17-Oct-92 (Private Trip)
By: Doug Mantle, Duane McRuer, Bob Hicks
This event had been in the works for some time. Doug patiently waiting while Mac and Bob worked the list down to the last one, Mac probably gets the record the "longest trip" since he had to fly back from Cambridge, Mass (Fall semester teaching at MIT) to make the finisher. Too many unknowns to put this one in the Schedule so it went private.
Most folks camped Friday and Saturday nights at the campground 7 miles up the Whitney Portal road. Some opted for luxury and stayed in Lone Pine motels. Sat AM we collected 13 hikers and consolidated in four cars for the drive down to Lone Pine and then southeast to pick up the Cerro Gordo Mine road. The desert road gods exacted their toll on tires - Bob's a silent blowout (drove a mile before we knew it was flat, SHREDDED) and Doug's a flat (cut sidewall) when we got back to the cars. I would take mild exception with the DPS writeup of "... 7.5 miles of good dirt road" We parked at the mine and walked up the road past the locked gate. Upon our return we were told the gate is not locked and vehicles should continue up the road and not trespass on mine property by parking where we did. The writeup does say the gate is unlocked, but should be revised to modify parking instructions,
We took the easy trail/no trail route to the summit. We had 8 list finishers on top for the obligatory photos and champagne. Back down to Lone Pine and new tires. Things at the campground were in good order, with more champagne well iced down and vast quantities of food appearing a bit later (total group approx. 25). Pleasant campfire on a lovely, not too cool evening.
Sat night Vi Grasso left for LA to prepare for a Sun departure on a Nepal trek/climb. Sunday saw the group disband, some to climb and others a leisurely drive home on a bright sunny day. Great outing and what milestones!
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