Mount Inyo, Keynot Peak


By: Bill Bradley


Eleven hikers met at 7:00am Saturday morning at the Lone Pine Station turnoff and four more joined us at the Owenyo ruins for the steep drive up to the 5200 ft level where we started our hike to "Bedsprings" base camp at 9200 ft. The steep stretch between the spring and the ridge took its toll with one hiker who was not in the beet of condition turning back, leaving fourteen, some of whom may have been having second thoughts about carrying a minimum of 5 quarts of water to what was going to be an apparently snowless base camp.

"Bedsprings" camp holds 12 comfortably, so two people had to scratch out level spots to sleep. There were a couple of small patches of snow to augment our water supply, raising groans from those who had carried up 7 quarts.

After lunch at camp all 114 started out for Keynot in deteriorating weather conditions. It was snowing and blowing along the ridge but fortunately visibility remained fairly good. Everyone made the peak, including one member of the fair sex, MARY ANN GALBRAITH.

Back at camp, the absence of spirits during the Happy Hour was notable, most people having opted to carry water. The campfire cheerfully warmed us however, and we were treated to a spectacular cloud display over the Sierra as the storm front moved east.

Sunday am we prepared breakfast in 26 degree weather (all except JON FRELAND who climbs out of his sleeping bag and starts hiking), and headed back up to the saddle, where we basked in the early morning sunshine. Everyone was on Inyo in less than two hours. A double celebration was in order since two stalwarts made their Emblem with this ones BOB POHL and BOB THOMPSON. Two large bottles of champagne were circulated and we lingered on the summit enjoying a magnificent view in the crisp, clear air. For JACK KOSHEAR, this was his first DPS Emblem peak.

We were back in camp by 11:00 and had lunch. Leaving camp at 12:00, some Tigers made the spring in 35 minutes, which is an approximate loss of 100 ft per minute down some great scree slopes.

Everyone was in apparent agreement with first-timer BILL MAX of Las Vegas that these are two peaks worth the struggle up one of the steeper trails on a DPS trip.

Thanks to JOE McCOSKER for his able lead to Keynot.

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