MATTERHORN PEAK (12,264') 2X, WHORL MOUNTAIN (12,029') August 8-9, 1981
Being due to lack of climbing ops for this standard two day weekend, two of my, then, associates opted for this double climb. I had already topped Matterhorn Peak in a spring ski climb and descent, but was interested in a summer climb. I also had it in mind to bag all of the SPS Emblem peaks twice.
We carpooled from Northern California Friday night, had our standard restaurant breakfast, and started the backpack up the standard route south to Horse Creek Pass. Having sights of the peak, and a beaver dam, we made it to the pass after running into some nudist hikers enroute. We readily climbed up the short distance to the top of Matterhorn Peak. I liked the late afternoon light over the majestic views. We signed in the register, and spent awhile on the top, with even more low light to illuminate the sight.
Back to Horse Creek Pass, we enjoyed a nice camp with water melted from a nearby snowbank. The sun dawned, the next day, without a cloud in the sky, as the weather would be so nice for our climbing. It was to cloud up later on this second day, but by then, we would be on our way out.
Whorl Mountain is a class 3-4 peak, and has a tricky route. We clambered up to a notch southwest of the summit, and from there, my associate decided to take a more direct route. I had to request a rope, as we had one, and then we traversed along a narrow ledge, quite spectacular in its setting. Then, we came to the steep route up Whorl from the west, and Dave, the effective leader, found a good way. We never used a rope on this part, inclining me to suggest we had done a new route. There is a complex of gullies and chutes that you climb, and I have no idea how to describe this. You would just have to be experienced enough to find the route.
Summitting in good time, I began to capture the views. I also read the register, and then we had to get home. Climbing down, again without a rope, I took a lower route back to the same notch which we had climbed through to get to the far southwest side of the mountain. This would be of some interest, myself rating, then, the whole route as class 3. One of my associates traversed the ledge on his way back. I didn't need any rope to do this lower scramble route, as there is some exposed climbing along the higher ledge route.
Back to camp at the pass, we shortly backpacked out on the use trail, the route north and down, along Horse Creek. The sky began to cloud up, but we made it back to Twin Lakes before any rain.
Given that some impressive sounding local chapter trips are offered led by some apparently huge egos, and never done, I guess the world has to somehow know to take this as a joke. I do not speak much of the hoax as many would say that runs outings. It does come up as far as the true nature of this outings club, but I am enjoined not to keep this mention up, as tiring and contrary to the spirit, possibly, of mountaineering. We do not charge each other to climb together, or to assume leadership. How it got done, then, was fine with me!
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