Mount Inyo, Keynot Peak
By: Bud Bingham
Dave Cubberly and Bob Bear from the Riverside Chapter and Cliff Myers and Bep Bingham from the Angeles Chapter planned to lead a joint trip to Mt. Inyo and Mt. Keynot Oct. 15-16. As circumstances prevented Cliff and Bob from being present, no leaders were present familiar with the route of the climb.
The task fell on Bud Bingham who was accompanied by his wife. Starting from the Owens Valley floor south of the old ghost town of Reward, the route John Robinson once pioneered was used. Though the past climb was quite vague in Bud's memory, the group was able to stay on route.
12 participants turned out for the climb in especially hot fall weather. The backpack involved gains of over 4000 feet or more over an alluvial fan, then through a short trailless canyon to a steep deteriorated trail. More than 1000 feet was then gained over a steep decomposed treadmill slope to the final ridge.
Camp was reached by 8 people shortly after 4 p.m. Two others made it to camp shortly after dark. Thanks to Graham Stephenson for following up in the rear with the stragglers and staying with one person who was not feeling up to par. Two people returned to their car after finding the climb entirely too strenuous Saturday afternoon.
On Sunday Dave Cubberly led 5 people to the summit of Mt. Inyo. Three other climbers chose to climb Mt. Keynot. One man rested in camp and worked on an English composition. The timing for both climbs was about the same, as the entire group descended to their cars on the Owens Valley floor together.
Though water in a small spring was obtained about two hours walking distance from the car, most people carried from 2 quarts to one gallon of the precious liquid to the dry waterless camp. The weather was cooler fortunately at higher elevations and Saturday was a clear day for viewing the Sierra. Vantage points from the Inyo Range provided grand views of the topography of the Owens Valley and the eastern escarpment of the Sierra, especially for those who were there for the first time!
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