Glass Mountain Ridge, Waucoba Mountain
By: John Vitz
Fearful that once again we fearless leaders (fearful and fearless are interchangeable would be left with no poor, defenseless bodies to shepherd around the desert, all six of our friends were coerced into accompanying us on this trip. Upon arriving at the meeting place we were besieged by some 22 restless desert peakers, many of whom had been anxiously awaiting our arrival for hours. They were led by John Linden who feels that 6:30 is a late meeting time.
We caravaned towards Westward Pass and continued on the Saline Valley Road to Whippoorwill Flats on the east side of Waucoba. The 25 miles of good dirt road had managed to eat one tire. The 3800 foot gain was negotiated with little trouble and we arrived at the summit for a late lunch. Beautiful stands of ponderosa and bristlecone cover the east flank and summit of the range in this area. While no where as difficult as the more southern peaks in the Inyos, Waucoba is a more pleasant area and offers superb views into the Palisade region of the Sierra. We returned to the roadhead, which is a fairly nice camping area, in the late afternoon and left for Big Pine in shifts.
As leaders, we felt it was our duty to let everyone else go first back over the dirt road, which gave us ample time to raid the ice chest. After regrouping in Big Pine, we started north through Bishop and continued to the northeast side of Glass where two newcomers were encountered. They had scouted the area and found a beautiful campsite, complete with wood and water. By this time it was almost dark and so most people crashed immediately after dinner. One of the new guys was from the Southeast Chapter - out to spy on us or something. After antagonizing a few of us for a while (either accidentally or purposefully) he retired. However, we managed to continue the campfire until the ice chest went dry and thereby achieved some measure of revenge as he was "sleeping" nearby.
We arose dull and late on Sunday and after breakfast moved the parade to the roadhead at Sawmill Meadow. A quick run up the sores and snow led us to the south summit in good time. The summit plateau was covered with large patches of snow which enhanced its crud heap appearance remarkably. The weather was again perfect and the Sierra from the Palisades to Yosemite was in fine display. Most everyone chose to cross to the north summit before sliding down the scree to the cars. Sam Fink was still raring to go, so he departed for Bridgeport to do Patterson while everyone else split for home. We returned to Bishop over dirt roads leading from near Benton Hot Springs onto the volcanic tableland north of Bishop. It looks like a good area to explore.
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