12-Nov-99 (List Finish)
By: Linda McDermott
Could five determined folks finish the DPS list on Bridge Mountain the weekend of November 12? Yep, they did. Ron Hudson, Eric and Lori Beck, Richard Whitcomb and Judy Hurnmerich all reached the top of Bridge Mountain during a beautiful, cloudless weekend and celebrated with a huge potluck on Saturday night, November 13.
This was a joint private DPS trip and official Canyon Explorer's Club trip. CEC leaders Brian Elliott and Bruce Trotter led a group of 17 up the peak on Saturday while the Becks led another smaller group on Friday. On Friday, we were lucky to have Mary Motheral along because she had climbed the peak a week earlier and was able to help with directions. We weren't able to do the traditional champagne celebrations on top of the peak either day because of the third class rock which had to be negotiated.
Most of the cars were able to drive the 4WD 3+ miles to the trailhead on both days, with parking for probably 10 cars at the top. We followed the trail to its end, then followed the ducks down the ridge, then found the arrows up the crack and more arrows to the ledges below the peak.
Several folks, including Lori Beck, Janice Elliott and myself couldn't believe that we REALLY could get up that crack. At first sight, I said, "No way." Then, from a great distance on Friday, we spotted 17 local high school students looking like ants in the crack. They had all backpacked to the "Enchanted Forest" near the top of the peak and were descending just as we reached the crack. Heck, if they could do it, we could. The crack lays back much more than it appears at a distance. I found that rock climbing shoes made life much easier when I put them on once getting to the crack.
We held the potluck (probably attended by 40-45 people) at the spot where the 4WD road takes off. We were able to squeeze cars in yet not block any roads. At the potluck, Rich Gnagy was cheered when he brought out chips and dip because folks had been asked to bring main meals instead of chips and dip. Rich saved the day for a very salt-hungry crew.
The list finishers were properly roasted, wearing Burger King and Queen hats, and were serenaded by verses of "On Top of Old Smokey," adapted of course to relate actual climbs and events. Lori wore her crown the next morning because, as she put it, she "was having a bad hair day."
After a pancake breakfast on Sunday morning, the crowd disbursed, some folks climbing peaks and others just getting an early start home.
Congratulations to Ron, Lori, Eric, Richard and Judy, plus thanks for letting us celebrate with you! Special thanks to our leaders Brian Elliott and Bruce Trotter for leading such a safe trip on Saturday, and to Eric and Mary for keeping folks on track and ensuring another safe journey on Friday.
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