Leaders: Carleton Shay and Mars Bonfire
Back to the Southern Sierra -- I enjoy it when hikes are scheduled
there (as if HPS hikes are ever scheduled somewhere I don't enjoy), we
just drive across I-5, scoot across the desert, and rendezvous with
the group in Mojave. An extra half hour of sleep! Bliss!
This time, a single carload of hikers met Mars, Brian, and I at that
famous watering hole, the Mojave McDonalds. Arriving from Sylmar were
Carleton, Sandy Burnside (her first scheduled outing since she
rejoined the hiking a few weeks ago), Tom Neely (who is sneaking up on
a list finish, see below), and Ingeborg Prochazka.
Bumping along the seemingly endless miles of dirt road (invitingly
named Jawbone Canyon, and why a name like that anyhow?) that seem to
be de rigueur for peaks not in the San Gabriels, we parked on a ridge
not far above the Pacific Crest Trail. The trail in this region
passes through an attractive albeit dry oak woods, very similar in
atmosphere to that we'd visited on Lightner the previous week. After
a brief saunter through the woods, the PCT joins a dirt road (also dry
and dusty, with the potholes innovatively, efficiently repaired by
inserting unopened bags of cement) and goes downhill 800' or so. (The
weather was pleasant that day, otherwise we'd've been dreading having
to climb back up that dusty road in full sun...)
Eventually, the PCT leaves the road, and shortly after that, we left
the PCT and headed uphill towards the summit. Reading the trip
archives for this peak, it sounds as if actually =finding= the summit
is frequently a problem. Not with Mars and Carleton leading the way!
After reaching the top of the ridge, they led us off on a spur, and
there it was, the imposing summit block.
Most of the group scrambled up, Sandy (in deference to her mending
ankle) and I (in deference to my basic cowardice vis a vis rock)
staying on the ground and admiring their efforts. Mars fetched down
the register so we could sign, Sandy handed out cookies (and haven't
we missed hiking with her, no one else makes such tasty cookies!),
Brian took pictures, Tom Neely bagged his 267th peak (wow!).
Back to the cars, that climb up the dirt road seeming substantially
longer than the descent, we were off the Sorrell. It's fairly close,
as the crow flies, but we weren't crows, so had to meander around for
miles on dirt roads before finally parking on its south side. Where
to park proved confusing -- we didn't park where Brian and I did when
we first visited this peak back in June, nor did Mars and Carleton
park in the same spot. Mars had us wait while he went after Carleton
and discussed the different approaches to this close-to-the-road peak.
We eventually all headed up the gully Mars suggested, and very quickly
were at the top. When Brian and I were there in June, it had been a
bit windy and unpleasant, and we'd not found the register, pretty
thoroughly exploring one rock heap, less thoroughly (did I say it was
windy and unpleasant?) the neighboring rock heap. So it was a tad
embarrassing when the register was quickly found in that second pile
Oh well, at least we did visit the right summit, so there's no need to
invoke the Peak Police! And the views are still quite astonishing.