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Ascender Title
July 2006
Volume 12, Issue 7


Paul on Mt. Shasta


Nice kitchenette


Tent with Lassen Peak in background


Aptly named Misery Hill


Crawling up to the summit to avoid the howling wind


Various groups ascending





Fireworks from Lone Mountain


Group summit photo including Dave Bagaason and Brett Dawson


Walter and Oleh with our objective, Mount Charleston


Oleh negotiating the snow and avalanche debris


Wild horses on the ski run


Mike R. in a large snow cave


2006 (1st and 2nd Quarter) LVMC PHOTO CONTEST WINNERS

Start of Fall Canyon hike in Death Valley by Bruce LaCroix


Luba at Hetch Hetchy in Yosemite by Chris Meyer


Mirror Lake, Yosemite by Nick Nelson



President: Chris Ransel
Vice President/Training Director: Chris Meyer
Secretary: Kristi Meyer
Treasurer: Jim Albamont
Newsletter Editor: Joel Brewster
Outings Director: Josh Owen
Membership Director: Dawna Herndon
Website Director: Amy Brewster
Public Relations Director: Chris Ransel
Club Gear Director: Kim Friedman
Assistant Director: Bruce Lacroix
Assistant Director: Richard Baugh
Assistant Director: Howard Herndon
Assistant Director: Alan Andrunas

Past President: Xavier Wasiak

The Ascender is published monthly by the Las Vegas Mountaineers Club. It can be viewed on the “Members Only” section of our website. Current Club membership is approximately 150.
All Club members are invited to submit trip reports, photos, trip listings, recipes, classified ads and other related information. Please include the name and date of the trip or outing and the author’s name. August 10th is the deadline for the next issue.

Joel Brewster
Phone: 456-8520


To the following members, please note that your membership will expire this month:

Ali Haghi
Ron Myers

Please make your check payable to the Las Vegas Mountaineers Club and mail to: P.O. Box 36026, Las Vegas, NV 89133-6026.
Single membership is $30 per year, $85 for three years. Family annual membership is $40, $110 for three years. Please mail all renewals prior to the end of the month to ensure uninterrupted notification of your Ascender password.

To All Members:
Please send any address, phone number and e-mail changes to Dawna Herndon.

Dawna Herndon
Membership Director


This club gear is available at no charge to members:

4-season tent
Bear Barrels
Alpine Axes*
Strap-on Crampons*


*Will require a signed waiver.

Non-members are not eligible to borrow club gear. Deposits taken on gear must be in the form of cash or check and will be returned upon return of equipment. Gear is also available to members for courses with no deposit required. If you have any questions or would like to inquire about club gear, please contact Kim Friedman.


Classified Ads
Members: Free
Non-members: $5

Business Ads
1/8 page (business card): $5
1/4 page: $10
1/2 page: $15
Full page: $20
All rates are per issue and will be discontinued automatically unless renewed. Ads must be prepaid and sent by e-mail or submitted on CD. Please make checks payable to Las Vegas Mountaineers Club.



Send in your best photos from LVMC outings for the First Annual LVMC Photo Contest. The contest will be open through November 2006 and prizes will be awarded at the annual Christmas Party! Click HERE for the contest rules. Please submit photos via e-mail to Joel Brewster and happy shooting!
(Remember, photos must be taken during an LVMC outing.)



June 19-21, 2006
Report and Photos by Paul Kuroda

Sergio, Nick and I just returned from a trip to Mt. Shasta. On June 19, we arrived in the town of Mt. Shasta, visited the ranger station, and bought a few last-minute supplies. Then we headed up the trail to Horse Camp (elevation around 8000 feet).

On June 20, we started up towards our high camp at Helen Lake (10,400 feet). I brought along too much stuff (pack weighed over 60 lbs), and was the last to arrive at Helen Lake. By late afternoon, there were at least 30 to 40 other hikers there, making preparations for an early start the next day.

By 4:30 a.m. on June 21, most of the climbers were heading up Avalanche Gulch by headlamp. Conditions were pretty good, but the wind was picking up, and once in a while, you had hold onto the axe and crouch down for a few seconds to avoid being knocked off balance. The snow was firm, and you could slide a long way on the 30 to 40 degree slopes. Also, on several occasions, rocks came tumbling down the gulch at high speed. One of them missed me by about 15 feet.

After reaching the Red Banks at 12,800 feet, there was finally a flat spot to take a break, eat a Cliff bar, apply sunscreen, etc. Sergio and I took different routes through the Red Banks, but met up again at 13,000 feet, near the base of Misery Hill.

Nick reached the summit (14,162 feet) first, and we met him as he was heading back down. He warned us about the high winds near the peak (gusts around 50 mph).

We continued to the top of Misery Hill and then across the summit plateau. There were great views of Shastina, Lassen, and the glaciers on the north side of Shasta. We continued up the final switchbacks, occasionally getting blasted by the wind, and reached the summit at around 9:00 a.m.

On the way down, we couldn't glissade too much, because it was early in the day and the snow hadn't softened up yet. We caught up to an inexperienced climber who was about to glissade down a steep icy chute, with her crampons on. Sergio reached her just in time to warn her about the danger, so she changed her mind and didn't glissade after all.

By the time we returned to Helen Lake, it was very warm. We took down the tents, packed up, and hiked all the way out to the trailhead.

Thanks to Sergio and Nick for a great trip. We were lucky with the weather. Although the winds made things difficult at times, there was no snow or rain, and temperatures were mild.


July 4, 2006
Report by Joel Brewster, Photos by Jim Albamont

When I first picked up the sign-up sheet for this hike, I was surprised that only about eight people were signed up. As the time grew closer though, I began to receive calls and e-mails of more people wanting to join. Soon the size of group had grown... the final tally was 34, including six children or babies!

We decided to host a pre-hike BBQ at our house, so we filled up on burgers and Zimas before setting out down the street like a herd of stampeding turtles toward the base of Lone Mountain. The climb was short, but strenuous. We arrived at the top around 8:45, just as it was getting dark.

Panorama of the strip

We shared the summit with another large group of Trailblazers, so we spread out so as not be too crowded. The various firework shows that were visible began around 9:15 or 9:30. We finally left the peak a little before 10:00 by the light of headlamps and flashlights. Many of us had either work or school the next morning, so we hurried back before we turned into pumpkins.



June 25, 2006
Report and Photos by Steve Nguyen

The open secret to escape the Las Vegas summer heat is going to the Mt. Charleston mountain range. Joel Brewster led a small group of five (Joel, Oleh, Walter, Mike Ryan, and I) up Mt. Charleston via the ski area route. This is one of the shortest routes up Mt. Charleston, but it requires going through sections of avalanche debris and boulder fields.

Group photo from along the North Loop trail with Mt. Charleston in the background

As we entered the ski area, we were greeted by a small group of wild horses grazing on the grass. The route is quite obvious as we hiked up the largest visible gully from the ski area. Shortly past the ski slopes, we scrambled up the avalanche debris, quite suprised to see so much snow from the winter of 2005. We even found a large snow cave that was four feet high and about thirty feet deep (see photo at top)!

A short boulder field followed until we reached the South Loop trail. As we reached about 11,000 ft., we ran into hundreds of butterflies. We met Brett Dawson and David Bagaason on the summit, who had come up from Big Falls. After a leisurely descent, we arrived back at our cars eight hurs after we had set out.



The Las Vegas Mountaineers hold their monthly meetings at the Sahara West Library,
9600 West Sahara. Click HERE for map. Meeting time is 7:00 p.m.


Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Colorado 14'ers
Henry Jingle


Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Peaks in the Sierra and Colorado
Brandon Rufkahr

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