Four Gables, Pilot Knob #2
By: Bob Wyka
As advertised, these were a busy two days. Figured we covered 32 miles and had over 7000' of gain. The trail seemed less enjoyable to walk compared with prior times. Many tall 'steps' and rubble made for some awkwardness. Might just be age taking its toll.
The seven of us left the surprisingly crowded Pine Creek trail head at 7am on Saturday and then camped near some trees in French Canyon a bit SE of where the trail to Moon Lake crosses the stream. From here we climbed Four Gables from the west by the sandy chute as described by Ron Hudson in Volume 40-5. Took us five hours for the round-trip from camp. Sunday we looked forward to a shorter day, climbing Pilot Knob by an obvious route from the east side of Elba Lake and skirting Alsace Lake to the peak's east ridge. This round-trip was closer to six hours, with a good amount of time on the summit to enjoy the views. [Placed a new register encased in a plastic bag. The summit canister, placed by the Contra Costa Hikers Club in 1932, really needs a gasket to keep the snowmelt out and reduce water damage to the register!]
Participants were Robert Amaral; Jim Edmundson; Joe Kardos; Virgil Popescu and Richard Whitcomb. It was a strong group, with some of them relatively new to the SPS. Welcome them on future trips. The slowest of our group was down at the cars by 5:45pm. The faster ones were able to beat the afternoon showers, stay dry and raid the cooler, making their wait for the leader a bit more enjoyable.
Memorial note from Al Conrad: "I did place a new register on Pilot Knob in memory of Vi Grasso. I just had one left from a supply she gave me in the distant past."
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