January  2016     Peak Climbing Section, Loma Prieta Chapter, Sierra Club                                    Vol. 50 No.1

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



Date          Tuesday, January 12, 2016


Time          7:00 pm – 9:30 pm


Where       PCC

                  3921 E. Bayshore Road

                  Palo Alto, CA


Program   2015 Earthquake in Nepal


Presenter  Bob Carney


Join us for an evening with Bob Carney. Bob and his group were trekking just as the 2015 earthquake in Nepal unfolded. Come and hear a grizzled survivor's account of an ill-fated trek in the Manaslu Himalaya last April, culminating in death, disaster, shock-and-awe a few miles from the epicenter. There will be an extensive slideshow, showing photos from before and during, as well as Bob's experience.


There will be some discussion of earthquakes, outburst floods and cyclone blizzards as they relate to this event, as well as contingency planning and how to respond when the unexpected happens.


Food and beverages will be provided. There is no fee to attend, but we will be asking those in attendance to consider donations to the numerous relief agencies that are helping the people of Nepal.


We hope to see you there. We will also be discussing upcoming climbing trips, so come hang out and meet some great climbers!




Happy New Year and Greetings to you all!


Changes, along with new and old friends, are coming this year to our Peak Climbing Section.


First, Judy Molland has agreed to return as our Scree Editor. It will be published monthly, and she needs your trip reports, pictures, and experiences to round out our climbing experiences. The Scree will serve as a critical link to the outside world; we will be posting a link to Scree on our Meetup site.Thank you Judy. Also, we had our PCS Elections in November: Rakesh Ranjan continues as Vice chair and Trip Scheduler , Arun Mahajan takes on Treasurer, and deep thanks to Bo Meng for taking on the Webmaster job.


Second, we have a new Peak Climbing Meetup site (http://www.meetup.com/Peak-Climbing-Loma-Prieta-Sierra-Club) that will serve as an additional way to do outreach.  We launched the site on December 14, and we already have over 85 members with 4 Meetups coming up soon on the Calendar.  We are finding that this is a quick and easy way to reach people.  You may not know this, but I am the Outing Chair of the Loma Prieta Chapter, in addition to my duties as PCS Chair. We used this for the Day Hiking Section, and others, and it worked miracles in getting people to attend trips. Right now, only the PCS- sanctioned leaders can use the site to announce climbing trips, and we intend to keep it that way.

In addition to this new site, the Peak Climbing Section of the Loma Prieta Chapter website will continue to announce PCS trips going forward. I hope you will join the Meetup site, and add your voices and comments to an emerging experiment.


Third, we are re-instituting monthly meetings, but not during summer months when attendance was low, and will be focusing on presentations from our member community. I am hoping you can join us for the January 12 PCS Meeting with Bob Carney, who was in Nepal last April during the devastating earthquake. Details can be found on our Meetup site, as well as on the PCS Website, and in this Scree issue. We had a very successful Trip Planning Meeting in October, a PCS Election meeting in November, and a great Festivus in December at the Whisman Station Clubhouse. Thank you, Aaron Schuman! These meetings take a lot of energy to organize,

announce, and actually hold, and I know you appreciate this.


Lastly, when I signed on as chair in November of 2014, a Iong time ago, I had planned on having a lot more time to devote to the PCS. But 2015 was a challenging year for me personally and LIFE Intervened, as it often does. I took on a new project at work with over 200 people engaged, which took a lot of my time and energy. We had a death in our family that had a big impact on us with lots of trips across the USA to deal with all of the issues. All this meant that I did not do a great job as your chair. I take that responsibility seriously and apologize to all of you who felt you were not being served.


In 2016, well, you have heard this all before: recruit new leaders and new members, and organize more trips, but this time, we’re going to do it!






I'm happy to be returning as editor of Scree; several PCS members have contacted me over the past year to say that they missed the monthly newsletter, and could I please start it up again. Clearly, a regular newsletter is important for our members.


That said, I'm going to keep it simpler than it was before: basically, details of the upcoming meeting, messages from our chair and from myself; upcoming trips; trip reports (as long as you submit them!); other items of interest to our membership.


Looking forward to an awesome 2016!




Note: CST 2087766-40. Registration as a seller of travel does not constitute approval by the State of California.


All Sierra Club trips require you to sign a Liability Waiver.



Junipero Serra Peak, 5780 ft

Location: Ventana Wilderness

Date: January 9

Rating: Class 1

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

Details: Carpool: Morgan Hill, Carl's Jr  for a 6:45 AM start. Take the Dunne Ave Exit off of Hwy 101 south from San Jose. Get there by 6:30, we drive promptly at 6:45.  It is a 2.5 hour drive to the trailhead.


Let’s kick off a great new year of outdoor climbs with a climb to the highest point in Monterrey County, the 5780 foot Junipero Serra Peak.  

This is a great, mildly strenuous beginner’s climb

with under 12 miles round trip and 3900+ feet of gain. Good hiking boots and clothes for possible






snow at the summit recommended. We'll start at the trailhead at 10AM, (9:00 AM) summit by 2PM (1PM) and be back at the cars by 5PM. Rain Cancels. Bring lunch, hiking shoes, at least 2 liters of water, and your enthusiasm.

See http://www.summitpost.org/page/150486


Waterhouse Peak, 9497 ft

Location: Lake Tahoe Area

Date: February 6

Rating: Strenuous

Leaders: Terry Cline: terry_cline@yahoo.com,

Lisa Barboza: lisa.barboza@gmail.com

Details: We’ll climb the northeast side of Waterhouse Peak from Luther Pass on CA-89, about 1800 ft gain, and ski down the way we came or by the North Bowl, avalanche conditions permitting. An option is to ski down the steeper southeast side to Hope Valley for a 2500 ft descent if there is are enough vehicles for a car shuttle.


Intermediate-Advanced skiers. Snowshoers also welcome (but you’ll have more fun on the descent if you ski). There are opportunities the following day for either other peaks in the area or skiing at Kirkwood or Heavenly. Weather and snow conditions may dictate change of date or cancellation.


Echo Peak, 8895 ft

Location: Lake Tahoe Area

Date: February 20

Rating: Strenuous

Leader: Terry Cline: terry_cline@yahoo.com

Lisa Barboza: lisa.barboza@gmail.com

Details: We’ll ski from the Echo Lakes Sno-Park on CA-50 just west of Echo Summit to the Echo Lakes. Then ski across the chain of lakes to climb Echo Peak, about a 1700 ft total gain and then ski back down and back across the lakes to the cars. A little over 10 miles round trip.


Intermediate-Advanced skiers. There are

opportunities the following day for either other peaks in the area or skiing at Kirkwood or Heavenly. Weather and snow conditions may dictate change of date or cancellation.








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.

From Warren Storkman:


This coming Oct 2016 I'll be returning to Tibet.

This will be my 6th visit. I'll apply for our group permit from the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu; no visa necessary.


This is a 19 day-trip from home to home: nine 

days in Tibet, five days in Nepal, and five days of air travel. 


Also, there will be many things to see and do in Kathmandu (KTM)  (+ or -) $500.00 cost. 

The Tibet trip cost is $2850. Maximum overall total is $3350.


There is no financial obligation at this time. 

However, if you are interested in this "9 days in Tibet" itinerary by auto, contact me at dstorkman@aol.com





Indian Himalaya Exploratory

September 2015


Arun Mahajan


This is a brief trip report on a trip to explore the upper reaches of the Miyar Glacier in the Lahoul-Spiti region of the Indian Himalaya and to attempt at least one peak over 6000m.

After a long plane ride to Delhi and then two days of bus journeys, first to the beautiful hill-station town of Manali,





and then over the incredible Rohtang Pass on the Manali-Leh road, we landed in the bucolic town of Udaipur where we started trekking. After a day and a half, which included a night-stay in the home of a prosperous farmer, we reached the road head at another tiny farming hamlet called Sukto. There we met our horse/mule team and the vehicle carrying our packs/duffels and continued trekking for two more days up the Miyar River into a valley carved out by it through high meadows and hemmed in by rocky cliffs of wonderful granite. The Miyar Valley has been attracting rock climbers from all over the world for the past few years (if the reports in the American Alpine Journal are any indicator).






We finally made base camp at the foot of the 'dry' glacial moraine of the Miyar Glacier.



The setting was wonderful and the view of the Miyar Glacier ahead showed the distant peaks, one of which was to be ours. The next day we did a short walk of about 5 kms to check out the route further up and it was ghastly. The rolling ice glacier was covered by a jumble of loose boulders and sand/scree and somewhere along the way was the place from where the Miyar river issued forth as if from a pressurized hose, already a few hundred feet wide even at the source.

After a rest day, we started moving loads up. The horses had gone and it was only us and three sherpas. Already the feeling was of disappointment as we walked with heavy loads up the moraine. My load was 22kgs. The initial boulder field gave way, after a few kms, to a field of solid ice with boulders propped up on ice pillars and occasional streams flowing by. It was also very cold. We finally stopped after about 13kms where we set up intermediate camp (4300m / 14104 ft) by clearing platforms on the moraine. We rested on the next day, but the sherpas ferried more loads and food up. The following day we had snow fall for 5 hrs. The day after that, snow started falling from 9am and continued for 16 hrs. My tent mate woke me up at midnight in a mild panic that the tent doors




would not open. We zipped open a bit of the rain fly and using our bowls, took away some of the snow, enough for me to get out and finding a shovel, start to dig out the tent and the tents of the sherpas and the rest of the team. I also woke up the leaders and the four of us dug out everybody. All were oblivious to the possible danger and sleeping in their tents. All this spooked most of us and the leaders, and we decided that it was safest to move down back to base camp. Our intermediate camp was still a day's walk from ABC and only then would we see our route but going further up meant that we would be further away from BC and what if more bad weather came in? In that case we were worried that we would be locked out about 23 kms away from BC.



Much to our regret we walked out, now with slightly smaller loads and the going even trickier this time because of the unconsolidated snow on the boulder field. To make matters worse, one of the team members, Peter, had a re-occurrence of sciatica that made it impossible for him to sleep prone, and only able to walk with a weird bent and crooked posture. Our co-leader, the incredible Adele Pennington (5 8000m peaks to her credit including hard ones like Lhotse, Makalu and Manaslu) shouldered the burden of getting Peter back, guiding him along the deep snow and carrying parts of his pack as well.





We walked out in the reducing storm to find that the base camp too had been hammered, completely demoralizing the staff there.



All our base camp tents had collapsed in the weight of the snow but all of them indeed had sprung back up once the snow was cleared. The ONLY tent that withstood that barrage was the Quasar from Terra Nova. Not even the Hilleberg or the RAB (similar to the Bibler high altitude tents) would stand up. So, if you are looking for a 4-season 2-person double wall tent, make the most of my experience.

Things seemed to get better, weather wise, in the next few days with only occasional afternoon snow fall which may have been a bit heavier further up in the valley towards the mountains but by then we had already sent our liaison officer and the base-camp coordinator back down to Sukto to get some horses to get us out earlier. While waiting for the horses we managed to clamber up a modest peak of about 5000m as consolation only to stare forlornly at what might have been and the incredible peaks of the Miyar drainage.










There were a lot of things we could have done better but chances are that we would have been nailed by the weather later and higher up on the mountain. The highest we got up the glacier beyond intermediate camp was point-4500m during an acclimatization walk that I had made with a few of the team. The glacier seemed to be in good shape and it was apparent that the longer walk from intermediate camp to ABC would have bee a bit easier, but longer, since the glacier was more uniform and with much less boulders.



Adele took Peter and Laurence (the strongest among us) with personal loads, a couple of tents and some food, earlier to Sukto to get him to a comfortable bed and then wait for the horses.



We got out a couple of days later, just as Adele/Peter/Laurence were getting tired of the spartan charms of Sukto. A day of bus driving got us to Manali in the night. Driving on the scary Rohtang Pass with its broken up roads and oncoming traffic in the night was something out of a horror movie. We spent most of the next day in Manali and drove back to Delhi later that night.

I was able to get an earlier plane out from Delhi without paying a lot for the change. Some others went home to the UK earlier and yet others decided to hang back to see the Taj Mahal. The one good thing about getting early to Delhi was that I got to meet with my brother for a couple of hours. He lives in Michigan but was visiting the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi, teaching a course on pediatric emergency medicine. Had we gotten out as planned I would have not been able to meet him. He was staying in a hotel just down the street from ours near Connaught Place in New Delhi.


PCS Officials


            Lisa Barboza: lisa.barboza@gmail.com


Vice Chair and Trip Scheduler

Rakesh Ranjan: rakesh.lists@gmail.com


Treasurer and Membership Roster (address changes)

Arun Mahajan: arun.mahajan@att.net


Scree Editor

    Judy Molland: screeeditor@gmail.com


PCS World Wide Web Publisher
    Bo Meng: mengbo@hotmail.com


Joining the PCS is easy.  Go to   http://www.peakclimbing.org/join.


If you join the PCS Announcement Listserv you will receive announcements and updates of trips and meetings.