Onyx Peak #2, Five Fingers

23 November 1996

By: Charlie Knapke


On Saturday morning at 9:00 a.m., twenty-two peak baggers met at Walker Pass. Most of them were DPS & SPS climbers that I have met here & there. The main thing they wanted to know was... Where will the party be?

We waited an extra 15 minutes to be sure we had everyone and then headed off to the trailhead for Onyx #2. We parked at the BLM gate which is now the wilderness boundary.

There is a new hiker's gate to the right of the cattle guard.

The most common route for this summit is to go straight up the first gully. This is very steep and loose. Dick Akawie had told me that he liked to go farther up the canyon and then up to the ridge. He said the footing was much better there. That was the route we took and I believe Dick was correct. The ascent went very well. As we neared the summit we found that the lichen on the summit rocks were still wet from the previous day's rain. It was very slick and forced us to find a safer route up to the register. We broke out a couple of bottles of bubbly to celebrate my finish leading the HPS list.

We descended to the cars where we had a "get ready to go party" party. About 4pm we said goodbye to two hikers and headed out to Powers Well to party for real. This was a class 3 party! Since most of the participants were DPS members, they were well experienced at this.

The next day we had an early morning ascent of Five Fingers. This has to be one of the best summits on the HPS list. The participants were Carleton Shay, Mars Bonfire, Patty Kline, Peter Doggett, Barry McCormick, Blair Kuropatkin, Owen Kuropatkin (two years old), Jean Hermansen, Murray Zichlinsky, Neal Scott, Tom Hill, Rich Gnagy (Sacramento), Cathy Reynolds, Mirna Roach, Greg Roach, Suzanne Michels, David Michaels, Graham Breakwell (Bay area), John Doble, & Dave Scholle.

Special thanks goes to Barbara Cohen who came back to the HPS list just to assist with my lead finish.


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