Mount Patterson, Glass Mountain Ridge, Boundary Peak, Montgomery Peak
By: Scott Jamison
Bill Oliver and I planned this trip, figuring on jamming 4 peaks into one pre-winter weekend. A problem arose when Bill lost some important film while descending from a climb of Star King the previous weekend, and he had to return this weekend to search for the film or do the peak over again! He wound up reclimbing the peak, going back home and learning that someone had found the film and was mailing it to him. We missed him on the trip, and could have used him, as his knowledge of the route to Boundary didn't reach me by the time we left for the peaks.
Three vehicles showed up on a clear Saturday morning about 1/2 mile in from Hwy 395 on the Burcham Flat Road, which is about 15 miles north of Bridgeport. Barbara Cohen came with Jim Raiford, and Jim Fujimoto and Eileen Ricks rode in Bill Ramsey's van. We drove in to the trailhead with a car shuttle for the last mile due to Bill's vans inability to negotiate a steep, rock-ridden, gully-washed hill.
The group left for the peak at 9:07 and returned by 11:10. It would not take too much "doing" to drive this peak to within 100 feet of the summit, as the jeep trail has been well-worn by motorcycles. Also, the "road closed" sign is invisib1e when you have lots of dust on the windshield and the morning sun is in your face.
We stuffed all six hikers into my 4 Runner and drove back to the van, then on to Jim Raiford's truck, and we headed for Glass. This is quite a drive! We arrived at the TH at 2:45, where we parked next to Larry Tidball's "2MTNAIR" The weather was clear and hot, and we joined Larry and Barbee on the summit. On the way up we managed to find some of the loosest, sandiest, no-headway ground that have ever encountered. This was past the wonderful obsidian field, and just below the false summit. I support the peak guide when it mentions going to the saddle on the north side of point 10937. It would probably be more run, and there would probably be a lot less swearing!
We descended to the cars, gathered some firewood, said Our goodbyes to Jim Raiford nd Barbara, who were heading for Warren Peak on Sunday, and tried to leave. Bill Ramsey's van wanted to stay, so Larry had to tow it out of the sand. Our next stop on this long day was Benton, where we picked up some ice and then headed for Queen Canyon, which is just past the Nevada border.
Jack Wicket was waiting in the canyon, listening on channel 25, so he directed us via CB up the 5 miles to the Albert Mine, where we made camp. Eventually, we heard another car wandering up the canyon, and Brian Smith and Rhoda Gibson joined us for a late happy hour. The mine area is very nice, and will accommodate a fairly large group if the parking is organized.
We woke to another clear morning, and waved to Larry and Barbee as they went off to do a mere 7,000' day on Dubois from the ridge north of Queen Dicks Canyon. Our group piled into Jacks and my 4 Runners and drove to the saddle at Kennedy Point (9800'). Bill had contacted Campy about this route, and had mailed the info to me, but the post office decided to cancel the letter a couple of times, so I got the map and route the day after the trip.
The group left the saddle at 7:30, and climbed the northern side of the ridges until we gained the saddle between 11,019 and 11,325, where we encountered a great trail that lead to the Trail Canyon Saddle. Jack Wickel and Jim Fujimoto took to the steep slopes quickly, and the rest of us followed at a more reasonable pace. Eileen Ricks, a WTC student, was on her first DPS trip, after having spent the summer climbing SPS Peaks, and she eventually broke off from the group and nearly caught Jack and Jim. Hopefully we will be seeing her on more DPS trips. We all reached Boundary by 11:15, and then we met again on Montgomery at 12:45. Jack led both climbs The weather was perfect, a little breezy, but not cold. we couldn't see Larry or Barbee on Dubois (they summited at 3:30), and we headed back down.
The route back would have been uneventful if we had trusted the neat trail that went over the top of the ridge toward the cars, but it appeared to drop down into the canyon toward the standard route TH, so we all wound up sidehilling the steep slopes back to the saddle. This was the only blemish on an otherwise fairly good trip. A couple of cold beers seemed to help the aching calves, and the grumbling stopped pretty early.
We left the saddle at 5 pm, and were on the main road back toward Bishop before 6.
This route to these great peaks is very nice, especially if the ridge IS taken, but it really wasn't bad avoiding the extra gain by using the north side of the ridge. Sunday was a private trip, since we had no other rated leaders, but many thanks to Jack Wickel for the help.
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