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Antsell Rock, Apache Peak, Spitler Peak

15 November 1987

By: Rick Anglin

Leaders: Rick Anglin, Bob Henderson

Twenty hearty though somewhat blearyeyed peak baggers met at the US Post Office in Mountain Center, Sunday moming at 7:30AM. Opening the car door at the Pine Springs Ranch in Apple Canyon was quite a surprise - the temperature was about 40° and the wind was blowing ten to twenty miles per hour. The light day-hiking gear quickly gave way to parkas and gloves.

The brisk march through the Zen colony was quiet, except for an occasional Ommm from somewhere in the middle of the group. The guilty know who they are. When requesting permission to traverse their property, the colony management was very specific about noise while passing through.

Once the group got up into the open slopes on the way to the saddle between Antsell and Apache, the wind died down and the sun was nice and warm. Bob Henderson found the duck on the west side of the Pacific Crest Trail with the help of this trip's participating HPS legend Dick Akawie. It helps to have a five time list finisher on the trip, and we thank him for his assistance. The group spread out going up the ski slope, but regrouped for the final push up the rock. Rick Anglin scouted the rock slopes, and with the help of Dick Akawie, found the switchback leading to the deep rock gully on the east side of the summit.

The rock is moderately exposed third class with a lot of debris on the surface. A number of trip participants had tried Antsell before but without success, some several times. These people signed up for the trip in the hopes of making it to the summit. Everyone except Larry Shumway did make it to the summit; Larry was experiencing some pain and decided not to go for it. Minor White asked for and received a short belay on the rock switchback, but climbed the rest of the way free.

Antsell Rock must be one of the nicest summits on the list. The view was spectacular in all directions. The climb itself is invigorating with trail hiking, a scree slope and some very nice rock. This route is about 3 1/2 miles, 2500' of gain, and 150 feet of rock, only about 75 feet of which is exposed.

Once again at the saddle, a few signed out, and fourteen went on to Apache and Spitler. We returned to the cars via the Spitler Trail from the saddle between Apache and Spitler. Whoever designed this trail should be shot. It is twice as long as it needs to be (5 miles), it wanders all over the terrain, and often has no grade at all. The total loop trip was 12 miles and 3600' of gain.

Having seen the sunrise at the beginning of the day, we saw the sunset back at our cars about 5:00PM. A strenuous, very satisfying day for all. A special treat for those who had attempted Antsell before and succeeded this time.

Also on the trip were Ursula and Don Slager, Wes Veit, Eric Sieke, Frank James, Art Schain, Ann Murray, Tom Moumblow, Diane Rosentreter, Karen and Roy Stewart, Jim Kilberg, Dave Tate, Don Cook and Jose Del Vecchio.

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