†††††††††††††† September 2014††††††††††††††† Peak Climbing Section, Loma Prieta Chapter, Sierra Club††††††††††††† Vol. 48 No.09

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

General Meeting



Date††††††††† Tuesday, September 9, 2014


Time††††††††† 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm


Where ††††† PCC

††††††††††††††††† 3921 E. Bayshore Road

††††††††††††††††† Palo Alto, CA


Program†† Fair Weather Is Rare In The Fairweather Range: An Ascent of Mt. Crillon


Presenter:Terry Cline


Mt Crillon, 12,726 ft, lies less than ten miles from the shores of Lituya Bay on the Pacific Ocean. It sits in the middle of what is now Glacier Bay National Park and is the second highest peak in the Fairweather Range. It was first climbed via its southern slopes in 1934 by a team led by Bradford Washburn that included Charlie Houston of K2 and high altitude medicine fame. It was not climbed again until in June 1972 a group of Juneau climbers ascended the West Ridge after approaching up the North Crillon Glacier that dumps into the sea at Lituya Bay.

In July 1977, inspired by a Bradford Washburn aerial photo of Crillonís North Ridge in the 1973 AAC Journal, Walt Vennum, Dave Dahl, Terry Cline, and Bruce Tickell, who had been on the second ascent, flew into Lituya Bay to attempt the North Ridge. After being bombarded by rockfall on a reconnaissance of the 2500 ft wall leading to the ridge crest and noting the dangerous avalanche hazard on the entire north side of the peak, they decided to repeat the West Ridge route. That turned out to be adventure enough and they succeeded in making the second ascent of the route and third of the mountain after 25 days of storms interrupted by climbing. They also got in a little salmon fishing waiting for a flight back to Juneau. Crillon awaits its fourth ascent.

Terry is currently Chairman of the PCS, has been climbing for over 40 years, and loves the Sierra Nevada and the Canadian Rockies, though for very different reasons.





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

Sad to say, we have no PCS listed currently; so this is a very small September Scree. Let's get some trips going!


Chair Column


Second call: if youíd like to contribute to the PCS by serving on the nominating committee for next yearís officers, please let me know.


August this year in the Sierra reminds us that it doesnít take much for things to go very wrong in the mountains. As I was driving home from the east side recently, I heard on the radio an accident and rescue had just occurred in the Sawtooth Ridge area out of Bridgeport. A Japanese climber had failed to hang onto his ice axe self-arresting a slip on a steep snow slope (described as icy on the radio) and crashed into the rocks below. From the description, this was probably Polemonium Pass between the Dragtooth and the Doodad, which Iíve gone up and down a few times. Result: broken bones, internal injuries. His partner hiked out for help. A helicopter tried to find him, but couldnít because he didnít stay put. So a ground search ensued to find him before he could be airlifted out. Many lessons here, but staying put would have saved both time and resources to rescue.


When I got home I was treated to TV newscasts about the hiker who died in Yosemite after proposing to his girlfriend a few hours before on top of Cathedral Peak. Turns out that after the big moment he went off to solo Matthes Crest, which many of you have climbed. An

experienced Yosemite rock climber, he was





found at the bottom of the cliff about halfway along the crest. It is speculated that a hold broke. Given the number of people soloing this 5.7 route these days, one wonders if they arenít taking it too lightly.


While I was out in the Rae Lakes/Sixty Lakes Basin area of Kings Canyon NP, I ran into hikers who had encountered a NPS Ranger looking for a hiker who had not checked in at home when expected. When I got home, again I was treated to news reports a few days later that a local area teacher, an experienced backcountry hiker, had been found dead at the bottom of a cliff just over the ridge from Sixty Lakes in the Gardiner Basin. Another reminder that solo cross-country travel in the Sierra can be hazardous.


Then, of course, our own Lisa Barbozaís fractured leg is mending from an encounter with rockfall in the Kaweahs this summer, confirming why I have never wanted to visit the Kaweahs.


Finally, as Iím writing this, the annual American Alpine Club Journal arrived with its Accidents in North American Mountaineering report. It includes several reports of bone-headed moves on Mt Shasta.


With familiarity and so much ďbetaĒ available, we can get a little cavalier. The mountains donít care. Be safe out there.




PCS Trip Calendar


There are no official PCS trips currently scheduled.


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.







Private Trip Details


Here is a trip that may be of interest to PCS members from former PCS member and Chair, Emilie Cortes, who now runs an all women's adventure travel company.  She's offering 10% off either of these trips for any PCS member. 


Everest Base Camp  http://www.callwild.com/trip.php?id=32

$3895 November 11-27, 2014

A challenging 12 day trek to the base camp of the highest mountain on the planet - Everest Base Camp.  We will also hike to the top of Kala Pattar which offers the best views of Everest.  We carry day packs and stay in traditional Sherpa tea houses along the way.  EBC requires a strong sense of adventure and willingness to train and prepare for your trek.


Trip Reports


Recess Peak (12,813')

School's Out For Summer

June 14 - 15

By Aaron Schuman

Photos by Greg Johnson


Summer vacation came early to the Sierra Nevada this dry season, so we took the opportunity to do a June climb of Recess Peak. When I ordered the permit reservation over the phone, I asked how large was the trailhead quota. It is ten, and I reserved every spot for the weekend of June 14, 2014. We were Linda Emerson, Linda Sun, Harry Xue, Rakesh Ranjan, Terry Cline, Greg Johnson, Will Molland-Simms, Tomoko Nakajima (on her first PCS climb), Stephane Mouradian, trip leader and trip report author Aaron Schuman.


We hiked from the Bear Diversion Dam (6200) up Bear Creek Trail. There is a two-mile long 4WD road to the trailhead, and fortunately for us,




Linda E and Greg had vehicles able to make the drive. Starting instead from Lake Thomas Edison up the Bear Ridge Trail would have saved us several miles of travel at the cost of only a couple hundred vertical feet. Live and learn.

Aaron and Will on Recess Peak slabs


We joined the JMT (7800), where we shared the company of a whole bunch of Pacific Crest Trail through-hikers. We left the JMT (9800) and hiked east cross-country to a shallow, weedy, nameless lake (10400) just below the peak. There we made camp for the night.

Camp below Recess Peak


Sunday morning was chilly and clear. We gained the ridge of Recess Peak and followed it to the summit area. The guidebook calls it a class 3




ridge, but I found it to be easier than that. A fast moving day hiker approached. Much to our surprise, it was Bo Meng. He just couldnít get away from work for the whole weekend, but he has the speed to fit a weekend outing into a day trip.


The summit offered an attractive view of the western Sierra Nevada and the headwaters of the San Joaquin River. Mt Ritter stood prominently in the mid distance.

Greg Johnson on Recess Peak


We descended to our lake and disassembled our camp. As we hiked out, Terry couldnít keep pace with all the others, and our team fragmented into a fast group and a slow group. We made the classic mistake of not agreeing in advance: who is in which group, where will we meet up, when should the first group be concerned about the progress of the second group? Climbers: donít be afraid to talk with one another before you take action. Donít forget to leave a note at the trail junction. It saves trouble later.One party discovered that there was a cell signal from Lake Edison that could be received on the JMT, but the other party didnít turn on their phones.


We did find one another after some needless worry. Linda and Harry accompanied Terry down the shorter ridge trail to the lake. The rest of the group returned the way we entered, shuffled carpools, and sent a car around to pick up the others.




Recess Peak


Mt. Morgan (N) (13,005')

July 22 - 24

By Debbie Bulger

Photo by Richard Stover


With the construction on the Rock Creek Road and resultant lack of parking at the Hilton Creek trailhead, it was 8:30 a.m. before we started hiking to Davis Lake. Be forewarned, the construction is supposed to last through 2015. If you are using the Hilton Lakes trailhead, you will have to either make arrangements to park at the Rock Creek Resort, park along the road if possible, or park in the Mosquito Flat overflow area and hike back to the trailhead.

The 5-mile hike to forested Davis Lake is nearly level. Most people camp and fish at the more popular Hilton Lakes, so Richard Stover and I had the place to ourselves since the busy trail crew had departed that very day. Our only company were white-breasted nuthatches, brown creepers, Clarkís nutcrackers, and deer among other critters.

Davis Lake was warm, and I had visions of jumping in after our climb of Morgan the next day. The peak was just a stoneís throw away and should be a cakewalk, right?

Well, more like a 3000-foot sand slog. For every step up, we slid half a step back. OK, Iím exaggerating a bit, but not much. I had unsuccessfully tried to climb Morgan from



Stanford a few years before, but had run out of time halfway through the traverse. Since my friend and I were camped in Pioneer Valley, we turned around and traversed all the way back.

From above, Davis Lake looks like a jigsaw puzzle piece. The puzzle is the trick clear air plays on perceived distances. From the bottom, the elevation gain to the summit looks to be less than 2000 feet. How deceiving. One can climb for an hour and appear to be no closer to the summit than when one set out.

But the summit is plainly visible. No tricks here. The wind was whipping hard on top, and I quickly got cold. A quick perusal of the register was all I needed before dropping down about 10 feet and wrapping myself in a space blanket to warm up.

Debbie and Richard on the peak


We took the very sandy southernmost chute down, but arrived in camp too late to swim. We got possibly the last hotel room left in Mammoth the next day since the town was full of firefighters at the ready.

Driving home over Tioga Pass, we spotted a dead bear cub at the side of the road between

Tuolumne Meadows and Crane Flat. The ranger told us it was the second cub hit by a car this week. Hey guys, slow down and enjoy the park; often bear cubs are trailing behind their moms as they cross the road.



Elected Officials


††† ††††††† Terry Cline: terry_cline@yahoo.com


Vice Chair and Trip Scheduler

Rakesh Ranjan: rakesh.lists@gmail.com


Treasurer and Membership Roster (address changes)

Yoni Novat: ynovat@gmail.com


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 isThursday, September 25. Meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month.