6 March 1971
By: Paul Lipsohn
Leader: Paul Lipsohn
Blessed with blue skies and brilliant sunshine, 11 explorers assembled at Lytle Creek to attempt an ascent of Telegraph Peak via Grizzly Ridge. A short caravan up Baldy Road terminated at the Coldwater Canyon turnoff, where parking was very limited. Heading for the ridge directly before us, we crossed the creek and were immediately engulfed in Class 2 brush, which continued nearly uninterrupted for 1500 feet. At this point we broke through the brush and began climbing a very steep, loose ridge pocked with snow and ice patches, and soon emerged in a beautiful saddle between peaks 7665 and 8325. From this vantage point Pine Mtn. and Dawson Peak were especially photogenic with their fresh snow mantles glistening in the sun. At the saddle we encountered 3-4 feet of snow which covered the ridge all the way to the summit. The final 400 feet to the summit approached the vertical, and was somewhat complicated by the fresh powder snow overlaying a hard crust. Vigorous step kicking sharpened already keen appetites, and we were soon on top. Our lunch stop was somewhat foreshortened out of respect for the rapid icing conditions on our now shaded ridge, and we soon retraced our route to the cars and refreshment. Of the eleven climbers, 10 made the peak, the eleventh made a respectable 4000'. Distance involved was about 7 miles with 4500' gain. The round trip required approximately 8 hours, and was generally well received.
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