Round Top

15 Mar 1998 - by Arun Mahajan

El Nino generated ennui had descended on most of us and so at the hint of probably the first good weekend in months, 13 PCS'ers decided to break out their gore-texes and fleece and other synthetic stuff from storage and give them that much needed whiff of the fresh mountain air.

Led by George Van Gorden, some on skis and some on snowshoes, we started off at the snow park at Carson Pass at 8.40 am on Sunday the 15th of March, also variously known as the Dandelion Weekend to the local populance of bustling Jackson.

Soft snow, warm weather and bright sunshine made for an extremely pleasurable hike upto the pseudo-summit of Roundtop in 3 hours. The true summit, a snowy cone, is seperated from this first summit by 2 smaller bumps. A few of us who had come upto this first summit at the same time of the year, two years ago, had avoided the true summit because it had appeared hard, but this time the large amount of snow was in our favour. Bob Suzuki climbed down to the ridge and skirted the bumps and came to the base of the cone. There is a small rocky step to be negotiated here, our version of the Hillary Step, and doing it with crampons offered just that extra bit of challenge that we were all looking for. Bob topped it with ease and climbed up the steep cone to the summit and very soon all of us followed him to the top.

The hour long summit halt was over at 12.45 and by 2.45 pm we were all at the cars, happy to have lucked out on the weather and to have bagged a peak in the process. The round trip time was six hours at a modest pace.

Trip participants: George Van Gorden, Larry, Alex Keith, Bob Suzuki, Roger Crawley, Milushe Kudnrnovska, Nancy Fitzsimmons, Ahmad Zandi, Scott Kreider, Kelly Maas, Landa Robillard, Ted Raczek and Arun Mahajan.

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