April 2015               Peak Climbing Section, Loma Prieta Chapter, Sierra Club                                    Vol. 49 No.2

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


 

This is Your PCS - A Message from Your Leader

 

Dear PCS Members,

 

Breathing fire into the coals - the embers are alive - slowly, carefully, as though the fire was a magic thing, beyond our understanding - find the ember, breath life to them, and let’s see what happens.

As you know, we’re changing many things in the club this year.  I wrote previously, in the January PCS, about some of the change - They are summarized here:

   Monthly Meetings: We’ll have them 4x/year: Spring Trip Planning, Summer Picnic, Fall Trip Planning, and PCS Festivus. Our Spring Trip Planning meeting was a great success, with over 30 trips planned, and over 25 people attending at the PCC. My thanks to Aaron Schuman, Arun Mahajan, Terry Cline, Kelly Maas, Tim Hult, and Daryn Dodge for leading some great trips.

   Newsletter published 4x/year: Joe, as webmaster and the force behind the peakclimbing.org website for 8 years, and Judy Molland, indefatigable writer and editor of the Scree newsletter for 6 years, have been leading the website maintenance and publishing the Scree each month.  My deepest thanks to you; it’s time for a rest. 

   Need a Newsletter Editor: Skills: Familiar with various word processing software, import of media, and pictures, and most important, a desire to serve, and to write. To compile a newsletter is fun and rewarding.

   Need a Webmaster:  Bring your ideas on improving our website.  We want to update our Drupal backbone app to the latest version, and bring new and exciting ideas to the site.  This could be a website all your own; we want to make it more findable, workable on a mobile device, and improved. Bring your ideas and enthusiasm!

   Monthly PCS Excomm Meetings: Open to all. Food is free, and enjoy some good conversation.

   Establishing a Training Program: I am teaching an OLT 201 class on April 1, April 8.  This is required for all leaders doing overnight outings. If you want to be an official SC LEADER, this is your chance.  Being an official leader has advantages - should an accident befall you or any of your trip members, you’re covered with Sierra Club liability insurance, a very good thing to have.  And you can give back to share your experience with new members. 

   Minutes of ExComm Meeting, 3 March 2015: These are attached at the end of this issue of Scree. To all PCS members: please pass these trips along to your friends, and aspiring climbers!

 

   Some News: Thank you Terry Cline for serving as the PCS Mountaineering Chair. In that role, Terry will also be serving on the Sierra Club National Mountaineering Oversight Committee. I have served on that committee for the past 5 years. The MOC approves all Sierra Club technical trips - it’s a great way to find out about upcoming SC trips all over the US, from different chapters.  Charles Shafer has applied to be an MOC rep as well, and this application is pending. Charles is eminently qualified.

Lisa

 

Editor's Notes

 

Thanks to everyone for all the great trip reports and trip descriptions I've been able to publish over the years. As you have read in Lisa's message, this is the last issue of Scree that I will be editing. I'm thrilled to have been able to do this since 2009, when I took over from Louise Wholey.

 

Meanwhile, check out Arun's AMAZING trip report!

 

Judy

 

ADVANCE TRIP SCHEDULE

 

Here's the link to the Advance Trip Schedule:

https://docs.google.com/a/capuchinohighschool.org/spreadsheets/d/1sZidKFnUNhEEZSJUHHsIm_E_YPN8wVk2LqGRBrhfFcE/edit#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.

http://www.sierraclub.org/outings/chapter/forms/signinwaiver.pdf

 

April 18: Cartago Peak

Leader: Lisa Barboza

 

June 6-7:  Slide Mountain

Leader: Terry Cline

 

June 27: Mt. Conness

Leader: Terry Cline

 

 

PCS Trip Details

 

 

Cartago Peak, 10,539 ft

Location: East Side of the Sierras

Date: April 18

Rating: Class 2 and 3

Leader: Lisa Barboza: lisa.barboza@gmail.com

 

 

Cartago Peak is rated 4E, for 15 miles and 7000 feet of gain, and is a day hike.  We will rise early to begin our climb. It is CL2, mostly cross country up the steep east side of the mountain. Once the plateau is gained, there is a choice of small rock stacks to climb, one of which is the actual summit of Cartago, which will have some low CL3 climbing. This is a really fun climb: the wildlife is interesting and varied, and we’ll be climbing from High Desert into a Yellow Pine zone. This is typically an early season hike. Bring plenty of water, and a lunch for the summit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We will camp near the town of Cartago, south of

Lone Pine, just off the highway; details will be forthcoming as time approaches. Leader: lisa.barboza@gmail.com, cell 650 493-8099. Participants must be in good physical condition. If you have not hiked with the leader before, please contact me with your recent hiking/climbing experience and conditioning. Co-leader wanted.

 

 

Slide Mountain, 11,084 ft

Location: Bridgeport, Hoover Wilderness, northern boundary of Yosemite NP

Dates: June 6-7

Rating: Class 2

Leader: Terry Cline, terry_cline@yahoo.com

 

There are two Slide Mountains in the region around northern Yosemite. This is the northern one west of the Sawtooth Ridge area in the Hoover Wilderness on the border with Yosemite NP. Great views from the summit. We’ll hike from Twin Lakes outside Bridgeport to a camp in the vicinity of Crown Lake on Saturday, about 9 miles and 2500 ft elevation gain. On Sunday we’ll take the trail up to Mule Pass and from there, climb the class 2 northeastern slopes of Slide. Then we’ll descend to camp and back to the cars. Physically fit beginners welcome.

 

 

Mt Conness, 12,590 ft

Location: Northern Yosemite

Date: June 27

Rating: 2 (with some possible class 3)

Leader: Terry Cline, terry_cline@yahoo.com

 

We'll take the popular East Ridge route from

Sawmill Campground to summit this classic peak that can seen from many vantage points in northern Yosemite. The views from its summit in any direction aren’t bad either. Physically fit beginners welcome. An optional additional peak can be done the following day for those interested.

 

 

 

 

 

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 11: Round Top

Leaders: Kelly Maas and Arun Mahajan

 

June 12-13: Matterhorn Peak

Leader: Terry Cline

 

October 2015: Warren's Grand Finale!

Leader: Warren Storkman

 

January 2016: Ojos Del Salado

Leader: Jeff Fisher

 

Private Trip Details

 

Round Top, 10,381 ft

Location: Carson Pass

Date: April 11

Rating: Intermediate skiing, ice axe/crampons

Leaders: Kelly Maas, (kamaas444@sbcglobal.net), Arun Mahajan (arun.mahajan@att.net

 

Day trip on snow, ice axe, crampons, skis or snowshoes and your boots have to be crampon compatible. Skis with skins or snowshoes needed for the approach, then ice-axe and crampons for the summit area. 

 

Meet at 8.30am at Carson Pass Sno-Park on Highway-88, ready to go.  We depart at 9am.

To park there you will need a sno-park permit. 

Call/email to sign up.  Must have experience with ice-axe and crampons.

 

Difficulty: Snow/winter conditions but otherwise intermediate level skiing and you have to have some experience with axe/crampons and be able to handle the altitude of over 10k ft, early in the season.

 

 

 

Matterhorn Peak, 12,279 ft

Location: Bridgeport, Hoover Wilderness, northern boundary of Yosemite NP

Dates: June 13-14

Rating: Class 3

Leader: Terry Cline, terry_cline@yahoo.com

Co-Leader: Needed

 

This iconic peak is spectacular when viewed from the meadows north of Bridgeport on US 395. On Saturday we’ll hike up Horse Creek Canyon from Twin Lakes near Bridgeport to a camp near the small lake at 10,000 ft below the Matterhorn Glacier (or what’s left of it). About 3 miles and 3000 ft elevation gain. On Sunday depending on the experience of the group and snow conditions we will climb either the East Couloir or Northwest Face route, descending the East Couloir. Then break camp and hike out. Though extensive climbing experience not required, fitness and experience with steep snow and rock scrambling is. Ice axe and crampons and knowing how to use them required. Send the leader a resume of climbing experience if you have not climbed with him.

 

Tibet-Lhasa

Location: Tibet and Nepal

Dates: October

Leader: Warren Storkman

 

Since I stopped leading overseas hiking trips three years ago, this will be my grand finale trip.

There will be two trips:

 

1) Trek into Tibet From Kathmandu, then trek around Mt. Kailas  ending in drive to Lhasa.

 

2) An auto drive from Kathmandu to Lhasa.

Please let me know if you are interested. There is no obligation at this time.

Warren Storkman

650 493 8959

dstorkman@aol.com 

           

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ojos del Salado, Chile, (22,615')

Location: Chile

Date: January 2016 (approx 3 weeks)

Leader: Jeff Fisher

 

Ojos is the highest peak in Chile, second highest peak in the western hemisphere. No guides needed.  It is basically a big slog that requires

quite a bit of acclimatization, with ~90mt of class 3 at the top. Climbing season is Nov.–Feb. Crampons and ice axes are needed. If interested contact me and we can talk more about dates, acclimatization etc. Jeff Fisher  http://www.summitpost.org/ojos-del-salado/150299

jeff_fisher_5252   (at)   sbcglobal.net

 

Trip Report

 

Climbing in Ladakh, India's Little Tibet

August 2014

By

Arun Mahajan

 

Kang Yatze I (21000 ft, left peak) and Kang Yatze II (20500 ft, right peak)

In the past few years, I have been going to the Himalaya to climb some trekking as well as expedition peaks and my focus has been peaks of the Indian Himalaya; I have been ‘picking off’

 

 

different regions there. Prior to 2014, I had climbed in Lahaul-Spiti, Gangotri and Sikkim and when an opportunity presented itself to climb in exotic Ladakh, the land of high-passes, I jumped on it. There were two peaks on offer, both parts of the main Kang Yatze (KY) massif: the relatively straightforward right shoulder of Kang Yatze (aka KY-2) at 20,500 ft and the harder and more technical main summit, KY-1, at a dizzying 21,000 ft/ 6401m and rated to AD+, were the two peaks to be climbed. I thought that I might be able to handle KY-2 and if not too beat-up, would be able to give KY-1 a good try. Summiting would be a bonus! And all this was to happen in a 23-day period, which timed out well with the available time off from work.

Jet lagged and sleep deprived, I landed in New Delhi and headed to the hotel to meet the expedition team. All were from the UK and we were led by John Lyall, a very accomplished Himalayan mountaineer.

After meeting with our local operator, the wonderful Mr Pandey and our trip staff (cook, high altitude porters and liaison officer) and loading our kit and expedition gear on to a lorry, we wandered in Delhi marveling at the ancient monuments as well as the modern buildings and the colorful bazaars. Delhi is a fantastic assault on the senses. The next day we took a short flight from Delhi to Leh, the capital of Ladakh which occupies a small section of Kashmir in northern India, bordered by Tibet and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. Leh, at over 11,500 ft, is a wonderfully desolate and windswept place in the rain-shadow of the mighty Himalaya. We spent 2 days there, walking around and doing small hikes, mainly to get acclimated. Ladakh has an amalgamation of the Hindu, Buddhist and Islamic faiths, and the locals live in great harmony with each other: mosques jostle for space with temples and stupas. The market area of Leh very much resembles a less-crowded Thamel of Kathmandu and it also has a large number of tourists from different parts of India.

The next day, we met with our pack animals and our truck and started our multiday trek on the

 

 

 

banks of the River Indus (Sindhu). This river has special significance to people from that part of the world, with the name of India being linguistically linked to the name of the river. The Indus originates in Tibet and runs through Ladakh/Kashmir before going into Pakistan. I saw this as a rare opportunity to get to see such a mighty river which has witnessed so many major events in the history of the subcontinent, from the Aryan invasion to the wanderings of Alexander and the brutal conquest by the marauding Mongols.

After a short walk along the Indus Valley, we headed into the Markha Valley, a very narrow valley that cuts through dusty mountains and terminates under mighty snowcapped peaks. During the next 5 days we trekked over some very rugged terrain, crossed over a high pass (over 16,000 ft), forded streams, walked by small villages and desolate gompas and landed at our base camp (BC) at 15,900 ft, very tired but happy to finally get a day or so of rest. This was in contrast to the verdant and hospitable valleys of the Kumbhu, the Annapurna and the Langtang in Nepal.

At BC, KY was in our field of view all the time; we were at the absolute base of the peak with KY2 being the closest and KY1 blocked by a ridge that hid the huge cirque in the front that contained a glacier.  After our acclimatizing days and short hill walks, one done on a hill right in front of the cirque where we saw some other teams climbing and descending, we were ready, or so we thought, for our first goal, KY2. An alpine start in the middle of the night in deathly cold on the shifting scree and talus got us to the snow line and the right flank of the glacier, where we roped up into two teams. A couple of people dropped off due to the altitude and the cold and turned back. We plodded on and thankfully the sun came up and we got to see a wonderful dawn and mainly, it started to get warmer. The last 500 feet of KY2 were very steep and icy needing good crampon work. Above 20,000 feet, everything gets hard and one notices even the slightest upward change of the climbing angle.

 

 

 

The skyline seemed to be far away and once we topped it, the summit still looked further, but at least we could now see it and that gave us all a fresh burst of energy. Staying right of a short but spectacular corniced ridge got us to the rocky summit that was festooned by prayer flags. It was a beautiful day, now warming up, and we got great views of the striking 7000m summits of Nun and Kun and the Zanskar range. After a few quick photos, we descended carefully down on the steep section and then the glacier before finally getting out of the ropes. Then came the seemingly endless trek back to BC where we were welcomed by hearty cheers from our teams as well as teams camped nearby.

After another couple of days of rest, we set out to climb KY1. This was the higher peak and we had to set up an intermediate camp above base camp and do a load-carry and drop gear at a flat bench at about 18000 ft, and then turn back to base camp for some rest. The next day was an off day to rest some more and then we set off with the peak in mind. High camp was windy and cold and getting tents up was a challenge. It was even more challenging to cook there but we figured it out and got sorted and cramped into our high altitude tents, this time, three to a tent.

The team, seen as small dots, just before the ice on summit day of KY-1

The next day, again after an alpine start, we negotiated the first steep rise with some very

 

 

careful axe-and-crampon work, roped-up into two teams. There was a rising plain there and then a very large and somewhat complex serac wall, and it took us some tricky navigation and climbing to get over that. We were now at 20,000 ft and very much feeling the altitude.

Next came the steepest part, an icy section at 55-degrees and we had to fix a rope for added security. As we were climbing (I was using a Ropeman as my ascender to hold me in case I fell), the angle remained at 55-deg but the snow got soft and we were sinking to our thighs, which made it very hard to make progress. I felt like I was swimming uphill. As we got closer to the skyline, the slope eased off and the summit was very close but the snow was so soft that we had to crawl on our hands and knees to prevent us from sinking.

John, Arun (author), Mingma Sherpa and Allison on the summit of KangYatze-I, 21000 ft/6401m

John announced the summit and I was very happy indeed to have made the peak although none of my photos on the summit indicate joy, just desperate tiredness! But it was time to go after drinking in the incredible view, the Stok and Zanskar ranges, the 7000m peaks of Nun and Kun and many nameless ones. We rapelled down a few pitches and stumbled into high camp just before it got dark.

Just after the rapells and resting on the high plain above high camp, we were buzzed by a

 

 

Lammergeier, the Himalayan vulture. This massive bird is second only in size to the Andean condor. It seemed to be gliding perhaps a thousand feet over us and we were already at 20k! It was an   impressive sight to see this bird in its element; this is one of the indelible memories that I will always carry with me.

Some of our team-mates who had stayed at BC had been nice enough to come up to our high camp, where they had been following our progress via binoculars. It was very gratifying to see their friendly faces there as they cheered our arrival to high camp. I however did not have the energy to return to BC with them right away, but chose to stay at high camp. We slept till early morning and then cleared camp and, heavily loaded with our kit, we carefully made our way back to BC to the cheers of our trip mates and the staff who plied us with tea and food. I can vouch here that the sweetest tasting tea is the one had right after a summit!

After a day of rest, we took a different way out which had only two days of trekking to get us to a different road-head but also had a very hard pass to go over. Finally, when that was done, we were back into civilization, back at first to the Spartan wares of Leh and a day later the heavy air of Delhi.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elected Officials

Chair

            Lisa Barboza: list.barboza@gmail.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.

.
   


Dear PCS Members;

Breathing fire into the coals - the embers are alive - slowly, carefully, as though the fire was a magic thing, beyond our understanding - find the ember, breath life to them, and let’s see what happens…

As you know, we’re changing many things in the club this year.  I wrote previously, in the January PCS, about some of the change - They are summarized here:

   Monthly Meetings - we’ll have them 4x/year - Spring Trip Planning, Summer Picnic, Fall Trip Planning, and PCS Festivus  - I want to add that our Spring Trip Planning meeting was a great success, with over 30 trips planned, and over 25 people attending at the PCC. My thanks to Aaron Schuman, Arun Mahajan, Terry Cline, Kelly Maas, Tim Hult, and Daryn Dodge for leading some great trips.

   Newsletter published 4x/year- Joe, as webmaster and the force behind the peakclimbing.org website, and Judy Molland, indefatigable writer and editor of the Scree newsletter,  have been engaged for 8 years in leading the website maintenance, publishing the Scree each month, and many other givings to others.  My deepest thanks to you - it’s time for a rest. 

   Need a Newsletter editor: So I’m sending out the call for a new newsletter editor.   Skills:  familiar with various word processing softwares, import of media, and pictures, and most important - a desire to serve, and to write -  To compile a newsletter is fun, and rewarding.

   Need a Webmaster:  Bring your ideas on improving our website.  We want to update our Drupal backbone app to the latest version, and bring new and exciting ideas to the site.  This could be a website all your own - we want to make it more findable, workable on a mobile device, and improved.  Bring your ideas and enthusiasm!

   Monthly PCS Excomm Meetings - open to all - food is free, and enjoy some good conversation

   Establishing a training program - I am teaching an OLT 201 class on April 1, April 8.  This is required for all leaders doing overnight outings. If you want to be an official SC LEADER, this is your chance.  Being an official leader has advantages - should an accident befall you or any of your trip members, you’re covered with Sierra Club liability insurance - a very good thing to have.  And you can give back to share  your experience with new members. 

   Minutes of ExComm Meeting, 3 March 2015 - here are the minutes of the meeting, for all to see and comment on.  We covered a lot of ground.   For our next meetings, we’ll be focusing on the main points as noted below.

   Some News - Thank you Terry Cline for serving as the PCS Mountaineering Chair.  In that role, Terry will also be serving on the Sierra Club National Mountaineering Oversight Committee.  I have served on that committee for the past 5 years.  The MOC approves all Sierra Club technical trips - it’s a great way to find out about upcoming SC trips all over the US, from different chapters.  Charles Shafer has applied to be an MOC rep as well, and this application is pending.  Charles is eminently qualified.

So to all PCS members - Pass these trips along to your friends, and aspiring climbers!


Minutes to Ex Comm Meeting

3 March 2015

 

Attended by Terry Cline, Lisa Barboza, Rakesh Ranjan, and Yoni Novat, Arun Mahajan, Kelly Maas, and Tim Hult

AGENDA

 of the meeting was to discuss strategy to adapt the PCS to the current world by reexamining our situation redefining our executive roles, and how we can maximize our value proposition to our target membership base.

OUR SITUATION

We are a great outings club with great leaders, excellent safety record, aligned with the greatest environmental action organization in the world that can’t find leaders, is unknown to the rest of our community and has an aging leadership group.  We need to change how we operate to continue to grow new leaders, and our membership.

 

 

Promote our leadership - some ideas - throw it on the wall, and see if it sticks -

Create leader profiles.  We can use climbers.org or make profiles on our website – we have accomplished leaders in the club, post pictures, FA, where they have been  - a different way to attract members

Reinvent our website. 

Look at how BAMM works and SMC’s website

Make story telling easier with blogs

Update to the latest version of Drupal

Communicate with our membership base

We have over 200 members.  Do we want to drop inactive members? STS requires annual renewal.

Reach out with active Facebook, meet up, google and twitter

 

Blue Whales - once upon a time, in the early 1980s, there was speculation that the Blue Whales would perish for lack of genetic diversity, and the difficulty of mating when searching a huge ocean for  a mate - luckily, we have a core of great leaders to build on!

 

 

Rakesh – look into membership requirements

Develop a training program

Market the value of membership

Perhaps require a membership fee for non-Sierra Club members

Package beginner trips as introduction to peak climbing

ROLES & RESPONSIBILITIES

Chair – Revise the  vice chair position to one that will help with planning trips.  This position replaces the trip planner.  Rakesh is the Vice chair, more emphasis on Trip Planning meeting is needed.  For example, run the Spring/Fall Trip Planning meetings, publish the results and get communication started with the Scree editor.

 

 

Membership communications chair.  This person works with outreach, manages social network sites and trip listings (or procedures on how to list) and acts as treasurer.  The current treasurer position folds into this.  We don’t have a lot of cash, and the current time commitment for the Treasurer is in January when the Chapter Financial reports are due.  Need to expand to more of an Outreach position.  Yoni is in this role.

Training Chair – manages the training committee (recruits members, makes a plan for training program development and helps to implement/ maintain it).  Kelly will take this role this year.

Mountaineering Chair will remain in its current function.   Terry Cline will be the new Mountaineering Chair.  Lisa to send a note to Ron Hudson (DONE) to advise him of Terry’s participation.  Terry to send a note regarding his resume and experience to Lisa -> Ron Hudson

 

 


 

VALUE PROPOSITION

The take away for this is to lead more trips for beginners.  There are lots of people who would like to do more mountaineering/ peak climbing but do not feel comfortable in their skills and physical abilities. 

These include day hikers and indoor climbers.

We have great value and should promote it:

“Go with experienced climbers that take you to exotic places and don’t get lost”

Our outings are safe – we vet the people on the climb so that we stay safe.

“NOLS for Free”

PCS OUTINGS RULE SET

MOC approval stay constant:  MOC trips require two approved leaders with WFA and are qualified and approved PCS leaders.  Regarding PCS non-technical trips - trips that do not require climbing gear, crampons and ice axes, we only need one qualified leader with WFA.  This will allow us to grow new leaders who may not have the qualifications yet.  If we go with two leaders per Non-MOC trips, then we won’t be able to grow new leaders.

.

 

 

START A CHAPTER TRAINING PROGRAM

Leader training: go as a co-leader to acquire practical experience before becoming approved as a leader.

The Basic Training should be combined into a Core Curriculum with other Chapter Sections that would include Conditioning, Equipment, Navigation, and Environmental Awareness.  We believe this would serve PCS, Backpacking possibly others.

We need to codify this process, and work with other sections and see if we can achieve an agreement.

We can do shared training with other sections.  Prepare curriculum and books to go with each.

 

Our programs need to be certified to enable us to define what training or approval process is required for participation in class 3 or MOC approved trips.

Certification of training plans is relatively easy to obtain. SPS does it often.

Approval of experienced climbers can be as simple as a current leader signing for them.

OUTREACH

Debbie Benham manages Meetup for DHS.

Yoni to look her up and recruit her supportYoni to work with Rakesh on listing trips on social media.

Yoni to learn about what we have for Facebook from Joe & Judy.

 

Kelly to head up training

 

 

Webmaster – Need to give Joe and Judy a break from their devoted contributions (if they would like) they have gone far and beyond their call of duty to the PCS.

 

Changes/Improvements to IT:use web to get our ideas out

 

 

Executive Committee meetings. Last Thursday of each month.