Mount Inyo


By: John W. Robinson

From the Angeles Chapter Schedule

Peak 11,107' (Inyo Range), Exploratory Trip: This will be the club's first visit to this unnamed but worthy desert peak 2 miles north of Keynot. Upon reaching this summit we'll decide on a name for it. Meet in the center of Lone Pine at drinking fountain 7 a.m. Sat. we'll caravan several miles over rough dirt roads to start climb and backpack 2,500'. Sun. climb peak and return to cars. Probably no water so bring at least 3 canteens and stout shoes. Not recommended for beginners. Driving: 430 miles. Hiking: 12 miles. Leader: JOHN ROBINSON. Asst. Leader: BUD BINGHAM. Trans.: EMILY BEAR.

From the November 1956 issue of Southern Sierran

MT. INYO (PK. 11,107'), OCT. 20-21 (1956)

--John Robinson

When the SPS and DPS decide to climb a new peak, they really do it in style. Three separate parties converged on unnamed Peak 11,107 in the Inyos from three different directions.

The first group, comprising of Andy Smatko and Pat Meixner, sneaked up the peak two weeks before the scheduled trip. They trudged up the ridge due west of the peak in the smart time of 7 hours - all in one day! Upon reaching the summit they decided to name the mt. in honor of … themselves: Mt. Patko.

Saturday morning two weeks later our main party, 10 strong, set out from the end of a barely passable "road" 3 miles northeast of Owenyo, unaware that our peak had been violated and named. The trip to the summit was long and steep. Most of the time we were playing hide-and-seek with a half-century-old trail that supposedly crosses the range just south of our peak. A spring and a 1000 ft. loose scree slope made the trip refreshing and dissipating respectively. Five out of our original 10 made the summit Sunday morning and named it Mt. Inyo in honor of the range it lies in.

Still another group of four started a death march from Bad Water Springs (El. 1400 ft.) in Saline Valley early Saturday morning. All day long and part of the night they trudged up an endless, waterless, trailless, and everything else-less ridge in order to reach the summit tired but satisfied (?) Sunday morning. Three of the four made it: Bud Bingham, Don Clarke, and Barbara Lilley. In view of their exhausting climb and the proximity of Keynot Pk., they suggested Do Not Pk. for an appropriate name. Their route down was into Owens Valley, thereby making a complete traverse of the range.

Mt. Inyo, Patko, or Do Not, whatever you call it, is certainly worthy of future DPS climbs. The new topo map shows it the highest in the range outside of Waucoba. From any direction, however, it's a real haul.


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. The Sierra Echo wasn't published until February 1957, and the DPS Newsletter carried relatively few comprehensive trip reports. Consequently, much of the early SPS information appeared in the Angeles Chapter Schedule, Southern Sierran or Sierra Club Bulletin.

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