North Maggie Mountain, Moses Mountain
By: Barbee Tidball
My first trip of the season, and I wondered if I could carry a pack and hike as we drove through Bakersfield and on towards Mountain Home State Forest. I was however looking forward to getting out of the office and into the Sierra. The trip was a repeat journey for Scot and Larry who led a similar trip ten years earlier.
All the SPS trip write-ups over the past seventeen years indicated that we were heading into bear country, so we were dutifully packing the extra weight of our camp stools, alias bear cantisters. Fortunately or not we never saw a brown or black bear, but maybe it was too early in the season. Saturday morning seven hikers joined us. Our group was a mixture of WTC students from the Spring class looking to get in their required climbs and long time SPSers. The hike was along a well travelled trail with the only hardship being a VERY cold stream on the way to a campsite. Boots in hand we all made it across the steam - with cold feet successfully, although a few participants had to be reminded to unbelt their packs, just incase they fell. The first few trips of the year seem to be designed to remind us of what we forget to bring and/or do.
We selected a camp site just before the second major stream crossing on the Maggie Mtn. side of the stream. (1000' gain and about three miles to camp). This area sees lots of backpacking travel so it is best to scout around for an established campsite. Sites in early June were a bit hard to find because of snow in places.
We set camp and head out to climb Maggie. Scot and Yvonne soon dropped back and returned to camp to nurse Yvonne's very painful feet (this was her first backpack since foot and knee surgey and her feet just weren't ready after all). The remaining group made steady progress up to the peak and summitted by early afternoon. On the summit Michael told us that climbing this peak was significant for him - Maggie Mtn., is named after a distant relative! Michael's family has for years, apparently as far back as at least 1873, been hiking and camping in the area around Maggie Mtn. and Maggie Lakes. Michael didn't bring bisquits, but we all found his bit of history fasinating. Cold grey skies surrounded us on Maggie Mtn.so we soon headed back to camp, where were greeted by a roaring campfire compliments of Scot and Yvonne. Everyone joined in to make a "garbage bag" salad.
Sunday we crossed the creek on a log located up stream from camp and headed out for Moses Mtn. We were trying to navigate our way through the trees so that we would end up well along the ridge, close to the actual summit. The best laid plans often do go astray, and the group ended up climbing up and down a LONG section of the rocky class 2-3 ridge before reaching the summit. I truly realized that this was my first weekend out for the year as I hit a wall somewhere along the ridge but none-the-less everyone made the summit, including a very tired me!
Thanks to Larry and Scot for organizing the trip and to everyone for joining us for our first climb in the 1999 season. Jennifer Brow, Michael Hernandez, Tom, and Andy Pimm very succesfully completed one of their WTC required trips and Rich Gnagy, Alice Tseng, Larry and I were able to start out the 1999 Summer climbing season on two fun Western peaks. Next time Yvonne and Scot Jamison will have to summit with us ...........
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