Casa Diablo Mountain
By: Campy Camphausen
There were only a couple places left up here for skiing in early January. The Mammoth Mtn ski reports were advising us to "Pray for snow". You could still find good snow patches at Deadman, but it was already time to start some desert peak-bagging.
Visible from Bishop in the south end of the Benton Range is Casa Diablo Mountain. It is desert-like and is seen as a large pile of worn-out granite boulders. Roads reach It from all sides. LeRoy Johnson and I drove the Casa Diablo road from Hwy 6 at Five Bridges. We parked at a turnaround on a short road west of the summit.
We jammed through the boulders and arrived at a summit which was tagged VABM "Casa Diablo No. 1" in 1933. A seismic datum plate had also been installed there.
The summit we saw to the south appeared to be 20 feet higher. Getting over to it was done mainly on the east side of the ridge and we located a way up via a steeply inclined true chimney on the south side. The chimney begins inside of a cave which can be entered via one of at least two portals. This is class 3; the remaining climb is nominal 2 to 3 with holds sometimes at a premium on the decayed and sometimes gritty rock.
This higher summit Is also a surveyed VABM but no elevation or name is shown (The Casa Diablo Mtn 15' topo gives 7912'). - The 1933 survey was apparently adjudged incomplete until a party In 1935 found the way up to this higher summit. A solitary and very old soldered tin can serves as a container for a register which was not found. We improvised by placing a business card therein.
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