Five Fingers

17 October 1992

By: Asher Waxman


Leaders: Asher Waxman, Beth Epstein

Twenty-one enthusiastic hikers met at 9 on this auspiciously fine morning at the southern junction of Hwys. 14 & 178. Our pathfinder route was up Short Cyn Rd. (7.1 miles N according to the Auto Club Kern County Map.) We drove this to its high point on the ridge just south of point 3526, where we parked. This road is fine for passenger cars all the way.

We started hiking around 10:30, directly up the ridge (shown as a jeep trail on the 7.5 topo) to the flat at 4000', where we turned south to go up the steep scree slope and then on up to the east ridge to the ducks that lead to the summit. In addition to Beth, who gave her usual excellent and comforting assistance, we were fortunate to have Dan Richter, Peter Doggett, Bob Sumner, and Tom Moumblow strategically stationed at various points to spot and guide our climbers through and over the more interesting sections near the top. Their presence ensured that the trip went smoothly and pleasantly even for those of our group who were relatively inexperienced on rock.

Out of respect for safety in our descent, we only consumed 2 bottles of champagne on top. Back at the cars, Margot Slocum, who'd been the assistant on my first HPS hike and done my O-rating, needed to get back, but showered us with homemade cake and lots of delicious juices. Joy McKinney had come directly from a week's travel in Arizona and New Mexico and was eager to get home. Bob Sumner had a wedding (?) later that afternoon. Marilyn and John Angier got the peak, missed the party. The rest of us adjourned to meet again at Walker Pass Campground where we broke out more champagne, wine, and food and partied into the evening. Dan's son, Willie Richter, our youngest HPS member on the trip, had climbed expertly and also did a nice campfire. Around sunset, we were joined by Ruth and Frank Dobos coming off their climb of Heald and we added a celebration of Dr. Ruth's birthday. One of the hits of the day was my friend Susie Jean's little poodle, Sam, a dog even a cat lover could cherish.

Sunday morning was real easy-going. Susie prepared pancakes for which my brother Jack, who'd come down from Walnut Creek, had brought real maple syrup. We also had fresh brewed coffee, courtesy of Rende Rausin and myself. Tom Moumblow and the Richters left pretty early to do Owens, Jenkins, and Morris as a loop (very strenuous). Eleanor Carter and Bill Lien took off for Scodie. Patty Kline (whose 25th, 100th, and List Completion I'd been to) joined Peter and Tom Armbruster on his exploratory of Pt 6550. Jack left on his long drive north. Somehow, in spite of my announcement at Aquilla (Read my lips: No more peaks!), I ended up leading Red Mountain, which Beth needed. It was also short enough to do in the heat of that day. Our group included Renée and her friend Rick Borkovetz, Ingeborg Prochazka, and Murray Aronson, with whom I'd unknowingly started my HPS career in September, 1981 with hikes of Mt. Wilson from Chantry Flat and San Jacinto from Marion Mtn. Campground. Before going home, we all met in Randsburg for "Phosphates," Rick's treat.

Altogether, this List Completion, surrounded by friends and good feeling, was one of the most satisfying experience I've had and I want to thank the many leaders, friends, and companions (often the same people in different roles) who made the whole long journey so fulfilling. I look forward to years of sharing the mountains with you.


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