Leaders: Asher Waxman, Murray Aronson
On this balmy, clear Sunday 43 hikers set off from Dawson Saddle (the highest point on the Angeles Crest Highway, at 7901 feet), directly up the use trail. As we approached Throop Peak, we took an informal poll and proceeded up the northwest ridge. Several participants, including Murray the sweep, chose to continue on the main trail. Wynne Benti took over sweeping for the main group (for which, thanks again Wynne). As we started down, more or less cross-country from Throop, some of us heard distant voices, possibly our companions just heading up. Rather than hold up the group for the errant few, we decided to continue, trusting that Murray and Co. would find their way - either on to Baden-Powell or back to cars. (What, me worry?) At the trailhead a couple of potentially-hungry hikers had asked when and where we would eat lunch. Snappily the Fearless Leader replied: "On Baden-Powell at noon!" You can see why we couldn't wait for breakaways. We climbed Burnham via the west ridge then continued to Baden-Powell up its easy west ridge. On top, at 11:57AM, I announced: "Lunch in three minutes." Murray showed up 20 minutes later; three people had signed out and returned to the cars. After lunch, Wynne, Ray Riley and Jim Kilberg were released on their own recognizance to do Ross Mtn (an additional 2000 foot loss and gain). The rest of us returned as we had come, down the ridge, over Burnham so everyone got that peak at least once. We bypassed Throop the second time around.
From the time when the clouds came rolling in on Baden-Powell, some participants expressed concern about storms and lightning. I assured everyone that the storm wouldn't break till we got back to the cars. Thunder approached as we descended below Throop. As the first of us reached the highway rain came, first lightly then less lightly, and some lightning in the West. We huddled under trees or in cars, enjoying the warm rain (at least I did). Most of the group decided to skip Lewis. In a few minutes the storm passed and I offered to lead up Lewis if anyone still wanted it. Murray and Bill Huebach were game, so up we went. The use trail offered better than usual traction, the smells were wonderful as they are only after a rain. Birds and ever more distant thunder were the only sounds (except for a thunderclap nearby and below (?!) that was a supersonic jet). On descent we found a camera tripod propped against a tree and lugged it down. (Now all I need is a camera to go with it.) But seriously folks, if any reader lost it, let me know: it was not claimed in three weeks at Chilao RS. Congratulations to Murray on his 25th peak - and HPS elibility.