Mount Lowe, Mount Markham, Mount Disappointment, Mount Deception, San Gabriel Peak, Occidental Peak, Mount Wilson, Mount Harvard, Barley Flats, Mount Sally, Vetter Mountain (LO), Mount Mooney, Buckhorn Peak, Winston Peak, Mount Lewis, Pinyon Ridge, Mount Hillyer, Pacifico Mountain, Round Top, Granite Mountain #1, Mount Gleason, Iron Mountain #2
8 May 1971
By: Les Stockton (and staff)
Leaders: Les Stockton, Ken Ferrell, How Bailey
This year three people negotiated 22 peaks completed at the stroke of midnight atop the summit of Iron Mt. #2 with little gas remaining in either the cars or the climbers.
At Red Box, fifty-four early(?) risers started one-half hour earlier than usual on this annual peak gathering trek. Some of the stalwarts of the other climbing sections were present. So generally we had a group that moved well right from the start. Bunching the group into few(?) cars, we drove to the saddle half way up the Mt. Wilson road and proceeded on foot to Markham Saddle. Mt. Lowe was easily and quickly negotiated with the time spent signing the register. A scree run down and up the ridge to Markham and another scree run down to the saddle. Then a quick spurt to the San Gabriel Pk. Saddle and another fast ascent - this time Disappointment. Running down the side of Disappointment, we practically ran up Deception. We were keeping well ahead of schedule and after returning to the San Gabriel Pk. Saddle, we whistled up San Gabriel (some direct and some by trail). Part of the group followed How Bailey down the Bailey Ridge, while others went by trail. The buckthorn was so overgrown on the ridge that the ridge climbers bore the wounds of their victory. So back to the saddle and thence to the cars. A short drive to the base of the Occidental Trail. A hasty climb and on to Wilson by car. Down the road and onto the Harvard trail and Mt. Harvard bit the dust. Wilson is climbed from Harvard with How Bailey pioneering the route. So by 1:00pm eight peaks were behind us.
Reassembling at Red Box, with the group reduced to 36 we proceeded to negotiate(?) Barley Flats and shortly climbed short Sally, starting from the duck at the highway level. The cable was across the road to Vetter, so we saved some gas but lost some time to annex this peak. Then across the highway to Mooney and on to Cloudburst Summit where Buckhorn and Winston succumbed to the onslaught. A long ride to Lewis where the leaders jumped out and beat the tigers to the summit (with a 100 foot lead). We were down to the hardcore group of fifteen although some had not climbed all the former peaks. Another wild drive in the intermittent whiteout to Dawson Saddle below Baden-Powell. We had to pry a VW door open and open it with a wire coat hanger and on to Pinyon Ridge. A fanout hunt for the register and we are now up to 16 peaks. We are in complete sunshine for the first time today with daylight running out. The long ride back to Three Corners, a 3 mile drive to the Hillyer turnoff, leaving the VW's halfway up the motorcycle climbing area, we negotiated Hillyer in record time.
Our haste now was beginning to work against us. On the way to Pacifico we lost one car in the haze and darkness. Ken Ferrell negotiated the slippery summit block on Pacifico to make it official. After a time consuming delay, the "wayward bus" found us and it was onward and upward to Round Top. We were in the clouds but climbed Granite without flashlights. On the way back a turn was missed and we soon were far below the cars. Retracing our steps in the whiteout towards the summit, we found our original tracks. We were within 100 feet of the cars. We drove down to the highway, but most of the cars had just enough gasoline to reach civilization. However, How Bailey, John Isaac and Fred Clements made the long drive to Gleason and thence to Iron #2 where they finally relaxed at midnight. These three now hold the record for peaks climbed. We will try for 25 peaks next year unless some are removed from the list!