MT. ABBOT (13,715’), MT. DADE (13,600’) August 26-27, 1972

Finally allowed to attend a Peak and Gorge trip led by Gene, the section chair, I got a cheap ride for $5, given by Galen, a generous member who drove his van. We left after work Friday, as is the style of the peak climbs, and gas was about 25 cents a gallon, back then.

Meeting Saturday morning at Mosquito Flat, the trailhead for Rock Creek, we backpacked to a lake where we set camp, and since it was only about 1 p.m., another climber, Wayne, suggested to go for a scramble. The leader, Gene, ordered us not to climb Mt. Abbot. We were initially going to go to the glacier, but Wayne said that he knew the way, and explained that Gene is overly cautious, so we began climbing the East Buttress route. I held back since I didn’t wish to do any unsafe climbing without any rope, but at one point, I used a parachute cord for his giving me a belay, and we made the summit plateau. Surprised at how easy it was, we signed in, and rushed to descend and make it back to camp.

Stumbling in at about 6:30 p.m., Gene asked, “Do your thing?”

I replied, “Yes,” and didn’t hardly mention that we had made the top, since it was against our orders. They had wine, and relaxed about camp.

So the next morning, we started up the scree, Hourglass Couloir, a class 2, loose, route. We had ladies and a 15 year old kid. Gene decided that it was too dangerous, so ordered the women and children back. The rest of us clamored to the top, and I was to learn of the ways they do things. Another climber not on our trip also bagged the peak, and ran down the scree, then claimed to hurt himself. We gave no aid, as he wasn’t part of our group, but he managed to hike out on his own.

Back at our camp, we had to pack up, and they weren’t very skilled at doing this. It is a short way out, and we were back to the cars, and then motoring on our way home. I recall a Sunday night buffet dinner in South Tahoe, whereby I had three plates.

The next year, I found that they had not been able to ever climb Mt. Abbot, an Emblem peak for the Sierra Peaks Section, therefore coveted. Dan, a Northern Alpine Section climber, took me and another on my 2X climb up the East Buttress of Mt. Abbot. I was to guide the way by my old memory. I recalled ducks, but they had been knocked down, or I couldn’t remember the exact way. We did do the climb, on June 10, 1973, class 3 style without ropes, and Dan constructed a cairn to mark the top of the climb down. I did a rappel on my down climb for one part, to refresh technique, and there was loose rocks.

Gene and his group met us at the bottom, but they weren’t able to ever climb the peak. The guidebook then recommended another route, which some had tried, but turned around. It sounded more difficult than the class 3 route on the East Buttress, but this is the way they do it, by the book. I am not believed when I say how easy it was, and one year, attempted to take a climber up this route again, but he was too slow, so we turned back. I don’t have a single photo from both of the climbs that I did, but often snap photos of the buttress from Mt. Morgan. It is quite a broken face, but looks impressive. This is fun route finding with no great exposed parts, with ledges and scrambling to connect up section to section. You can get into class 4, but being careful with scouting, I wouldn't bring a rope. I did have a day climb scheduled, once, but had no takers.