Whale Peak, Granite Mountain #2

21 November 1987

By: Luella Martin


Leaders: Luella Martin, Carleton Shay

"It's green, green, it's green they say on the far side of the hill..." I'd heard second hand that Alan Coles had gone up Granite from Hwy 78. I'd also heard second hand reports that the road into the mine for the southern approach to Granite was very bad. Therefore, I decided to try it from Hwy 78. The green was brush. Maris and Anna Valkass came for a Desert Peaks climb, they got pure HPS. Fortunately, the green was scrub oak and chamise. By day's end, Lew Amack was punctuating the air with screams. He'd worn shorts. It became evident that to trespass was better than to go back the way we'd come. I was too battered leading up, so Carleton led down the north ridge. Then with our little trespass across the desert we were back to the cars.

Lew Amack, Jim Raiford, Maris and Anna Valkass went home. The rest followed me to Blair Valley camp. I hate caravans. I counted lights behind me five. Correct? No. That van is passing me. Where is car number five? Dave Hammond didn't know that Lew and Jim were leaving, so he followed them. He realized his error just through the wrong end of Scissors Crossing. He found us waiting for him at the entrance to Blair Valley campground.

Sunday morning dawned pink and pretty. Green grass covered the valley. It may be a very good Spring for flowers. Ice covered the cars and David's sleeping bag. The Martin and Stirratt cars were de-iced with hot water. Others tried scraping it away. By 7:00AM we were on the road to Whale. We left all the cars but Carleton's 4x4 and Bill Faulkner's Blazer by S-2. The rock hung up Carleton's car, but with a little road work we got him over it. Carleton led the way up Whale. We were on top by 10:30AM and were back to the cars at S-2 by 12:30PM. Carleton, Betty and Austin Stirratt, David Hammond and Dick Farrar went on to drive up Hot Springs Mtn. Bill Faulkner and I went home.

I appreciated the nice weather and the great group. I'm grateful for willing 4x4 drivers and for Carleton Shay's willing attitude. He didn't care if he led or swept. Which was great for me, since I was mending from a long illness and I didn't have the energy to lead the full weekend.


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