Winston Ridge

21 May 1988

By: Tom Armbruster


Ten eager party-goers mounted the summit of Winston Ridge to celebrate Shirley McFall's completion of the Hundred Peak's List. For the party menu, Shirley prepared two sour cream dips with killer salsa, uncorked Korbell and Martinelli's cider, and handed out giant strawberries, some of which were laced with Grand Marnier.

Shirley is a native Californian, a Sierra Club member since 1974, and an HPS member since qualifying on Granite on January 1, 1978. Her 100th peak was Thorn Point in May 1980. Number 200 was Garnet Mountain. Shirley holds two masters degrees: Library Science and Public Administration. She is senior systems analyst for the City of Newport Beach.

John Backus honored Shirley by coming out of retirement to be the sweep of record. John, emeritus professor of physics and music at USC, has completed the list six times, and has led a scheduled trip up each peak as well. He is the nation's authority on the acoustics of musical instruments.

As the leader, I contributed a magnum of 1982 Mumm's Brut. As at each of her parties, Shirley asked each of us to sign the bottle. All in all, a grand feed.

Our most distant members, Ned and Gudrun Howell, made the climb as well. They were here on vacation from West Germany. Ned had celebrated his 100th gleichzeitig with Shirley on Thorn.

The temperature at 7003' seemed much warmer than the 78° predicted for Mt. Wilson. The "winds to 30 MPH" didn't arrive. Nonetheless, we had a sharp view to the north, to Rosamond Dry Lake near Mojave, the destination of the Little Rock Creek drainage around Winston Ridge.

The Angeles Chapter is working for wilderness status for the Winston area.

After finishing, Shirley exclaimed, "Now I can hike for fun!" Shirley is rumored to maintain a list of peaks she won't ever climb again.

The party atmosphere was unhampered by access problems with Pilot Knob. Shirley was denied permission to climb Pilot Knob by the Onyx area resident who has granted permission before. So, Shirley's official "List Finisher" awaits a resolution of the Pilot Knob issue. See my letter to the Editor in this issue.


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