Dick McLellan Achieves 200!
Leaders: John Backus, Duane McRuer
Forty-six people scrawled semi-legible signatures on the sign-in sheet (how's that for alliteration?) on a beautiful but cold morning in Fawnskin. We then drove to the vicinity of Hanna Flats campground where the group was consolidated into fewer cars -- twelve, to be specific and caravaned up Butler Pk. The Forest Service lady manning (ladying?) the lookout tower was rather overwhelmed at such an invasion, but by the time the last group had signed the tower register she had recovered, so we caravaned down again and into Gray's Camp. From here Grays Pk. is an easy hour's climb. Back at the cars for lunch we became aware of the unhappy fact that not everyone was accounted for, and a roll call revealed three people missing. It was found that they had gone ahead up the mountain without notifying the leaders. Two search parties were organized, one to go back up the mountain, the other to patrol the road along the base of the mountain in a jeep. Fortunately, the first group did not have to reclimb the mountain; it had barely started up the ridge when one member of the missing trio was found by the jeep party on the road. He had decided to wait there until someone found him; however, the other two had decided to hike along the road, but unfortunately had chosen the wrong direction. The jeep party went looking for them, but couldn't find them because they had struck off across the country, finally finding the road to Fawnskin, and getting back to Gray's Camp. Eventually, after a couple of anxious hours, everyone was accounted for. It was a good object lesson in emphasizing the necessity of staying with the group.
The caravan started off for Little Bear Mt. This mighty peak was conquered in about half an hour, so there was still time to do Delamar Mt. This was climbed in short order, and everyone congregated back at Hanna Flat campground. This campground is normally closed this time of year, but the Forest Service had very kindly given us permission to use it, and had loaned us the key. As the evening grew colder the after-supper campfire became very pleasant.
On Sunday there was a little trouble with cold and stubborn motors, but finally we were all started, so we caravaned along the new road on the south side of Delamar Mt., getting impressive views of Big Bear Lake when the dust permitted. Bertha Pk. was conquered quickly, via a jeep road; then more caravanning to get to Arctic Point, which is a cross-country hike.
Finally, after lunch, another drive and cross-country hike got us up Gold Mt. for the last peak of the week-end. Dick McLellan achieved his 200th on this peak, and champagne was served around by his father Don. Everyone was back at the cars by 3:30, in good time to battle the homebound traffic.