Leaders: David Eisenberg, Don Borad
Eleven intrepid hikers met at the Rancho Nuevo trailhead at 6:30 on a frosty morning. By 6:40, we were shivering our way up the trail. There were numerous stream crossings which were made easy by the frozen water and mud. We were joined on the trail by 2 latecomers making a lucky 13. Because of the ideal conditions, we hiked the 2 miles to the Upper Nuevo Campground in 2 hours.
Unfortunately, we wasted this time advantage by climbing the right hand ridge, the crest of which was solid third class rock. This forced us to descend and take the left hand ridge which was mostly clear. In spite of the extra gain, we arrived at the Lizard Head shortly after noon. Most of us preferred to eat the snow along the way instead of throwing it.
The lunchtime views through the cloudless sky were incredible. Most noticeable was the snow covered Madulce Pk. On the way down, we missed all of the 3rd class rock encountered on the way up, arriving at the cars at 5:03. Thanks to Jim Fujimoto, Pete Doggett, Mike Fredette, and others who helped carry the loppers and cut brush: and to Don Borad who took over as assistant leader.