Leaders: Tom Armbruster, David Eisenberg, Paul Weinstein
Four people showed up at the flag-pole in Idyllwild, on a crisp, clear morning, for our out and back trip up the South Ridge Trail. Four was quite a drop from last year's 28, when we ran the trip through the wilderness in two platoons. Attendance was down, understandably, because Alan Coles and Martin Feather ran their double-List Completion on the same day.
Bridget O'Sullivan, our scheduled sweep, was out with the flu (as were her daughters Jackie and Jenny), so David Eisenberg stepped forward.
Wilderness permits were easy to get. Although the sign at the Idyllwild Ranger Station says that they're put out in the morning, they're available the evening before. And, there's no limit to the number of trips going up the South Ridge Trail.
This year, the dirt road to the trail head seemed to be in better shape than in past years. With a smaller group, it seemed that we talked more and got to know each other better. As it turned out, each of us had a teaching background, worked a lot with computers, and had graduate educations.
Bruce Gubersky, a former elementary teacher turned attorney, gave us a lucid and detailed discussion of liability law. We talked about the Club's legal exposure (that's different from climbing exposure), and the options available to it. In particular, he thought that carefully worded waivers would reduce our risk. Bruce practices in Anaheim.
We has a snack at the Tahquitz lookout, and had lunch on Red Tahquitz. It is one of my favorites. Its red color makes it so easy to spot, and I also like semilevel walking at the 8,000 to 9,000 foot level. The summit offers a peek at the desert floor, near sea-level.
On my way back, Dave and Bruce signed out to drop down to Lily Rock. Paul Weinstein became the Assistant Leader. After ice cream in Idyllwild, I drove around to Humber Park, picked up Dave and Bruce, and took them back to their car on the South Ridge.