Mount Patterson, Glass Mountain Ridge
By: Karen Leonard
A group of 12 gathered at 8:15 (some after a pleasant breakfast in Bridgeport) at Burcham Flat road 15.3 miles north of Bridgeport on Saturday morning. The leaders had driven through rain flurries as it darkened Friday night near Bridgeport but the clouds proved friendly ones and the day was beautiful. Consolidating into two 4WDs and a pickup, thanks to Les Hill, John Trinkaus and George Toby, we drove in the dirt road some 16 miles to the trailhead (had to leave the pickup a few miles from the end, and even the 4WDs were stopped by a snowdrift just short of the trailhead). We started hiking about 9:40 and enjoyed the spectacular scenery all the way to the top. We had a leisurely lunch before letting champion scree runner Paul Freiman lead us down the scree slope, and we were back to the cars by 1:10 pm. This gave us time to stop in the ghost town of Bodie for a quick look around before driving over to the excellent dirt road to the Sawmill Meadows Camp near Glass Mountain, and we were glad we did that as it deprived the camp site's hungry giant mosquitoes of additional feasting time. When people brought out the goodies to share we had a full meal, from shrimp appetizers to chicken soup to watermelon, very nice indeed. Marta Flores and Richard Fewell, coming to do Glass, arrived in time to add to the rousing campfire which followed. Tales of past trips and trippers were delivered by famed raconteurs Graham Breakwell, Mary McMannes, and Don Sparks. Light rain sent some to bed before 10, others persevered until almost 11. Having seen Boundary, Montgomery, and DuBois magnificently topped by snow as we drove from Patterson to Glass, we especially enjoyed the story of the (1982?) celebratory sunrise climb of Boundary/Montgomery.....
Next morning we were off at 7:00 and drove determinedly up the short dirt road to the trailhead, taken by surprise to find that the road was more characteristic of DPS roads. The leader's mosquito repellent was again utilized by most of the other hikers as we set out. Black obsidian glass lumps littered the route most of the way to the peak, the "right" peak to the south of the labeled Glass Mountain on the topo, and the route was short and steep. We got to the top in 1 1/2 hours and back down in 40 minutes, and again the views from the top, of snow-covered peaks both east and west, were spectacular. Somber clouds hovered as we went down and a few dustings of rain drops graced us on the drive back to Highway 120 and over to Benton Hot Springs, where we hoped to find the Hot Springs open for business. Instead, a cantankerous old fellow guarded his store and hot springs and told us neither was open to the public (the store interior looked as cluttered with fascinating old odds and ends as anything in Bodie). So that was the end of the trip and we headed back to Bishop and points south.
There were several newcomers and relative newcomers on this trip. John Trinkaus did his first DPS peaks and Don Elliot his first on an official DPS trip; Kiet Luu and Steve Dunham got their 2nd and 3rd DPS peaks. Asher Waxman made a relatively rare appearance on a DPS trip and the other participants are named above for their much-appreciated contributions to the weekend. These northernmost desert peaks hiked by the DPS are definitely worth the drive!
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