Deer Mountain


By: Frank Sanborn

From the Angeles Chapter Schedule

Deer Mtn. (9,530'): Meet 7:00 a.m. Sat. Sam Lewis Pack Station, 7.6 miles north of Coso Junction, then left from Hwy. 6 for 1.5 miles. Knapsack to South Fork Kern R. via Haiwee Cr. and Pass. Sun. climb Deer Mtn. on short trailless route. Wood, water at camp, little elsewhere. Hiking: 7 miles Sat., 11 miles Sun. Driving: 400 miles. Leader: FRANK SANBORN; Asst.: JOHN ROBINSON.

From the July 1956 issue of Southern Sierran


--Frank Sanborn

The following ten persons turned out for the first Sierra Peaks Section scheduled trip: Marge Gall, Bud Bingham, Roger Gaefcke, Virgil Lewis, Roger McIntyre, Esten Atwood, Vic Metcalfe, Marv Pistang, Frank Sanborn (leader), and John Robinson (asst.). Starting from Sam Lewis' pack station on Haiwee Creek at 7:00 am Sat., May 5, (1956) we followed a fine trail up over the Sierra Crest at Haiwee Pass at 8,500 ft., gaining 5,000 ft. in five miles. Dropping 1,500 ft. in two more miles, we reached the South Fork of the Kern River at 1:00 pm. It was a raging torrent, impossible to ford, so we made camp on its east bank and spent a very leisurely afternoon sunbathing and fishing. Bud and Vic, the fishermen, had no luck, however.

Sunday morning, Bud, Roger Gaefcke, John, Virgil and I set out looking for a way to cross the river. The others stayed in camp. We five finally crossed on a partially wet, vibrating, narrow log; a slip would have meant a plunge into a thundering rapids below…….not recommended for weak knees or hearts! It was a short climb from there to the tree-covered 9,530 ft. summit of Deer Mtn., overshadowed by the southernmost SPS Emblem Peak, Olancha. Finding no cairn or register, we left our names in a glass jar. Re-crossing the river on that log (whew!), we ate lunch at camp, then got back to the cars at 4:30 as darkening skies and a cold wind heralded the advance of a late season snowstorm across the Sierra.


Note: History-minded readers need to remember that the SPS gained final approval for its founding from the Angeles Chapter Executive Committee in October 1955, and The Sierra Echo didn't begin its life until February 1957. Consequently, much of the early SPS trip information appeared in the Angeles Chapter Schedule or Southern Sierran.

SPS Trip Report Index | Sierra Peaks Section