New York Butte, Pleasant Point
By: Steve Smith
On Saturday it was surprising to see a total of seven climbers in Lone Pine ready to climb New York Butte the hard way. Despite heavy rain and cold weather in the Los Angeles area, the Owens Valley was beautiful for climbing. My father and I led the small group of DPSers straight up a ridge from the mouth of Long John Canyon - it's direct but steep with about 5,000-ft. of gain - a route pioneered, by Bill Banks lass June.
Ed Stork, Ken Ferrell and another climber joined my father and me for the climb. Both Bill Banks and Eric Schumacher were along for their second climb of, this peak. Bill started out climbing with the aid of a cane due to, a mending ankle which was broken awhile back. After losing his cane, we never saw him again he ran on up the mountain without us!
As we approached the summit there was a scattering of snow which created a beautiful desert scene with the pinon pines and juniper. The views of Owens Valley and the cloudless Sierra-Nevada made great viewing during rest stops. Everyone made the summit and spent a happy half hour viewing the area. A road below the east side of the summit might make it possible to reach this peak from the Saline Valley. Of course, the most interesting route is driving across the Inyo ridge from Cerro Gordo and climbing the peak in less than 45 minutes!
On Sunday Sam Fink joined the group as we made a short traverse from Cerro Gordo to Pleasant. Several mines in this area showed interesting artifacts of past activities.
Ken Ferrell, an active Sierra Club leader, was congratulated for earning his DPS emblem - his third. The group was back to the cars by early afternoon and left after thanking the inhabitants of Cerro Gordo for allowing us to visit the area.
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