A US 395 FALL COLORS TOUR AND PLEASANT POINT (9,690') October 14-18, 1998

Another DPS list completion was scheduled for this weekend. I chose to leave early to enjoy the many turned groves of aspen along the way. Having stayed again in Reno, NV, I took several photos as I motored south on U.S. 395.

Taking lodging in Bishop, CA, due to windy conditions, Friday, I hiked up the Bishop Pass trail to be buffeted by the strong wind. Going right up to the pass, I shot a few pictures, and returned to the parking lot after a 6.5 hour round trip.

Continuing on my way, I camped near Lone Pine, CA, and then awoke early to meet the group in Keeler, CA. Unable to secure a ride, I drove ahead past the main car group up the road to Cerro Gordo. This is a very steep grade with some rough sections. The townsite, at about 8,100 feet elevation, is full of history. Many hikers had stayed here, and reported a cold night.

There must have been a hundred peak climbers starting out at 9 a.m. We followed a dirt road, then took a use trail and a cross-country route to the peak. Sometimes, we are queried about our activities, since the group size seems a bit unusual. A list completion is explained, and no doubt, casts us as crazy. Who would climb 98 (then) various desert peaks on a list, and why?

On top, a favorite snag of mine made part of a picture back south. Limber or bristlecone pines adorn the slopes and cliffs to the east.

A joyful scream came from our lucky climber as she made the summit. Her desert list was finished!

I tried to take pictures, but the crowd on top blocked the way. There would be time for group photos.

The views about this fairly easy summit were rewarding. We had a good celebration. These events are the culmination of, often, years of strenuous effort. The repeated road travel and the climbing entail some significant expense, as well as statistical life-risk. Others haven't made it.

Our timely return to Cerro Gordo was followed by a party at the renovated hotel. A catered meal had been arranged, and I had a bit of lasagna, with trimmings. The weather conditions were now very good. The sun shone brightly, with people enjoying the warmth. This was fortunate, considering the snow storm that ruined the double list completion earlier this year.

I motored back down the grade to camp near Lone Pine again. I had heard that the nighttime low was 14 degrees up there. After shooting more photos, I came home on Tuesday, after trying lodging again in Bishop, CA.