Glass Mountain Ridge, Mount Patterson
By: Karen Leonard
Friday night was cold, 16 degrees by our thermometer, for those who slept out on the desert floor that night before the bagging of Patterson peak by DPSers on a beautiful day in early October. Shivering and scraping off the frost, we met at 7:30 am Saturday at the intersection of US 395 and the Burcham Flat dirt road 14.8 miles north of Bridgeport, a long 358 miles from L.A.) Consolidating vehicles to drive the 16 miles poor dirt road to the Lobdell Lake trailhead west of the peak, we found Bill Stevens had beaten us there and left a sign-in sheet for the leaders before he started up the road, which was lightly dusted with snow near the 11,673' peak. We did Patterson (5 miles, 1200' gain) from 8:50 to almost noon, hurrying off the chills windy summit to eat lunch back at the vehicles and greet Pete Yamagata, that well-known DPSer from Sacramento, and his friend who were hiking in from the lake to do both Patterson and Wheeler that day. We said good-bye to George Pfeiffer, who having done Glass previously went off to San Francisco at this point.
Then we set off to explore the ghost town of Bodie, again consolidating vehicles because of the $5.00 entrance fee (we did this somewhat inefficiently at the turn-off for Bodie; it should be done at the parking lot just before the pay booth). Most of us also stopped at the new Mono Lake Visitors Center, reputed to cost a cool 5 million, before its 4 pm closing time! All participants arrived at the Sawmill Meadow campsite before dark and a fine evening gathering followed. NOTE THAT A NEW SIGN HAS BEEN POSTED FORBIDDING CAMPFIRES ON THE GROUND--LEADERS SHOULD GET THE FIRE TUB (now in our garage) AND TAKE IT TO THIS FINE CAMPGROUND ON FUTURE TRIPS. The Sunday climb of 11,130' Glass, a round trip of 3 miles, 1900' gain, proceeded up the ridge more directly than indicated in the Peak Guide, and the weather was beautiful. We were very happy to commemorate Penny Blakesley's first DPS peak--she was a strong hiker and we hope to see her on more peaks. Some excitement was caused at the end by the section Chair, who signed out to hike back alone for a frivolous reason (to prepare his special coffee ahead of the group's return) but who in fact arrived after the group, having gotten some additional exercise by exploring an adjacent canyon.
Thanks to co-leader Delores Holladay for her usual cheerful, competent company, and to the participants--John McCully, George Pfeiffer, Bill Stevens, Duke and Penny Blakesley, Jim Conley, Dave Welbourn, Bill Tryon, and Dale Van Dalsem and Judy Ware--for a fine weekend. Fall is a good time to do these peaks, with the aspens splashing bright color amidst the pines.
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