By: Bill Gray
It was a patient and good-natured group who waited a half-hour for the late and sheepish leaders to arrive at the roadhead, having greatly underestimated the three-hour drive time. George Pfeiffer, thinking he would be slow and need more time, had started up the route some 15 minutes earlier. We started out about 9:45 am after sign-ins and collection of the newly required "Release and Waiver Agreement" forms. It was an ideal desert hike morning - overcast, near 70F, and a light breeze.
Our route went southeasterly from the roadhead, and up the canyon in front of us - also south easterly, making our way over, through, and around large boulders, and some cat-claw acacia. The leader got much assistance in the interesting route finding from several competent participants who regularly demonstrated their prowess with map and compass. At 12 pm we could still not see the peak, but about a half-hour later a summit loomed right above us with a propped up surveyor's stick marker. Another 30 minutes and our hope turned to joy for there was the summit register attesting the true summit. All participants made it to the summit, having taken all the class 3 scrambling in good style. We were uneasy not to find George on the summit awaiting us, since we had not passed him on the way up. However, he soon arrived, after understandably navigating a slightly different route.
The absence of the great view usually seen from the summit was willingly accepted for the great climbing weather that the overcast provided, especially since the 100f weather in the L.A. basin a week before had been forboding.
The route down was led by George Toby, whose route-finding was flawless. We reached our cars by 4:30 pm where Martha served good guacomole salsa and chips to go with our soft drinks and beer. The slower-paced day allowed for an enjoyable and sociable climb in which several slower climbers were able to keep up.
The participants were: Al and Lois Banda, Joe Douglass, Kay Machen, Dick Farrar, Martha Flores, Tom Haworth, Delores Holladay, George Pfeiffer, Dennis Richards, Bill Stevens, George Toby, Minor White, and Bob Wyka.
To all these, much appreciation for an enjoyable climb.
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