Owens Peak


By: John Delmonte


The late Spring and early Summer activities of D.P.S. gained momentum with the Owens Peak trip on the weekend of April 26th and 27th. Ably led by Ken Rich and Polly Connable (this was Polly's third ascent of the peak), the group left Mr. Standard's land off Grapevine Canyon on Sunday morning. Contrary to earlier predictions of stormy weather, the overcast clouds dispersed during the night to reveal a beautiful and challenging landscape for the climb. Following a full flowing brook, the group wended its way through many beautiful wild flowers the flowering bushes of purple lupin particularly impressed the writer.

Contouring from one slope to another, towards the headwaters and snow pockets which fed the stream, the Sierra Club members and their friends slowly began to gain altitude. The slope became more steep and the party began to spread out as individual members chose a pace suited to their hiking enjoyment. However, 1:00 P.M. found many members of the group at the summit. Besides Ken Rich and Polly Connable, among those officially signing the register were: Frank Sanborn, Art Lembeck, Don Bush, Dick Kenyon, Bob Schmelzer, John Delmonte, Walter Heninger, Bernice Heninger, Nona Canner, Connie Jarabin, Franklin Meyer, Margaret Henderson, William Henderson, Bob Engelhardt, Norman Ronning, Tony Sargent, and three youngsters - Korry Rich, Judith Delmonte, and Jocelyn Delmonte.

Owens Peak, the highest point in Kern County, provided a panorama of snow covered Sierras to the North, and the infrequently visited lower Sierras to the South. All felt that the trip was a healthy conditioner after a relatively quiescent period during the Spring.

The descent provided more than the usual amount of excitement - Jocelyn Delmonte slipped and rolled with a large stone, incurring severe contusions on her right forearm, which later X-Rays fortunately revealed was not broken. At last report, Jocelyn is looking forward to her next climb up Telescope Peak on May 17th and 18th.

Detailed information for visiting one or more peaks mentioned in this article can be found in the
Desert Peak Section Road and Peak Guides

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