New York Butte
By: George Toby, Bob Hicks
The weather was superb with light high clouds; not too hot, not too cool. Participants were Ruth Armentrout, Bob Wyka, Patty Kline, Peter Dogget, Howard Gross, and the Leaders. The driving and climbing directions in the DPS Guide were excellent. This was a straight forward drive and climb. We met where the Long John Canyon poor dirt road meets the well graded Dolomite road. Good camping here. We all piled into two 4WD vehicles and drove the 1.8 miles up the Long John road and parked just before the road turns southerly into Long John Canyon. There was only one bad spot on the road where it crosses a wash. A good high clearance 2WD would make it. Not very steep, just rough. The spring rains did not damage this road. It is mostly hard and rocky.
The climbing route was evident. Just keep on hiking up the long ridge generally in a NE direction to about 9,000' then ESE to the top. The peak is a rock pile in a setting of trees at the top. There was some snow near the summit in the shady places. With 6,500' of gain and loss, 3 liters of water was barely enough. This peak could be a killer in warm weather. It was an easy but relentless sort of climb and descent. Just a steady 6,500 gain with only a few small plateau areas, except it levels off near the top. Round trip time was 12 hours, although the tigers were down much sooner. My thanks to Bob Hicks for filling in as assistant leader. Scheduled assistant Harry Brumer was called out of town.
The views of the snow-capped High Sierra, the Owens Valley and the city of Lone Pine were magnificent. We could actually see our two cars from 3,500' up on one of the high ridges. They became an easy target for our route down. Five of us had dinner in Lone Pine and headed for home. A long hard day but very rewarding. My thanks to all the participants for making it such a fun trip.
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