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Five Fingers, Scodie Mountain, Pinyon Peak

22 September 1990

By: Charlie Knapke

Leaders: Charlie Knapke, Frank Goodykoontz

One of the reasons that I had agreed to lead these peaks was the impending list finish of Barbara Cohen. She needed Cannel, Scodie, And Pinyon. I received a telephone call from Barbara only eleven days before the trip. She informed me that she had fallen from her bicycle and had broken her pelvis. She agreed to handle the mailing of the SASE responses if I could take over the trip for her.

A quick phone call to Frank Goodykoontz solved the problem of an assistant. We then decided to rearrange the trip to climb Five Fingers (Aquilla), Scodie, and Pinyon.

On Saturday morning, fourteen of us met at Powers Well. Barbara had neglected to send me a copy of her SASE response. Jim Fujimoto alerted me to the fact that her driving instructions ended out at Hwy. 14. At five minutes before the meeting time, I had to drive out to the highway to see if anyone was waiting there. It was a wasted trip.

After returning to Powers Well, I informed the group that we would be hiking Five Fingers from that location instead of the normal parking area. As we were introducing ourselves, a few drops of rain fell on our heads. After conversing with Frank and Evan about routes they had taken in the past, we headed up the hill.

We went straight up to the base of the Eastern finger and then traversed over to the notch just east of the summit. We joined the normal route at this point for the final ascent of the summit. On the return trip, we went on the north side of the middle three fingers and passed through the notch between the two fingers on the east end. At this notch, I discovered that there is a natural window on the rock. It is difficult to find since it is hidden by rocks in the foreground. We then descended the scree slope back to the cars.

We then car shuttled to Walker Pass Campground where we set off for Scodie Mountain. We hiked this peak via the standard route listed in the peak guide. After a short rest at the summit, we returned to the cars.

Here we were joined by John Southworth and Roy Stewart who had climbed Cannel Pt. earlier that day. After cleaning up, we all headed over to the Homestead Cafe for dinner.

Sunday was the day to which I was looking forward. I had found a route in J. C. Jenkin's book "Self Propelled in the Southern Sierra" for Pinyon Peak which went through all public land. If it went well, it would be preferable to having to get permission from a land owner to do this peak despite the fact that this land owner is very amiable.

After meeting at the Walker Pass Campground, we car shuttled to a point almost due north of Pinyon on Hwy. 178. We went up the slope to the ridge and then followed the ridge to the right up to the summit. This route is excellent! I led the group too low around one bump, but found an easier route on the way back. We were back to the cars early in the afternoon.

Here we said our goodbyes and called it an early end to the day. Ironically, as we enjoyed a cold drink, a few more drops of rain fell on our heads. It was as if Mother Nature was telling us when we could start and when we should stop.

I would like to thank all of those who attended the hike: Peter Doggett, Evan Samuels, Gary Murta, Jim "Shamus" Fleming, Bob Baird, Rosina Mueller, Mitch Helbretcht, Leslie Metcalf, Stuart Rigney, Homer Meek, Linda Avila, John Southworth, and Roy Stewart. I extend special thanks to Frank who gave up a list finish party to help with this trip.

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