By: Ron Jones
"There were no tracks on top, no cans, no stakes, no register, no cairn. Nothing left by man. Only a fantastic 360 degree view of the Panamints, Saline Valley, Inyos, Eureka Valley, The Last Chance Range and of course the Saline Range. Nowhere in the last were any doings of man in evidence. Not just a bump on a ridge, either; this was a dominating main summit of an entire range." -- George Barnes, DPS emblem holder, March 17-18 on a Sierra Club scheduled trip (a first recorded ascent) with a party of 12 in 1973. Our group in 1993 started with one of our party exclaiming three times when we met on Saturday, "I haven't climbed the peak yet but standing here in this great valley with this wonderful view, I can't understand why this peak isn't already on the list."
Seven of us met Saturday afternoon and after enjoying the hot springs we set out on the easy 50 minute drive, 9,2 miles up the Saline corridor to about 3200 ft (2-400 ft lower then where I've started before). We used 3 4WDs although any high clearance vehicle could make the trip. We camped here that night. The next morning with an early start we hiked into White Cliffs Canyon to see the extraordinary Indian petroglyphs carved at the entrance. Outstanding was a group of 3 large, life-size thunder- birds.
We left the canyon about 4,000 ft on the right side & climbed the obvious route via ridges and slopes to the summit - about 3800 ft of gain & 10 mi RT. This was my 5th climb, Bob Emerick repeated from 1977 (he liked it both times - Campy, Steve Smith, Walt Whisman, Erik Schumacher have repeated 2 & 3 times & one climber has done the peak 6 times). Others in our party were John Gibba, Dean & Pat Acheson, Evelyn Chadwell & Ron Grau.
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