Cerro Gordo Peak, Pleasant Point


By: Jim Jenkins


A projected winter climb of Mt Clarence King in the Sierra that quickly dwindled into a climb of Goodale Mtn, shrunk instantly with the arrival of new snow to an ascent of Cerro Gordo and Pleasant in the Inyo Range.

Beginning at 10 AM under threatening skies over the entire Inyo scene, Ed Lane, Bob Herlihy, and I backpacked 1-1/2 miles thru snowy drifts on the road to the Cerro Gordo town-site. We were surprised to find a caretaker and wife living in the ghost town, and they graciously allowed us to sleep in an old bunkhouse which we quickly nicknamed the Gordo Hilton. After finding two mattresses on which we could later sack, we ate our leisurely lunch and climbed C G Pk through a snowstorm by way of the west face, directly above camp. We traversed over a false summit to the true one bearing a cairn and a Sierra Club register. Then we came down via the usual route with a side look at a relay station on a nearby hill.

Still fighting our way through the blinding snowstorm, we descended to deep drifts to our snug hideaway by 4 PM. After a good, hot dinner we settled down to 14 hours of sleep.

On Sun morn we were greeted by the glorious view of Olancha Pk across Owens Lake. We began our Pleasant task by passing up by "boothill" toward the ridge line, past an old radar installation, and over some rather difficult high third class knife-edge ridges to the 9,690' summit. The route gives interest, but the rock is crumbly and sharp on ungloved hands. We paused briefly while on top to photograph the spectacular Sierra, encompassing Olancha to University Peaks, and then came down to the bunkhouse where we met our packs.

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