Ascent of White Mountain Peak on 1942-10-11

Climber: Frederick Johnson

Others in Party:Harry Paley
Freda Walbrecht
Georgia White
Bob Nightengale
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Sunday, October 11, 1942
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Hi-Clearance Vehicle
Peak:White Mountain Peak
    Elevation:14246 ft / 4342 m

Ascent Trip Report

Freda, Georgia, Bob, and I piled into Harry's trusty pickup truck in Los Angeles and headed for Redrock Canyon to sleep. Yesterday, after a hearty breakfast at Olancha, we continued the familar drive up U.S. 395 to Big Pine, where we turned east on CA 168. Soon after crossing Westgard Pass, we turned up the Wyman Creek Road. Without Harry's high-clearance truck we wouldn't have gotten far. It was a bumpy ride to say the least, and there were several stretches where we had to get out and walk so Harry's could navigate his truck through the challenging spots in the road. The road, used by the power company, is little used (obviously) and, except for a couple vestiges of habitation, very desolate. Once we gained the N-S ridge that extends from White Mountain Peak to Westgard Pass, we drove north a few more bumpy miles over the rough track past Big Prospector Meadow to Campito Meadow, where we stopped to camp at 5:15P. Before dinner I hiked up nearby Campito Mountain for a great sunset view of White Mountain Peak and the high mountain area. This morning we had the best intentions for an early start at 3:00AM, However, uninspired after a very cold and windy night, we delayed our departure until 5:00A. We started off in the dark without a very good idea of the route. When we soon discovered we were going the wrong way, we took a break, lit a downed log on fire, and huddled around it keeping warm and drinking hot drinks. Although there were occasional tracks, there were no well defined trails. Unable to see the peak, we went up and down several gullies in generally the right direction before we could see our destination. At one point Freda and Bob took off on their own. It was about 10:30A when Harry, Georgia, and I reached the base of the peak at a level area and started the final ascent of about 800' on talus Part way up Freda and Bob caught up with us. Bob elected not to continue beyond the last saddle. I was moving slowly behind the others and had been sick, off and on, most of the morning. However, I topped out just after noon. It was cold, breezy, and the view was hazy. Freda snapped my picture and that of the Sierra Club register and soon we were headed back down after Harry and Georgia, who had gone ahead and rejoined Bob. Freda and I made our way back to camp, while the others took their own way. After a final bout of mountain sickness, I regained my vim and vigor. Returned to camp about 6:00P to find a welcomed dinner waiting. It had been a long, tiring day, but I had climbed my first 14,000' peak. We turned in early for another cold night with the temperature sinking to 18 degrees. The next day (October 12) we retraced our route in the truck past the Wyman Creek junction to drive very carefully down the narrow Silver Canyon Road, which descends very steeply 6,000' in about 11 miles to Laws. I understand this road is usually driven down and not up.
By 11:00A we were in Bishop enjoying a hearty breakfast before heading home. Again, high marks to Harry and his sturdy pickup truck, without which the trip would not have been possible. Or would it have been possible without the benefit of Harry's commercial "C" gasoline ration stamps.
ration stamps.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:4446 ft / 1354 m
    Total Elevation Loss:4446 ft / 1354 m
    Round-Trip Distance:18 mi / 29 km
    Grade/Class:Class 1
    Quality:5 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Open Country
    Nights Spent:2 nights away from roads
    Weather:Sunny, clear, cold, breezy, hazy
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:3946 ft / 1202 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 3446 ft / 1051 m; Extra: 500 ft / 152m
    Loss on way in:500 ft / 152 m
    Distance:9 mi / 14.5 km
    Route:Mostly X-C
    Start Trailhead:Campito Meadow  10800 ft / 3291 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:3946 ft / 1202 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 3446 ft / 1051 m; Extra: 500 ft / 152m
    Gain on way out:500 ft / 152 m
    Distance:9 mi / 14.5 km
    Route:Mostly X-C
    End Trailhead:Campito Mountain  10800 ft / 3291 m

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