Mount Patterson, Glass Mountain Ridge
By: Dale van Dalsem
We were feeling smug with 29 signed up, then had 19 cancellations & TWO NO-SHOWS: ROBERT GOULD & BRUCE KUBE. Saturday A.M. at some ungodly hour, 5:40 A.M., I think, my two riders banged on my van saying they were already up because of the cold. It was +2 degrees! The Sportsman Cafe in Bridgeport didn't open until 7 A.M. & we stoked ourselves with caffeine, saturated fat, cholesterol, nitrites, & simple sugars. Knew I should have insisted on canceling or postponing this trip and going to Karen's List Finish in the warm, mellow Anza-Borrego. Georgina Burns drove in with deer blood & guts imbedded in the front end of her car ($1000+ damage, but driveable!). Deer was history.
We drove the Lobdell Lake route as Kilberg pushed his car to Sheeles Camp in Section 8 on the topo. We parked at the turnaround just before the last drop into E. Fork, 150 yds before the log-across-the-road stopped vehicles, just under 10,000. This makes the minimum gain hiking 1700', not 1200 called out in my 10-88 DPS Peak Guide. Two or three inches of week-old snow gave a beautiful contrast to the "surface of the moon" top of Patterson. We had lunch back at the trucks (Too cold & windy on top!), & drove to Bodie, where we spent an hour walking the streets & recapturing the ghost town's heyday of 110 years ago. Admission is $5/car, so consolidate before the gate. Get the excellent 16-page self-guiding pamphlet. ($1; have 4 quarters for the vending machine in case the park office is closed.) Bodie closes at 5 P.M.
We then drove to the Mono Mills site, 9 mi E of 395 on Cal 120, and drove back nearly half a mile. Great campsite. Newcomer Lisa Ringer found a huge cache of firewood & we trucked a stack to our fire ring & had a huge, roaring fire all evening - and again in the morning. We drove to the Glass Mtn roadhead (The track off of the Sawmill Meadow road only goes about 200 yds before it's washed out.) Glass Mtn Ridge (We only did the 17' higher southern point) had marvelous views as we could clearly see Arc Dome, 100 miles distant, plus the snow-dusted Sierra Nevada. Including nearly a half-hour on top, we were back to the cars in under 3 hrs r.t. for the 2000 gain.
We stopped at the Keough Hot Spring, hoping management might have changed & we could get a group rate. Wrong! The same eccentric Little ol' Lady still calls the shots. It's private, but she might let us in for $7.50 each. We drove to the Hot Ditch (graded power line road N from Keough paved road. Everyone in the group wore swim suits (a first at the Hot Ditch!) & we had a pleasant soak & stopped at Graziano's on the way home (Mojave Wendy's on the way up!). Both are old favorites.
Summary: Too cold, too far, biggest drive/hike ratio of any DPS trip. Somehow, ON ON, the Tired Toyota (About to hit 200K mi w/ unopened engine & trans), burned up $88 worth of Arco unleaded, regular, mostly at the $1.46 Bishop price. Still a fun trip with a good group. Ed Lubin, Pat Soussan, & Paul Backer rounded out the congenial 8 who went.
Detailed information for visiting one or more peaks mentioned in this article can be found in the|
Desert Peak Section Road and Peak Guides
|DPS Archives Index | Desert Peaks Section|