Leaders: Bob Henderson, John Cheslick
These Desert Divide peaks overlook the Palm Springs-Indio Valley and lie just north of Hwy 74. Five of us met at Mountain Center at 8:00AM on a cold morning. After driving to the roadhead, we took an hour to gain the ridge and the Pacific Crest Trail. Although the south side of the ridge was clear of snow, the trail itself had a few inches of crusty stuff on it for most of the 2 1/2 mile route to Lion. There was lots of soft snow on Lion, at the far end of the ridge, but no wind and with the day warming up, we had high hopes and lingered awhile. Returning, the wind on Pine and Pyramid made our stay very short.
With our small group, we could easily switch chores like finding the many ducks needed to pursue the route up Pine. Many thanks to Bill Kluvin for a fine route finding effort. Gisela Kluvin won the honors for the shortest time on the peak and led the ensuing charge up Pyramid. Returning through the heavier than expected snow along the PCT, everyone decided with wet feet, and a glance up the trail to Palm View to skip it for a good warm meal in in a warm restaurant in Idyllwild. But avoid pot roast at the Breadbasket, says Hoda Shalaby.
Four joined us for the next day: Anne and Dave Murray, Dave Jensen, and Diane Rosentreter. We had a fine hike up to Butterfly Peak - assisted by Dave's newer Peak Guide. The route is well ducked and fairly clear. Coming back, John explored both mines, discovering that the ice-walled shaft we passed connected with the upper mine which had several small bats sleeping in it.
Rock Point finished off a fine weekend, with the chips and Diane's cookies (skipped the night before) waiting for us back at the cars. John, Hoda and I drove back over Thomas, definitely a four-wheel (or truck) effort through the snow.