Leaders: Bernie Petitjean, Les Stockton
These two peaks represent a favorite lead for Bernie. Equally attractive to beginners and veterans, they always attract good numbers of climbers because of their proximity, view, and late starting time. You can make them as difficult as you wish by shortening the time of ascent. You can climb them by steep fuel breaks or the longer trail and road. The weather cooperated beautifully with sunshine on both peaks. The grubs in the lowlands were inundated with clouds and threatened rain while we enjoyed ourselves thoroughly in our favorite environment.
Bernie led 38 climbers up Lookout via the easy trail to the saddle, and then the steep ridge and a short rocky area on the knife edge to the open summit. We "lost" only one climber on the trail section who decided she wasn't in condition to do the last 2300' of gain if the 400' she completed was that difficult! Beginning climbers caused some additional rest stops but everyone attained the summit. The writeup indicated we would eat at the cars, but old chowhounds, like Sam Fink, are always prepared to eat on summits. We must thank Sam as he had ascended Lookout twice the previous week preparing the trail and cutting brush as only Sam can do! We owe so much of the comfort of many of our climbs to the preparation of the trail by the Dean of Climbers, Sam Fink. He does this on his own - the leaders (and climbers) are forever grateful.
Coming down the steep sections was upsetting to the newcomers and took longer than expected, but even though it wasn't raining, 5 tigers stormed down the firebreak to the cars and to an extended lunch.
At 2:00 pm, 6 diehards held to a steady fuelbreak pace up Sunset and we would gladly have stayed there until sunset occurred - it was that kind of day! UCLA, winning the NCAA basketball title, enhanced the feeling of well being. In little time at all the group scree running was back down to the cars; the gourmets proceeded to demolish a prime rib dinner at our favorite Baldy Village Restaurant.
Nice climb, nice people and a great finish. This annual Petitjean trip is always wonderful!