day’s ski apart, which he visited in winter.

Richard and I had searched for Shorty’s Cabin on Roaring River in 2005 for over half an hour. It turned out that the cabin is not at the spot where it is indicated on the map. With new directions we found it in short order this time.


Debbie at the restored Shorty's cabin

Cindy, the ranger at Roaring River, told us the cabin had been carefully disassembled and restored in the fall of 2012. It sported a new shake roof crafted on site as well as other repairs. Cindy also entertained us with stories of the “Grand Hotel” above Big Wet Meadow and other tales, but that’s another story we don’t have time for here.

Between visiting on Cindy’s front porch and cleaning/swimming in the river, we didn’t get very far that day. On day nine we hiked back to our vehicle (after climbing Mitchell Peak) having had one of our best adventures yet: A special peak, a found cabin, five lost balloons, and many interesting birds including the Pipits and Dipper, White-headed woodpeckers, Wrentits, Rufous hummingbirds, various Warblers, White-breasted Nuthatches, and a Brown Creeper.

The Enchanted Phalarope Lake

Deerhorn (13,281'), West Vidette (12,533'), East Vidette (12, 356')

August 39, 2013

By Jim Ramaker (with help from Lisa Barboza)

With Lisa closing in on her goal of finishing the SPS list, trips with her take on an added drama. The Friday of Labor Day weekend found Lisa, Yoni Novat, and I hiking over Kearsarge Pass with three peaks in our sights: Deerhorn, West Vidette, and East Vidette. Scattered thunderclouds gathered overhead as the day wore on, in a pattern that would persist throughout the long weekend -- one of those dreaded tropical systems had lodged itself just east of the Sierras, and having experienced them before, we knew that we could expect bad weather at any time, day or night.

By mid-afternoon, we had crossed Kearsarge Pass and given up 2300 feet of hard-won altitude, from 11,800 at the pass down to 9500 on the Muir Trail at Bubbs Creek. The creek

crossing to go to Vidette Lakes, which can be challenging early in the season, was a breeze in this very dry year -- we just walked across a fallen log near a 100-foot-long island in the creek. This crossing is near the bear box campsite in Lower Vidette Meadows, just before the Muir Trail begins to climb a hill. On the south side of the creek, we headed uphill toward Vidette Lakes, and soon found a use trail that fades in and out. With the help of a few ducks and careful navigation by Lisa and Yoni (I was too tired to care), we were able to stay on the trail and avoid some brush and other unpleasant terrain. We camped at a beautiful small lake at 10,600 feet on the west side of the valley, at

the base of a prominent slanting chute that is the standard route up West Vidette.

On Saturday, with two peaks on the agenda and the weather uncertain, we got up in the dark at 5 a.m. and were moving at 6 a.m. We worked our way southward, climbing steeply uphill over scree, talus, and moraines -- from this camp, Deerhorn was about 2/3 approach and 1/3

climbing. Our route was the class-3 northeast buttress, and by 8:30 we were at the

first challenge -- getting onto the toe of the buttress. A dirty, left-facing ramp of dark rock is the easiest way, and once on the buttress it is clear sailing all the way up to the saddle, with fun, low class-3 climbing on well-composed granodiorite. The key to the climb is to not traverse left to the saddle when you come level with it, which leads you to exposed moves across a steep slab. Instead, climb 50 vertical feet above the saddle and then traverse gently downward toward it. Once you reach the saddle, it's easy -- you climb up and right around the small peaklet between the two summits, cut back to the left across a small, higher saddle, and then finish on a class-2 ramp on the north side of the summit.

We arrived at the summit at 10 a.m. and were greeted with storm clouds on nearby peaks.  Stanford remained shrouded in clouds, and rain was threatening as we signed in and departed for West Vidette. After downclimbing our route, we headed north around the tip of a long moraine, staying between 11,300 and 11,500 over nice slabs and grassy ramps. We

even found ducks, and it appears that these ramps would be a good approach for Deerhorn, probably better than the lower route we took. We arrived at a scree-filled gully leading up to just south of the West Vidette summit, and suddenly noticed that the sky was darkening even more.

As we ascended, it began to rain, and we were about 500 feet below the summit when we heard thunder fairly close by. A lively debate ensued about what to do, and we huddled in our raingear for about 30 minutes as the rain picked up, the temperature dropped, and hailstones fell. I was getting cold sitting there and suggested we descend, and we started down.  Soon, the power of three climbers putting on rain gear and

descending nearly 1000 feet of loose rock had a noticeable effect on the weather, and the clouds started breaking up to reveal patches of blue sky. I called a halt and said "Wait, what are we doing?", and before we could think about it too much, Lisa and I turned around and started charging up the scree we had just descended.

The weather continued improving as we climbed a broken class-2 ramp to the summit ridge, and

after passing a couple of bumps on the rounded ridge, we arrived at the summit at 4:30. The register went back about 10 years, with just a few pages of prior ascents of this infrequently climbed peak. We left a new register book, and enjoyed the sunshine and views. For the descent, we walked north down gentle scree slopes, passing several gullies that cliff out in search of the one gully that offers a safe way down to Vidette Lakes.

It is the last gully before the ridge starts climbing back up to Peak 12,200+ north of West Vidette. This northeast-facing gully usually has snow in it, but in this dry year it was snow-free and composed of hard-packed sand and loose rock. An okay descent route but a very tedious climbing route. The bottom of this gully was right next to our camp at Lake 10,600, and by 6:30 we were relaxing with Yoni and cooking dinner.

On Saturday morning, we enjoyed a leisurely descent on the old use trail, which we followed all the way to Bubbs Creek. On the west side of the crossing, we stumbled upon one of he Shorty Lovelace cabins, well preserved with a primitive chimney and bunk. Shorty built a number of cabins in this area between 1910 and 1940, and was the first non-Native American to live year round in the upper Kings River Canyon. The cabin is a convenient landmark to locate the Vidette Lakes use trail, which begins about 50 feet west of the cabin.

After crossing the creek, we stashed our gear in the woods and headed south up the JMT for 1.3 miles, then crossed the creek again and started up East Vidette. Instead of the standard gully to the south, we took the shorter and more direct "Secor variation," up the southeast face along a line of whitebark pines visible from the JMT. We continued up on granite slabs, climbing two short class-3 gullies to gain elevation and avoid steep slabs, then angled to the north into a long scree gully that eventually took us to a saddle on the summit ridge.  Then just as on West Vidette the day before, the clouds closed in and it started

 raining. Hearing no thunder this time, we hurried on to the apparent summit, which we were dismayed to find was a false summit and the

start of harder, class-3 climbing. Now determined, forged on for another 200 feet of class-3 along the ridge, until a hard hailstorm, 12 noon, and the summit all arrived simultaneously.

We tagged the airy summit and left, descending the scree gully we had climbed, then traversing right (south) when the gully gives way to steep slabs about halfway down. The weather soon cleared, and we retrieved our gear, took a long break, and started hiking out. That evening, we camped at a magical hidden lake that Lisa named "Pharalope Lake," because it was inhabited by a single Pharalope, a miniature white waterbird common at Mono Lake but rare in the high mountains. A single female Mallard was also at the lake -- perhaps the two had lost their flocks and were hopefully keeping each other company until making that big flight down to a lower elevation.

On Monday we hiked out on a sparkling morning and were soon enjoying a post-climb lunch at Whiskey Creek in Bishop.

Publicity Committee Positions

Scree Editor

    Judy Molland / screeeditor@gmail.com

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

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 Friday, Ocgber 25. Meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month. (Except this month - the third Tuesday.)