Clouds Rest

8-Sep-01

By: Reinhold Janson


This was my first time to a Sierra Peaks list finish. Wow! There were forty-two people on the dayhike. All made it up to Erik Siering’s party on the summit. The parade and picnic surely surprised the other hikers on the trail. Slobodan Messner missed out on this one.

The crowd met at 9:00 AM at the Tenaya Lake trailhead, after some had carpooled from Lee Vining Canyon. A bunch of us had been here before. For others, like Ten Ryan who came with DPSer Gary Craig, it was their first SPS trip. Erik traded lead and sweep with Asher Waxman on the hike in and out. It was great, clear weather despite controlled bums to the southeast. We followed the Forsyth and Clouds Rest Trails. We took lazy breaks at three trail junctions marked by Yosemite NP “stencil metal” signs.

The summit dome of Clouds Rest at 9926 feet was awesome. The panorama takes in Half Dome, Mounts Starr King & Clark, and Tenaya Canyon below. I’m told that Bill Oliver was down there. Out came a potluck spread of tasty eats to share. A half-dozen double bottles of New York champagne complemented the brownies, nuts, cookies, veggies, cheese puffs and more. Erik was SPS finish-pinned by Patty Kline, and received a piton-shaped bottle opener from Ann Kramer.

Summit photo taking was fun. First up were the SPS finishers: Erik, Steve Eckert, Ron Hudson, Barbara Sholle, Mary Motheral, RJ Secor, Vic & Sue Henney. The triple list SPS-DPS-HPS finishers: Erik, Barbara, Mary, Vic & Sue. Seven SPS Chairs were here. Then soon-to-be finishers, in pairs: Pat & Gerry Holleman and Greg & Mirna Roach. Their parties are next. A friendly fellow we’d fed snapped photos of us all. Except for Scot Sullivan. He stayed twenty feet below. Guess where his finish will be. So Elena Sherman gets to do this again too.

Most everyone returned to the trailhead by 5:30 PM, and then left to set up camp in Mono Mills south of Mono Lake. Diane Dunbar made good time even with incipient pneumonia! Mary and Erik’s carpools waited patiently for the tail end, Rick Jali, before driving to the festivities already underway. What a potluck feast. I especially liked Lilly Fukui’s Thai chicken, and Mirna’s salads. Mary’s ample firewood stash fueled our camp-fire. Around which we took turns reading accounts from the “Accidents in North American Mountaineering 2000.” Climber black humor and pathos. Later, Dean & Pat Acheson and Vic & Sue headed home for a concert and earthquake in West Hollywood the next day. Gary Schenk, Val and Lilly returned to camp in Lee Vining Canyon.

Sunday morning, after pulling Annemarie Schober’s 2wd from the forest sand —Mary’s BIG truck rocks!— we went our separate ways. Some for climbs, others for hot springs. RJ, Susan Livingston, Keith Martin, Will McWhinney, and Paul Graff climbed beautiful Cathedral Peak. Will and Paul also did Eichom Pinnacle. The Bay Area contin-gent of Steve, Ric Rattay and Bob Suzuki scaled Echo Peaks. Asher, Jack Waxman and Rebecca Owen soaked in Hilltop Hot Spring in Long Valley. Erik and Ann went cragging near Old Mammoth.

A great weekend by all!


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