Mount Lowe, Mount Markham, San Gabriel Peak, Mount Disappointment, Mount Deception, Occidental Peak, Mount Wilson, Mount Harvard, Mount Sally, Mount Mooney, Vetter Mountain, Winston Peak, Buckhorn Peak, Barley Flats
26 April 1969
By: Les Stockton
Leader: Les Stockton
Our intentions this year were drastically altered by extensive rainfall, so an expected 25 peak assault in 24 hours was impossible. Seventy-five individuals met at Red Box where the cars were consolidated (correction - the climbers were consolidated into fewer cars!). We drove to the Mt. Wilson saddle roadhead and quickly moved out on foot to Markham saddle. Mr. Mt. Lowe, Ken Ferrell, wound his way up a windy Mt. Lowe after which the group breezed up breezy Mt. Markham. The return from these two peaks represented the first attempt at scree running by many of the climbers and was, of course, enjoyed by all. (All?)
The trail to the saddle between San Gabriel and Disappointment was down to bedrock in the washed out areas and necessitated some careful steps. The presence of three leaders was particularly appreciated, as a leader could be left at a "difficult" area to direct the steps of the novice. We expected some drop-outs in a peak bagger's special, but we absolutely abhorred drop-offs. Fortunately we didn't have any! First climbing Disappointment and then Deception, the by now strung-out group proceeded up San Gabriel, the highest point in the area. Returning to Markham saddle by the direct route down the famous How Bailey ridge, we quickly returned to the cars where the chow-hounds demanded a lunch break (on a peak baggers' special?).
The weather by this time was beautiful, although our group was diminishing. We drove to the Mt. Wilson area and climbed Occidental, welcoming the shade and trees. The trail parallels the road far below, so rockfall must be avoided at all costs. Polishing off Occidental insured the climbers of six peaks. Driving to the summit of Mt. Wilson, we hiked down a dirt road to the saddle between Harvard and Wilson where the road-haters split out to the trail and raced the road-runners to the top of Mt. Harvard. (A dirt road leads virtually to the summit). We climbed Mt. Wilson on the way back from Harvard thus avoiding a drive-up label for Mt. Wilson! Fifty-four people were in the Harvard ascent.
Back at Red Box, we regrouped and proceeded up the Angeles Highway climbing Mt. Sally, Mt. Mooney, and Vetter in turn. A Ford Bronco decided Mooney should be a drive-up (isn't it?) and came within a couple of hundred yards of making it! Continuing on to the snow-covered higher elevations, (the group was now down to 14 stalwarts and 4 girls), Winston was hurriedly accomplished and a snowy Buckhorn climb in the moonlight lent an eerie finale to a fine day! We wanted to climb more but the highway was closed at Kratka Ridge so we descended to Newcomb Restaurant where Mary Kemper livened the occasion by stocking-footed dancing. Have you ever tried dancing in mountain boots?
Anticlimatically we climbed (?) Barley Flats on the way home, bringing to 14 the total bag for the day. Maybe 25 will fall next year, but we did have more time this year to study the flora and fauna.
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