17-Jun-00 (List Finish)
By: Sue Holloway
No one climbs all the peaks on the DPS list alone....okay, some super stars that we all admire do; I did not. I did climb 13 of the peaks on the list by myself but that was only because I couldn't talk anyone into going with me! Once I saw that it was going to be possible for me to actually finish the list, I was a woman possessed (obsessed??)
I climbed my first DPS peak in November 1995.... Sombrero. Actually, I didn't even know about the DPS then. I had just started hiking and climbing in 3/95 and Sombrero was close to home. It wasn't until I met John McCully that I found out about the DPS. He gave me a copy of the peaks list and I quickly determined that I could never, EVER climb 97 (now 98) peaks but I did want to join the section and to do so I needed to climb 6 of the peaks. In November 1996 1 had only climbed 5 so I talked McCully into leading me up Rabbit. I immediately joined the DPS and the fun began!!
I tagged along on trips as much as I could and, at some point (when "my count" was around 50) it struck me, hey, with some luck I just might be able to finish this list. I had "the bug" and I was on a mission. The only question was when and where. Based on the peaks I still had to do and the opinions of others, I picked Waucoba and last Fall picked the date (the last day of my 50th year) and scheduled it as a DPS trip. Between then and June, I climbed the remaining peaks I "needed" and even found myself 2Xing some along the way. (I don't think there's a cure for this bug ... )
Given the easy drive-in for Route B, I decided we'd do the climb from the east. The driving instructions in the DPS Guide are right on and the road is excellent dirt ' suitable for any 2VrD, all the way to the trailhead. We had great camping for the large group at UTM 11S 0413370/4099360.
Since it was a list finish we had a leisurely start, advertised as "around 7:30 a.m.". I had decided that I wanted to savor the experience so asked Gary and Mark if they'd lead the charge so I could linger and visit.
(Special thanks to them for being so accommodating and doing this for me.) The climb went well; the guys' route finding, as usual, was perfect and with the large group we were pretty spread out. It was a hot day but we had plenty of breaks. We enjoyed the absolutely gorgeous views to the east while we were resting. As advertised, the climb was steep (4200, gain in 3.25 miles) and I was going slower and slower ... reminiscing and really not wanting the journey to end. The ridge started to level out and we took our last break, waited for others to catch up and then I was finally ready to lead the group. What a view from the top! The Sierras to the west and Death Valley to the east ... hugs, congratulations, champagne (thanks to all you strong hikers who carried that extra load!), the DPS flag and pictures galore. Linda had brought balloons that many helped to blow up so I was presented with a "balloon bouquet" too. It was a very special time for me.
A DPS peak climb is one thing and the summit time is ALWAYS special but, there is nothing like the postclimb party and this was no exception. We were joined in camp by some who had relaxed in camp while we climbed the peak and others who just came up for the party. Tables appeared out of nowhere and the quantity and quality of the food was not to be believed. The party went on and on and on. Gary and I outlasted everyone else and he outlasted me, though not by much. The next morning (my birthday), as promised Linda, Christine and Ellen prepared a pancake breakfast for everyone. I don't know how they managed to cook pancakes for so many but I don't think anyone drove away hungry! Everyone had their own plans for Sunday, with yours truly having to drive back to San Diego for dinner with my family.
There wasn't one person present at "the event" that I would have known had I not started climbing back in 1995. My sincere thanks to the many, many people who made my finish of the DPS List a reality. I couldn't have done it without you.
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