New York Butte, Pleasant Point
By: Bill Bradley
Saturday morning was clear and cool when the leader, and a single participant met at the Lone Pine Station turn-off. The drive up Long John Canyon was rough but uneventful. We managed to drive as far as the abandoned truck which meant an elevation gain of 5000 ft. to the peak. Snow was encountered at about 9000 ft., but was melting fast. At the peak there was no more than a foot, a far cry from the same time last year when it was thigh-deep on top. The wind was blowing on the summit and it was too cool to spend more than the half hour needed to eat lunch. We were unable to locate the register, but learned later that some other hikers had found it. On the way down we stopped at the Burgess Mine and found that one of the buildings had burned to the ground.
At Keeler on Sunday, we were joined by three more young hikers for the climb to Pleasant. We drove to the Cerro Gordo Mine and there found a locked chain across the road leading to the ridge which meant that the advertised round trip distance increased from 5 miles to 8 miles. On the way to the peak we stopped by an old mine shaft to examine a large wooden bellows, presumably used for smelting ore. The nails used to fabricate the tool were square-shanked which would indicate that it was rather old. All hikers made the summit and agreed that the view made up for any shortcomings this listed peak may have.
Last year over twenty participants had signed on for this trip. The lack of interest this year may have been due to its being Easter weekend, or possibly because it was scheduled two years in a row. A small group has its advantages, however. Our lone participant on Saturday, Paul Nelson, commented that he had never received so much individual attention from the leaders.
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