Leaders: Ron Jones, Maris Valkass
My good DPS friend, Maris Valkass, wanted to help the HPS by assisting on a group of "deserty" Hundred Peaks so we picked out this group on the Desert Divide. Sixteen of us met at 7:30 alongside the fire station at Morris Ranch Road. Pat Russell was there with Bill, she having gotten her 200th peak the day before on Thomas Mtn. We drove up M-R Road and parked near the iron pipe gate. One lady stayed behind to watch our cars and 14 of us made routine ascents of Lion; Jack Haddad got his 200th Pk on Pine and we had lunch on Pyramid. Then we went north to Palm View where we explained to Maris, who is used to climbing more notable peaks, why a lump without palms, without a view and wasn't a peak could be on the HPS list. At this point Pat and Bill left our group to return home.
The remaining 13 hikers continued north a short distance on the PCT to bump 7123 and turned south on the ridge leading to Cone Pk. We soon picked up the use trail which existed when I was there 4 years ago but which is now more easy to follow. At about 6700 feet our use trail met a well constructed wide trail leading down probably to the Girl Scout Camp below. About 6500 feet we left the trail and climbed about 50 feet through easy brush to the ridgeline and then followed along the old use trail, generally on the north side of the ridge to Cone Pk. With only half an hour of light remaining we dropped straight down from the saddle south of Cone and picked up the new trail which leads nicely down through an open gate for foot traffic and down to the community below and where, in darkness, we reached our cars.
We then caravanned up the good South Thomas Mtn dirt road to the lower campground where around the campfire all contributed lots of finger food and supplemented Jack Haddad's celebratory beneficence. The next morning we drove to Pathfinder Rd and the 14 remaining hikers again made a routine ascent, first of Rock Point and then Butterfly Pk. The weather was great both days and this is a nice time of year for this group of peaks. Thanks to Anna Valkass, the 2 Bills, Bob, Cyril, Dave, Dorothy, Erik, Gezania, Jack, Lew, Linda, Pat, Peter for a good weekend and to Maris for his usual great assist.