New York Butte, Pleasant Point
By: John Vitz
New York Butte was one of the original peaks on the DPS qualifying list and even qualified as an emblem peak. And as such it was climbed numerous times in the fifties. All the famous old timers climbed it many times, generally taking two days to do it. It wasn't until late in that decade when Mt. Inyo was named and made the emblem peak that the butte started getting the recognition that it has always deserved - little.
Its only claims to fame are a strenuous climb and a nice summit area. The rest of the approach - at least from the west is up undistinguished sage covered steeply piled loose, crud. Nine people met at 7 am south of Lone Pine for the caravan over an ever deteriorating road which runs east from Lone Pine Station up Long John Canyon. At 44OO' it becomes virtually impassable to cars. From there we took the better part of the day to climb the 6100+' to the summit with all nine making it. We climbed by means of a fork of Long John Canyon lying between the steep west ridge and the larger, more gradual, northwest ridge, which we descended, returning to the cars at dark.
A very windy night was spent in the campground west of Lone Pine off the Tuttle Creek Road. Next morning seven of us drove to the Cerro Gordo Mine for the climb of Pleasant which was just that. It was much cooler than it had been the previous day. A leisurely climb found us on top by 10:30 and back to the cars at noon. There were of course magnificent views of the Sierra and the Saline Valley. It should be noted that the roadhead is on private property and permission must be obtained from the caretaker to park and/or climb in the area.
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