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Keller Peak, Slide Peak

17 April 1971

By: Al Campbell


Leader: Al Campbell
Asst.: Brent Washburne

On Friday, April 16th, I went to scout the area for the planned 6-peak weekend. I climbed Constance and then went to Sugarloaf and cleared all the rocks off the road leading into Wildhorse Meadows, so that standard cars would have no trouble getting in. Later in the afternoon, I went to Running Springs and found myself in the clouds, no visibility, almost rain. I also found that the road to Keller Peak was locked off. With the very kind assistance of one of the "locals", I found a by-pass which would enable us to get onto the Keller Road about a mile above the gate. Went back to Barton Flats to the planned Saturday night camp and slept amidst the stars. Saturday morning met 18 slightly-damp but eager beavers who were ready to go. We got over the by-pass road and onto the Keller Road and then it started to hail. We drove up to Keller in the combined rain, hail and white-out. By the time we got back to the Slide Peak starting point, there was quite a bit of snow on the ground. We were still in quite a cloud with low visibility and had a bit of difficulty recognizing Slide. The chaparral was all burned off the top which, of course, makes the peak easy to climb but the fire destruction is saddening. When we got back down to the cars, the Keller Road was almost obliterated with wall to wall snow. At that point, we decided to call off the rest of the trip. With a little difficulty, we got over the by-pass and back to Highway 18. By this time, the snow plows were quite active clearing the highway. Everybody took off and down the hill. As a sequel, I had to go back up through Mentone and Barton Flats to pick up my camping equipment. Very light snow was encountered, but I got everything out safely. In view of the weather, I went back home. I apologize to anyone who showed up Sunday morning as I did not go back to tell them that this part of the trip was cancelled. Will try it again sometime later.

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