White Mountain Peak, Waucoba Mountain
By: Maris Valkass
Saturday morning 22 of us met at the Grandview Campground. The weather was cool and the sky clear. We drove the 19 miles or so to the locked gate and started to hike by 9 am. Everyone reached the top by 2 pm. Since this is a hike along a 4-WD road, nothing can be said about the route. After 13 miles (round trip) of hiking at high altitude, many of us had developed headaches by the time we got back to the cars. No one had to be evacuated.
Five persons were on their first DPS trip: Dave Woefel, Bob Phalen, Ron Grau, Mike Rehler, and Harry Freimanis. Harry is a fellow Latvian, this now makes three of us. Francoise Waithert completed her DPS membership qualifying peak. Rosalind Tomsky got the peak on her second try, good work! I hope that all of these people continue to climb with us.
We also had two active MTC leaders: John Cheslick and Bob Henderson; glad to have you.
Since it was getting dark when we got back to the cars, and we did not want to drive all the way to Waucoba roadhead, we found a place to camp 15 mi from Big Pine. This is I. mi below the turnoff for Saline Valley. It is a large flat area by the road, but since traffic was at a minimum, it was very quiet. Thanks to Adrienne Knute, who brought some firewood, Dave Woefel could cook his steak.
Some of the people decided not to climb Waucoba. This left 14 of us to go for it Sunday morning. Sherry Harsh, who assisted me on White had to go home, so Asher Waxman graciously agreed to assist on Waucoba.
We drove to the 7200' level in Whipporwill Flat, and headed for the peak at 9 am. Three hours later we were on the top surprising ourselves at the 1000+ foot gain per hour. This peak was Asher Waxman's qualifying peak for DPS membership. Everyone got the peak, and 2 hours later we were back at the cars.
This was an enjoyable trip, and also represented milestones for some as noted above. I also believe that for some this also was the first 14,000' peak, as it was for Anna Leong. Gisela Kiuvin finally broke her spell with me, she did not get sick after the first days climb, and was able to do Waucoba.
At Leonard's recommendation, we were going to eat at the Smoke Signals in Lone Pine. However, it was closed. Randy Bernard recommended that we try Bobo's Bonanza. This turned out to be a four star restaurant. John Leonard can write about the cuisine? in the SAGE.
The list of participants is:
My thanks to Sherry Harsh and Asher Waxman for assisting me on this trip.
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