South Guardian Angel


By: George Hubbard


Saturday morning at 9:00 AM found 16 eager hikers at the small cafe in Virgin, Utah. Paul Lipsohn, originally scheduled to lead the trip, was unable to make it and George Hubbard, the co-leader, didn't know that HE could go until the day before the trip. Roy Ward was appointed assistant leader and soon we were off for the roadhead, some 10 miles distant. There we were met by a 6 man party who had only two days to complete the trip.

One member of this group, Henry Heusinkveld, wrote up a complete description of the hiking and climbing route, the geology and natural history of the area and the activities of his group and some of ours. I will not attempt to edit this most thorough discussion, but will rather limit this write-up to highlight the activities of the "official" DPS trip. Henry's write-up follows.

After a leisurely walk up the canyon of about 5 miles and 600' gain, we arrived at camp about 1 PM, an hour behind the other group. After lunch and some cat napping in the sun, about half the group started up the canyon to fix the ropes and place logs at strategic points in the creek. This proved to be no simple matter. After we found the exit chute from the canyon, it was just about dark by the time we got back to camp.

The next day, however, our efforts were richly rewarded--it took the entire party about 1 hour to get to the exit chute; the day before it took 3 hours. We easily negotiated (with the help of a hand-line placed by the first group) the 4th class move just as you leave the canyon. We were up on the plateau in short order. It was a pleasant walk to the base of the peak where the friction slab began.

After the difficulties encountered in the canyon, the climb to the summit was somewhat routine. No belaying was necessary, although proper route-finding just below the summit is necessary. This chore was given to the ever-remarkable FRED BODE, who led the group to the summit for his completion of the DPS list. He completed the HPS list some 2-1/2 years earlier. After some appropriate hero shots of Fred with the fairer members of the group, we had a snack and enjoyed sweeping views before heading down. The return to camp was made in short order, after a couple of tricky spots and rope retrievals.

The party then began in earnest when Fred broke out his three bottles of Champagne. All enjoyed lounging in camp the rest of the afternoon after the appropriate consumption.

The next day, however, it was back to reality when the leader sounded the alarm at 5:30 AM for a 6:30 AM departure time. We had an uneventful walk back to the cars and all were out by 10:00AM.

I would like to thank all those who helped set the ropes and place the 1ogs in the canyon. These operations were fundamental to the success of the climb. In addition, the amiability and cooperation of the entire group made this one of the most enjoyable climbs that I have led.

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