Muah Mountain, Trail Peak

5-Jun-04

By: Patty Rambert


SPS/WTC Trip

Patty Rambert (Leader) writes:
An excited group of ten people gathered on Saturday, June 5 at 10:30 a.m. at Horseshoe Meadow, up the hill from Lone Pine. The trip destination had been changed due to a change in leadership. Patty Rambert one of the original leaders was able to lure George Wysup into the Sierras with promises of beautiful temperatures, scenery and a fun group of people. So George came up with a plan to do Muah Mountain and Trail Peak as a two day backpack with peak climb, thereby qualifying for a WTC Experience trip. So we are all set, we notify the participants and everyone is a GO! The ten participants were Patty Rambert, George Wysup, Brett Mizelle, Jennie Thomas, Lisa Buckley, Edith Jaranilla, Doug DeYoung, Jim Freckelton, Wayne Vollaire, and Gary Bowen. I had a great time, a few bugs but enjoyed the Horseshoe Meadow area, hiking part of the PCT, doing an SPS Peak (Muah Mountain), doing an unlisted peak (Trail Peak) and meeting potential new SPSers. I thought it would be fun to hear about others experience on the trip, so we are going to pass the trip report around.

George Wysup (Co-leader) writes:
Patty asked me, rather at the last minute (she must have been desperate), to assist on a WTC/SPS outing whose leader was forced to drop out. I noted that the trip was M-rated (due to class 3 on Crag Peak) and that it would be quite warm on the weekend. I am only I-rated, so we would have to stop well short of Crag’s actual summit. Patty and I hate doing that! As I felt a bit tired at that time I came up with an alternative that should not extract too great a toll on our bodies, and would be high up enough for reasonable temperatures. Patty went for it.

I really enjoyed helping to lead this trek, despite a few mosquitoes at our camp above Diaz Meadow. And, as a retired old dude, it was great to be with some fine young folks for a change. Patty and I hope that many of these folks will strive to become M or E rated leaders some day.

Jennie Thomas, WTC Orange County, Group 1:
This was a great first experience trip after finishing WTC. The trip was filled with people who had just completed WTC and who were on their first or second experience trip. Muah Mountain is a great destination for people like myself looking to get started climbing in the Sierras. Our leaders, Patty Rambert and George Wysup made a last minute trip destination change, but we were undaunted and ready to get out into the Sierra for the weekend.

A late start on Saturday morning left us plenty of time to hike in, set up camp, climb Muah Mountain, and then return to camp for a nice happy hour (around 6:30 pm). There were patches of snow on Muah Mountain providing a nice source of cool water on the way.

Sunday morning, we set out at 8:00 am after a short walk to pump water out of a nearby stream. We took the PCT to the base of Trail Peak and completed the climb to the summit in about an hour. We were out to the cars in the early afternoon, which left us time for Pizza in Lone Pine before returning to Orange County. Overall, great trip with great people!

Edie Jaranillo writes:
Despite the discomfort of altitude and mosquitoes I had a great time backpacking in the Southern Sierras for the first time. A bit of advice for people that are very sensitive to altitude sickness, acclimate by trying to sleep at the trail head, hydrate the night before and eat a high carbohydrate diet to have enough “oomph” to push you through the hurdles of a heavy pack and altitude. I came up with a friend that same morning. We backpacked in and climbed the peak. Knowing that in the past I have gotten sick at 10,000+ level I should have gone up that Friday night and acclimated. Coming from 2000+ level to 10,000+ within a few hours was just too much for my system to handle.

I forced myself to climb Muah Mountain and starting “puking” 400 feet from reaching the summit that I had to consent to be left behind to prevent the worse scenario of deterioration of AMS. After 3 more episodes of “puking”, hydration was key for the evening agenda. Downing 3-5 liters of filtered water had its downfall of keeping one up, your tent partner and nearby neighbors of hearing the “zip, zip” every ˝ hour. Thank God for the almost full moon and starlit skies I didn’t need to have my head light to find my private BR. My apologies to the people I have inconvenienced.

As a reminder for me, a lighter pack, good sleep, acclimation, hydration and Diamox should be a good formula to test for future high elevation backpack trips. Overall it was a great experience trip. We had good leaders, good company, good weather and a great time. I’ll climb it again.

Wayne Vollaire — OC WTC writes:
I was happy to have the trip plans change as needed to allow the WTC experience trip to continue. I was pleasantly surprised by the picturesque open meadows and running streams at the 10,000’ elevation of Horseshoe Meadow. As we hiked both on trail and cross-country, the conversations within our group provided additional enjoyment to the trip.

Special mention has to be made about George frequently calling the 2-minute warning of the need to be ready to move on. Warnings of being in an active bear environment never produced any visible activity or unwelcome need to share our food. Muah Mountain and Trail Peak were pleasant hikes that required a moderate effort that paid off in spectacular views. Trail Peak provided a 360-degree view with a nearly full view of Owens Lake bed off to the east, Mt. Langley to the north, Olancha Peak to the south, and inviting meadows as far as the eye could see.

Even though Trail Peak is not on any list, it will be on my personal list as a “do again” peak and will be on my recommended list. Patty and George, you did a terrific job at making last minute alternate plans for our weekend outing. Thank you.

Doug Deyoung writes:
Having attended many club trips in the past, this trip followed many of the trends I have noticed. First, the leaders were quite enthusiastic and helpful throughout the journey. They were conscious of the group’s needs and gave us freedom when we needed it yet held us together in others. When one of the group fell ill to apparent altitude sickness, they were reassuring and patient with the victim and tried to help her achieve the goal of climbing Muah Mountain. All this with a trip that was literally rebuilt from the ground up when the original trip leader had to cancel. Thanks to Patty for burning the midnight oil and keeping the outing a go.

Another tradition, which went over well, as usual, was the “potluck”. We feasted on fresh strawberries, fine chocolates, nuts, imported salami, and many other delights that would normally not be found in that neck of the woods. Thanks to all for the treats.

Lisa Buckley, WTC Orange County writes:
Thanks Patty and George for going on with the show and not canceling the trip. I’m glad I went up the night before, the campsite at the trailhead was perfect. We had a nice dinner and then a leisurely breakfast before the hiking began. The views from the peaks were beautiful. I’m still not sure why Wayne carried a bucket of snow to the top of Muah. Ron was shocked and disappointed to learn that I brought beer nuts to the potluck.

Unfortunately, the mosquitoes enjoyed me a little more than I enjoyed them. I thought at first that it was because I am so sweet. I have since read that mosquitoes are attracted to carbon dioxide, lactic acid and especially sweat. So, it was my sweatiness and not my sweetness that drew them to me. Now I can’t even be flattered by all the mosquito bites I received. All in all though, it was a wonderful experience for my first SPS peak and my first backpacking trip. Thanks everyone!


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