12 May 2001
By: Susanne Weil
A Moist Assault on Mt. Waterman
Two weeks later, Peter and I returned to the La Cañada rideshare to find another substantial group eager to hike Mt. Waterman, including several welcome return hikers from our Winston-Akawie jaunt. The day had dawned gloomy, yet we all hoped that the looming clouds would soon burn off - as, no doubt, did the even larger crowd preparing to tackle Strawberry Peak from the west. Once our band of fourteen reached the Buckhorn end of our car shuttle, though, drizzle had descended. Discussion with the group revealed a number of hikers ill-clad for such weather, but in the spirit of HPS cooperation, creative loaning outfitted everyone for a fine, if truncated, trek. We decided to eliminate our car shuttle and Three Points start in case the rain made good its threat and came down in earnest, and set off for the great hogback.
Everyone enjoyed the terrific views down into Devil's and Bear Canyons en route to the peak. We did not see the wild orchids we might have spotted hiking in from Three Points, but enjoyed the vivid red snow plants that dotted the trail. Views from Waterman itself were particularly fine in the dramatic weather as clouds gusted between us and Twin Peaks, impressive through the louring mist. Over lunch, we traded tales of favorite hikes, not neglecting to tell newcomers about July's Waterman Rendezvous Potluck Hike, and gazed toward Strawberry Peak, hoping that it was as free of rain as it looked for the big group's ascent. Before long, though, we headed down, as we saw weather racing toward us in the form of big thunderheads from the northeast. Gear was returned and goodbyes traded after hours well spend amid fantastic local sights.
Thanks to all - on both hikes - for being great, friendly, cooperative groups!
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