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11B Strawberry Peak

Location: Los Angeles County, California

Named by "some wags at Switzer's Camp", according to Hiram Reid (1886). It is told that they fancied a resemblance to a strawberry standing with its blossom end up. "We named it Strawberry because there weren't any strawberries on it." Reid icily noted that "the joke took" and that burlesque name has been commonly used by the old settlers; but the peak name is waiting some worthy occasion for a worthy name . Like many other playful peak names, few expected the name would last, but it has-perhaps because Americans have always loved to toy with place names.

The first known ascents were by parties led by Bob Waterman from Switzer's. A trail was built along the Arroyo, and then up Colby Canyon to the saddle west of the summit, and then up the Class 3 rock to the top. This was one of the most popular destinations during the first "Great Hiking Era" (1895-1935). It was also.climbed and poetically recorded by Saunders (1923). One of this peak's most curious moments was when a giant gas balloon, the America crashed on the summit after being caught in a storm. The six men aboard, including Captain. A. E. Mueller, spent a freezing night on the mountain but clamored down Colby Canyon to safety the next morning (1909). It was front page news and some sought to rename the peak after Mueller but nothing came of it.

Called "Strawberry Peak #1" on original HPS List--there once was a #2 in the San Bernardino N.F.

Name first appears on USGS Southern California Sheet #1 (1901).

Peak was on the original 1946 HPS Peak List. Weldon Heald climbed this peak in 1933.


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Updated 25-February-2003