Mount Inyo, Keynot Peak


By: John Robinson


Mt. Inyo, second loftiest point of the Sierra-paralleling Inyo Range, was the main target of 17 Desert Peakers end guests over the clear but cold first weekend in May. For those in superb condition, neighboring Mt. Keynot provided a secondary but no less strenuous destination.

16 backpackers struggled up the steep and loose southeast ridge with a chilling wind at their backs Saturday. The pack from the 5000-foot roadhead to the 9500-foot campsite in a tree-shaded hanging canyon just below the crest of the range was completed by mid-afternoon. Most of the party rested in camp that afternoon. Two tigers, Ken McNutt and Sid Davis, decided to make Saturday worthwhile and ascended both Inyo and Keynot that same day, returning to camp weary but satisfied after dark. That night temperatures got down to between 13 and 17 degrees above, depending on whose thermometer one relied on.

Sunday morning dawned clear and mild, allaying fears that a storm was brewing. 13 of the party made the 1600-foot climb of Inyo in less than two hours to enjoy a superb panorama of the magnificent Sierra crest. Helen Siemans was presented her emblem in a surprise ceremony on top with husband Abe looking on, Bill Heusel, who had previously climbed Inyo, ascended Keynot instead, arriving back in camp shortly after the main party.

The descent was highlighted by a tremendous talus run, and the cars were reached by an early two p.m.

Leaders of this fifth scheduled DP8 trip to Mt. Inyo were John Robinson and Frank Sanborn. (Other trips to Inyo were in 19569, 1957, 1960, & 1961.)

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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