Alta Peak


By: George Toby

It was a beautiful sunny day and 27 SPS'ers joined me on the easy hike up to Alta Peak. It was 4100' gain but we had wings on our feet and never noticed it. There was trail all the way. We started at Wolverton in Sequoia Park. The trail goes to Panther Gap, Mehrten Mdw, and up to the peak. What a glorious occasion on top, Congratulations, good will, and mirth abounded to the tune of popping champagne corks and all those hugs and kisses from our lovely Sierra Club ladies. Among the prominent hikers on top were list finishers Gene Mauk, Bob Emerick, Roy Magnuson, and Vi Grasso. Vi finished just a year ago on Stanford. She was the 36th finisher; so I am 37th.

As is my custom the assistant leader leads down. So Al Conrad lead the charge down and I was the sweep. Then as the crowd thinned out and I was strolling along in the rear, it really began to sink in that I actually did it. The chase was over, and I really did not want it to end. It seemed that all was at peace and even the mountains were smiling at me to share my joy. What a great satisfying feeling.

Wayne Wurzburger dashed ahead to ice down the drinks and with the help of the McCoskers, Martha Flores and others prepared three picnic tables in a row for the party at Lodgepole Campground in Sequoia Park where most of us were camped. The party continued with 36 people.

There were mountains of food, many toasts, more champagne, wine, beer, and soft drinks to celebrate the double whammy of the list finisher and my 71st birthday. I was 71 the day before. I am now the oldest list finisher. Norm Rohn formerly held the record at age 63. The party continued well into the night. Mary Motheral brought a big pile of wood and kept the fire going. Gene Mauk and Al Conrad MC'ed the party. I want to thank all those great folks that give birthday cards and such nice gifts. The three "Marys", Mary Sue Miller, Mary McMannes, and Mary Motheral performed a song and dance number to the theme of "Gorgie Porgy". It was a happy, rousing party and I thank all the good SPS'ers that made it possible. All that food they brought, Wow.

Ron Jones had previously announced that he intends to become the oldest list finisher, and will hold off finishing until the year 2003 on San Joaquin Mtn. He only has two peaks to go. I wish him good luck and hope to be with him when he does it. My utmost thanks to the many leaders, climbers, and hikers that helped climb all those peaks as I plodded along thru the years to get there. My first peak was Mt, Lyell in Yosemite in 1965. Happy Climbing

SPS Trip Report Index | Sierra Peaks Section