Mount Inyo, Keynot Peak
By: Frank Dobos
Six determined backpackers appeared in the dawns early light at the Lone Pine Station meeting place. From there we drove up to the "Parking Lot" on the dirt road which is in surprisingly good shape. Even Steve's 1966 Chevy made it up with a load of 2 passengers and gear. We started out toward the canyon with the small waterfall however I directed the group toward the trail which takes off on the right side of the canyon wall. This is a lot easier than the canyon itself with its occasionally steep walls. About 1 PM we reached the Bedspring campsite, Dan Skeglund took the only bed. We dropped our packs and started out to climb Mt Inyo. It is better to stay in the canyon to reach the saddle, than to climb out to the ridge to the North where steep rock can get in your way. Passing the false summit on the West side look for a trail. After some interrogation and mathematics we figured out the great news: Mt Inyo was to be the emblem peak for Mario Gonzales. SO-it was, "but since he had not kept records, he was not prepared to celebrate. Congratulations to Mario, a new DPS Emblem holder. Pete Yamagata, who came all the way from Sacramento, to join the hike kept taking pictures from everything whether it moved or not. We got back to the campsite with plenty of daylight to spare. We made an inventory of the water and the booze cache left behind from a previous DPS trip. We built a fire but it was not the usual DPS type party. We crashed early. Next morning an equally beautiful warm day started us early for Keynot. We were on the top around 10 AM, looking around and enjoying the panoramic view. To get back to the Boxspring campsite Steve took a shortcut that worked out well, on the downhill, to pick up the canyon. We packed out on the same trail we came in on and were back at the cars by 3PM. On the way home, we stopped at Dirty Socks Hot Spring for a refreshing dip. Dinner in Mohave at Prenchy's restaurant and back to LA in the rain by 9PM.
Steve did an excellent job as a leader, this was his "I" rated checkout hike and he passed with flying colors. However, he was unwilling to write this up, so I had to.
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