Stranded In The Southland

Monday, November 29, 2004

My Kind of Anoraks

I've really enjoyed hiking with the Sierra Club recently. The local Angeles Chapter is the largest in the nation, with hundreds, if not thousands, of organized hikes a year. They have subgroups (sections and committees) devoted to all manner of silliness, from alpine skiing to mule packing.

For the true anoraks, like me, who want to keep track of each and every hike and every peak bagged in a far-too-anal manner, they have the Hundred Peaks Section and the Lower Peaks Committee. Each of these groups maintain a list of peaks, which members dutifully check off until they've completed the list. The HPS lists only peaks at 5000 feet and above, while the LPC keeps track of peaks below 5000 feet.

The HPS has been around for 30 years or more, and they've managed to amass a list of 275 peaks to be climbed, making their name a little silly. To join the section, you need to have climbed 25 of the peaks; they give out patches to folks who've climbed 100, 200, and all of the peaks. Last time I looked, over 1000 people had done 100 peaks.

The LPC is fairly young, and only has 77 named peaks so far. So far, only 12 people have completed the list, so you know they are just getting going. They are happy to let anybody join, and seem a bit more relaxed than the HPS crowd.

As I said, these are just my sort of anoraks. So far, I've bagged three HPS peaks:
  • Mt. San Antonio (November 16, 2004)
  • Sunset Peak (November 22, 2004)
  • Josephine Peak (November 24, 2004)
And three LPC peaks:
  • Stoddard Peak (November 13, 2004)
  • Echo Mountain (November 20, 2004)
  • Mount Muir (November 28, 2004)
I'm starting to get excited about this, though, so hopefully I'll manage to bag a bunch more soon. I suppose the right spin to put on this is not "silly, overly anal hike tracking" and much more, "ensuring that I get out and hike a bunch of different places, rather than continuing to go back again and again to old and convenient favorites."