New York Butte, Waucoba Mountain


By: Doug Mantle


At 7:00 A.M., twenty-one climbers met outside the Sportsman Cafe in Lone Pine. A short distance out of town the participants were consolidated into three vehicles capable of the trip up Long John Canyon. The drive was accomplished without incident.

The climb, from the end of the road in Long John Canyon, was via trail to within a short distance from the peak. Once on the peak the festivities began.

George Hubbard completed the Desert Peak list. He climbed his first Desert Peak, Rabbit, on December 6, 1969. He has been a member of the section since February 9, 1971 and emblem holder #233 since June 22, 1971. George served as section chairman during the year 1974-1975.

Champagne and refreshments were enjoyed by all. The weather was warm and clear on the summit and time was taken for rest, relaxation and reminiscence.

At this point, Carl Stude and Boris Savic departed the group in order to complete their traverse of the Inyo Mountains via Beveridge Canyon with an overnight stop at the Ghost Town. The descent to the cars was even paced and relaxing. At this point, two climbers elected to make an early return to Los Angeles. Seventeen bodies carpooled to Whippoorwill Flats which would serve as camp and the roadhead for the climb of Waucoba Mountain.

An appropriate oasis was selected on Whippoorwill Flats for the evening feast and camp was set. A fire was started and soon an assortment of exotic foods graced the gullets and filled the bellys of hungry climbers. Spirits were exceedingly high this night.

The strong rhythms of Persian music began drifting on the night air toward the campfire and soon those present experienced a rare treat: The Balady, a middle eastern country dance. Balady (sic) is an anglicized Egyptian word for dance. Little Egypt's manager americanized "Balady" to belly dance. Hense the origin of the misnomer.

Little Vi, in costume with shoulders drapped in a veil, danced for fifteen minutes or so, employing various knee bends, head movements, walks and abdominal rolls and flutters. All the while her arms floated gracefully under the veil and her hands beat the rhythm with finger cymbals. As she wailed the eerie ZAHREET, Chuck Pospishil, the dance's unofficial photographer, captured it all for posterity -everything except the eerie ZAHREET! It was a perfect end to a great day.

The next morning thirteen people mustered for a climb of Waucoba and a double D.P.S. list finish. The beginning pace was excruciatingly fast but it leveled off and all participants made the summit. The occasion was captured on film as Doug Mantle and Mike Manchester simultaneously reached the summit cairn and climbed the pole.

Doug, list finisher #24, obtained membership and emblem status on February 7, 1973 and is emblem holder #276.

Mike, list finisher #24, climbed his first desert peak, Telescope, on September 18, 1971, joined the membership on November 28, 1973 and became emblem holder #317 on April 21, 1974.

The event was celebrated with lunch, champagne and a gallon of vanilla ice cream, which was packed to the summit in dry ice. Shortly after lunch the summit temperature dropped dramatically and a white out drifted in. The festivities were brought to a conclusion and all departed to the cars for the trip home. Carl Stude and Boris Savic were picked up in the Saline Valley.

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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