March  2016         Peak Climbing Section, Loma Prieta Chapter, Sierra Club                                    Vol. 50 No.3 -



Date          Tuesday, March 8, 2016


Time          7:00 pm – 9:30 pm


Where       PCC

                  3921 E. Bayshore Road

                  Palo Alto, CA


Program   Peak climbing in the Himalaya in Ladakh (Kashmir, India)


Presenter Arun Mahajan


In August, 2014, PCS member, Arun Mahajan, was a team member of an expedition from the UK that climbed in the section of the Himalaya that lies in the arid region of Ladakh, “the land of high passes” in the state of Kashmir in India. After spending a couple of days acclimatizing and exploring in Leh (11500 ft), the capital city of Ladakh, the team enjoyed a 6 day trek into the picturesque Markha Valley. The trek started out from the banks of the Indus river and then along the Markha river and over a high pass and dropped the team to the base camp of Kang Yatze 2 (20,500 ft) and Kang Yatze 1 (21,000 ft). The team attempted both these peaks, starting out with the lower KY-2 and then the higher and more technical KY-1. They met wonderful locals along the way, passed by beautiful villages, scared off a handful of Bharal (Himalayan Blue sheep) and were buzzed by a couple of Lammergiers. Arun will recount his tall tale of bogus and mostly dubious information along with some slides during the PCS monthly meeting of March 8th, 2016.






Hi Climbers -

TRIP PLANNING: We had a great Trip Planning meeting, hosted by Jeff Fisher and organized by our Outings Chair, Rakesh Ranjan.  We have over 30 trips to locations ranging from the High Sierra to Nevada for the Summer 2016 climbing season.  There are several beginner trips on the schedule, and I sure hope you can send these along to people who are interested in climbing so that they can get started on some of these amazing trips. Jeff Fisher is organizing a Wilderness First Aid Class with Bobbie Foster this spring, for those who need WFA to lead Sierra Club overnight trips.  And I will be teaching an OLT 201 class along with Terry Cline this spring as well, for those who need this required class.  This class will be offered to the chapter as a whole, in concert with my duties as Loma Prieta Outings Chair.


NEW WEBSITE: The Loma Prieta chapter has put together a new website, one built for the 21st century, and it is going live on March 1st.  Lots of people worked to make this a reality, and your comments are welcome.  We are hoping for a smooth transition, because our site is linked to the LP site  - Stay tuned.


PIKA PROJECT: So now I think about a new project that I am starting. It’s called the Pika Project. Studies have been made of the range of the pika, genus Ochotona; they inhabit high mountains worldwide. And because of climate change, they are endangered, because they will eventually run out of mountain. Our local species is Ochotona Princeps.  These critters are not going to go extinct in the next 100 years, at least not according to the latest models, but they may go locally extinct depending on the topography.  But wouldn’t it be cool if, every time you saw a pika, you recorded a waypoint - PIK00X on your GPS - and sent it to me, so that i can forward it to the researchers who are working on this? If you want to join me in the Pika Project, just email me.






As you will see, the PCS has No Official Trips Scheduled at this time. But take a look at Rakesh's message, and see how you can contribute to the success of our club.








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.


No Official Trips Scheduled At This Time


However, we do have a wonderful message from Rakesh, out Trip Coordinator, about upcoming trips:


1) We have a total of 33 trips scheduled between April and September, 2016. The spreadsheet containing the dates, peaks and the leader names is available for your perusal at this link location: PCS Advanced Trip Schedule 2016.


(2) Not all of our PCS leaders could make it to the meeting;, some of them sent me their trip info in advance. Those who couldn't and have trips that they wish to lead, please do email me.


(3) The list is somewhat tentative at this point. As we get closer to the trips we will publish the confirmed dates, leader contact information and more details of the trip in our PCS Calendar (, as well as in Scree (our monthly newsletter) and on our Meetup website (


(4) I don't have the contact information (email) of some of the leaders and co-leaders in the schedule (Eddie, David Kamp, Chris P), so I request you to drop me an email, otherwise I have no way to reach you to finalize the trip details.


(5) If you are a leader with PCS and would like to co-lead one of the trips in the schedule, please contact the leader.






(6) For trips which either have a placeholder for dates or peaks in the schedule, I request the respective leader to fill me in with the dates/peaks as soon as you know.


Thank you, Rakesh!





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




Finland Masters World Cup Nordic Races

February, 2016

By Louise Wholey


Every year Masters World Cup Nordic ski races are held alternately in northern or central/southern Europe (on a rare occasion North America). This year was Vuokatti Finland’s




turn to host 1000 skiers from 24 nations. We chose to go because of the Scandinavian location and the incredibly helpful coordination of travel, lodging, food and racing by the AXCS (American Cross Country Ski) organization.


The races consist of three distances with a choice for each race of classic or freestyle (skating) technique.  Skiers compete against racers from all over the world that are in the same 5 year age/sex group.  Upon reviewing the starting lists for my races I discovered a very fast ex-Olympic American skier, Trina Hosmer, in my age group. And then there were Russians, Swedes, French, Norwegians, and Finns to join me on the starting line.


Trina won the races she entered by an amazing several minutes.  In the freestyle events, a Russian, Elena Peskova, was the next fastest skier in my age group, followed by Swede, Elvor Lindgren and then me, which netted me a bronze medal for the 5k short distance race.



While on the trip we celebrated our 42nd wedding anniversary by skiing in the 1.25 km long ski tunnel that they built to allow skiing and Olympic training all year.  Imagine how cool it would be to switch from water skiing to snow skiing on a hot summer day!






The route for all the race courses went across a well-frozen lake.  During our races the temperatures rose above freezing and the ice started to crack under the grooming machine.  Oops, water flowed onto the lake saturating the snow.  The resourceful Finns added snow to the lake until it was skiable, though a bit scary.  This is the lake during a classic race.














PCS Officials


            Lisa Barboza:


Vice Chair and Trip Scheduler

Rakesh Ranjan:


Treasurer and Membership Roster (address changes)

Arun Mahajan:


Scree Editor

    Judy Molland:


PCS World Wide Web Publisher
    Bo Meng:


Joining the PCS is easy. Go to


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