Mount Chester Versteeg


By: John Robinson



Chester Versteeg loved the Sierra Nevada. During a half century of climbing in his favorite range, he contributed some 250 names for Sierra landmarks. One summit that somehow resisted his titling onslaught was, until this year, known simply as Peak 13,470' (on Mt Whitney Quadrangle topo sheet). Today, almost two years after Chester's death, this multi-summited peak, midway between majestic Mt. Tyndall and stately Trojan Peak on the Sierra Crest, bears the name of Mt. Chester Versteeg, an eternal monument to one who introduced so many to the gentle, primitive intricacies of the Range of Light.

Over the Labor Day weekend, a combined. party of SPS-DPS climbers made the long trudge up Shepherd Creek, over the pass of the same name and up to Mt. Versteeg to dedicate the peak. Nine reached the summit via the rocky and in some places loose, northeast ridge. A register was placed atop; and Old Glory and the Versteeg fami1y flag were unfurled during the brief dedication ceremony.

The peak is most worthy of Cheater's name. Many of the landmarks named by him are in view from the summit: Directly below glimmers Lake Helen of Troy; Trojan Peak to the south, and peering out behind Trojan's shoulders are Mt. Carillon and Tunnabora all titled by Chester a decade or more ago.

It was while climbing the high points of the various desert range that the idea came to Chester to promote interest in desert hiking. This eventually led to the formation of the Desert Peaks Section.

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