Leader: Mary Forbes
Asst.: Vic Gleason
This is not the easiest way to climb Mt. Lukens so I was both surprised and amazed when 38 mostly "old" experienced hands turned up. As this was the first peak I had ever led, I was glad to see I had lots of help if I needed it. When I scouted the trail two weeks before, many areas had been almost totally washed out by the rains and were bad enough to require some fixed ropes over the dangerous spots. But as I approached these areas with trepidation, I found my fears were unfounded. Someone had spent many, many hours preparing the trail. As Sam Fink was with us, I knew who had provided us with a complete safe trail climb. As Sam has done so often, he without fanfare, prior to our climbing date, cut down the bushwack and prepared the trail. My deepest thanks to you, Sam. This was a warm, beautiful day. The river was low so we crossed it without incident and without removing shoes. The 3300' of gain and 3 mi. was negotiated successfully by all despite Bob VanAllen's incessant punning!We passed three upset climbers on the way up who stated they expected to have the peak to themselves. They didn't have to worry. Even though we spent an hour on the summit, we were on the way down while they were approaching the summit. Two of our group who decided to stay on the summit, signed out and descending later missed the trail and descending directly lost a battle with the poison oak prevalent in the area. We arrived at the cars early in the afternoon and many scattered to do more peaks. Bob VanAllen was given a box of chocolate Easter eggs to celebrate his 500th peak at the start of the climb. Needless to say they were devoured on the summit by the multitude.
I enjoyed leading such an enjoyable group, and hope I can do so again.