MT. DAVIS (12,303') July 15-16, 1989

A few of us organized this private trip to climb Mt. Davis, a SPS listed peak that none of us had done. This was a long, two day, backpack trip, with some class 2 scrambling.

We started our backpack from Agnew Meadows trailhead, and took the Shadow Lake trail to the John Muir Trail. It is a gorgeous hike, with many lakes to pass, and I snapped my photos. In the late afternoon, we came to Thousand Island Lake, and hiked a bit toward our peak, for a secluded campsite. This is a popular destination for many hikers, some 8 miles each way for day hikers, by the River trail.

The next morning, we were up early, and began our climb. Hiking to the far west end of the lake, we clambered over talus to Glacier Pass, and then up cross country rocks to the top of the peak. This was an arduous and lengthy scramble, and we had then some time concerns.

Topping out, we enjoyed the views, and I knew we had to get back to our cars and drive home that night. I was used to this, but it can be hard on others. Some of the group knew they had to turn back, so they failed to make the top, by choice. Bay Area backpackers have a rough drive getting back to town, with all the traffic, and there is no peak section for San Francisco.

The determined group of mine, all from my town, and with my former peak section, which had been disallowed from further club sponsorship, all sauntered back to camp, safe and successful. It was getting to be late in the day. With some spare energy and adventure, we decided to take the High Trail, the PCT, back to our cars. It is a bit longer, and with some more views, but I arrived back to my car by dusk, and had heard the motor of the van of my hiking company roar off to get back to town.

They were to have enough of this, by them, being that one of them had to start work early, and by her, it was a demanding job. She didn't need to be suffering from lack of sleep and exhaustion, as precision medical work had to be done, as opposed to the husband, who they said could close his office doors and give orders not to be disturbed.

Myself, I had already earned my senior emblem, some 100 SPS listed peaks needed to be climbed. I did not plan for any list finish as I am so poor, and now, without partners, or a peak section, or people to lead. No peak that I "needed" was that hard, and it is mostly a matter of money and time. That some have to climb every peak on the list was at first seen as some aberrance; there is little or no climbing or mountaineering challenge to many of them. And then, the claims are held as "honor system." There is no official verification or checking on whether anybody has really summited all those peaks.

I knew from the local chapter that genuine accomplishments are doubted and refuted, and that many so falsely testify to their fictitious claims, so I began to take pictures and keep notes. I sign in the registers, and do place them if they are missing, but attrition sees that no permanent summit records survive. That dubious ascenders are honored and supported, while some climbers are ignored, excluded, and ridiculed, that is now the way of the peak sections. There seems to be some pattern to this, but I soon will be free and clear of the poor ways that ascents are claimed and upheld, and simply go on to share what I have in the way of pictures and memories of my many, and so real, climbs!