Donner Summit Weekend

19-20 Jul 2003 - by Deborah Benham

The advertised Donner Summit Weekend in 'Scree' changed venue due to one coleader's employer! Chris MacIntosh was asked to accompany her boss to Paris and all of us had to forego the SouthBay Ski Cabin experience. PCS ingenuity won the day, and we stayed at the famous Clair Tappaan Lodge (CTL for short). CTL was our home base for dayhikes to all peaks listed above and a fabulous time was had by all.

All agreed that Castle Peak was the "funnest" primarily because of the 80 ft, Class 3 climbing at the tippy-top. Another PCS'er enjoyed the 360 degree, panoramic view from the summit of Donner Peak. Beautiful day, hot, with a slight breeze -- perfect photo opportunities! I was amazed and impressed at the number of wildflowers in bloom -- mule ear daisies, Whorl penstamen, Blue Flax, tiger lily, Mariposa lily, corn lily, and columbine.

For all participants, this was a first time stay at CTL. All agreed it was in a good location, offered good meals included in the price, and the 'one chore' rule encouraged less 'sloppiness', or, invited a sense of responsibility, if you will. One PCS'er said staying at CTL made him want to buy a tie-dye shirt then start singing protest songs (a blast from the past...).

Saturday night, the mosquitoes were out, and so were the 20-somethings...drinking beer around a roaring fire in the spacious backyard of the lodge. All of which brought back fond memories of days gone by (well, not too gone...!). A wonderful time with a great group of climbers! Thanks guys.

Participants: Debbie Benham (leader and author); Allen Hu; Nick Pilch; Alex Sapozhnikov; Ron Toy; and Jeff West.

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