Ehrenbeck Peak, Hawksbeak Peak, Tower Peak
2-Sep-94 (SPS Introductory Trip)
By: Gordon MacLeod Erick Schumacher
Eleven participants met at the Buckeye Pass trailhead on Friday morning on a cool, windy and partly cloudy day. There is a choice of following a newer, shorter trail on the south side of Buckeye Creek, which involves a stream crossing, or using the older trail on the north side which is longer and sometimes obscure but has the advantage of crossing the creek on a bridge near the trailhead parking area. The latter was chosen, and after 9 miles camp was set up in late afternoon at about 9600' on the east side of the pass at the head of the north fork of Buckeye Creek. Abundant firewood provided welcome campfires for the evening and the following morning, when 1/3' of ice was found on water containers.
Sat. we backpacked over "North Fork" pass and down to a campsite at 9100', from which, in mid-morning, 10 departed for the climb of Tower Peak. After ascending and descending a low ridge (involving a 200' gain and loss), we climbed up grassy slopes, huge talus blocks, snowfields and finally the Class 3 ledges to the summit, reached by all. Return to camp was accomplished about as hour before dark. The evening campfire was welcomed for both its warmth and light!
On Sunday, 9 trudged back uphill to "North Fork" pass For the climbs of Hawksbeak Pk. (by 9) and Ehrenbeck Pk. (by 7) on an especially beautiful Sierra day. This involved a drop to about 10'000 feet between the two peaks and a climb over a 10,500' pass at the head of Thompson Canyon on the return to "North Fork" pass. Two participants were disappointed to learn that these peaks were not on the SPS list! Return to camp was accomplished in good time, and a social evening around the campfire was enjoyed by all.
On Monday 8 participants elected to backpack the 11 miles directly out to the cars for the drive home. Three--Gordon, Barbara Lilley and Bill Sanders (all retirees)--climbed Grouse Mountain en route. Buckeye Hot Springs provided a welcome relief for tired muscles and sore feet for those who selected that option.
Although this was an Introductory trip, only two participants were on their first SPS trip and all were strong, experienced peak: climbers, including 4 SPS list Finishers! Participants (in addition to the leaders and those previously mentioned) were John Neff, Cindi and Mike Runyan, Ellen Lady, Patty Kline, Dave Buchanan and Rick Jali. (No-shows without any explanation were John Alvord and Peter Zurla.
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