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Pilot Knob

21 November 1987

By: Dick Akawie

Leaders: Dick Akawie, Alan Coles

This unscheduled trip was washed out at the end of October by a heavy rainstorm. Conditions did not seem better the night before this climb, but the rain hit the area Friday evening and the heavy clouds dissipated early Saturday morning, giving us a beautiful day for the climb.

The large group (over 20, the exact number has been forgotten, and there was no sign-up sheet) assembled at the Walker Pass CG. We drove west on Highway 178 to the Smith ranch at the bend in the highway (north side), about 0.1 mile west of the Cottage Grove cemetery, east of the community of Onyx.

Even though permission had been obtained by John Backus, I walked over to the occupied house further west along the highway to clear the trip with the owner. The cars were parked in the easternmost fenced area accessible from the highway.

From there we went past the north fence to an irrigation ditch a short distance to a tree trunk which lay across the ditch. We crossed over, and walked northeast to the south fork bank. If you go east far enough, all the divergent channels become just a shallow wide one with rocks to walk across on; there is a vehicle crossing here too.

Once we were across the river, Alan took over and led us up to the peak by the customary route. We hit the ridge at about 5120+ feet, then followed it to the last saddle at 5220+ feet, and climbed through the tree near the top as usual. There wasn't enough room for everyone at the top. After lunch, we had an uneventful trip back to the cars, arriving a little after 4PM. I had cautioned everyone to take a flashlight along. There we had a great party to celebrate completion of the list by Evan Samuels and Hal Price. Congratulations to them, and kudos to Alan for a beautifully led climb.

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