Merriam Mountains HP Fail P500 CS

Dec 23, 2015

With: Jackie Burd

Etymology Story Photos / Slideshow Map Profile
previously attempted Feb 19, 2013
later climbed Apr 14, 2017

Hello! Bob Burd has given his daughter the honor of writing this trip report as he is currently filling himself with Christmas cookies and enjoying time with his family (and also, why not?). Anyways, my name is Jackie, and I shall try my best to give an accurate description of this event, and if not oh well. I remember starting the hike with at least three layers of clothing since it was a tad windy. I was then told that in a couple of seconds I'd be sweating, which to my father's satisfaction became truth. I remember the paved road become dirt and the amount of beer cans, plastic pieces and other trash was sort of disheartening; the trail seemed like a dumping ground. Alongside the waste, there were numerous car and motor bike tracks. Eventually the path became pretty rugged and it amazes me the amount of risk some four wheel drive owners are willing to take. On the other hand, there was a couple of abandoned cars cast aside in the bushes belonging to those less successful on the bumpy ride. After some light complaining to my dad (which he'd probably exaggerate), we reached the top and my dad prepared himself for a new challenge. He was convinced to climb a towering rock that had no hand holds whatsoever. Seeing that my dad was going to take some time to figure out a plan and gather his materials (Mr. Eagle Scout took a solid 5 minutes to try and tie a knot). I'm not really sure of what his thought process was, so I decided to scramble on a couple of surrounding rocks and do a little bush whacking of my own. Once I was done admiring the view and some graffiti, it appeared my father had given up faith on conquering the stone pillar so we made our trek downwards. At the end of it all I was disappointed in our failed attempt to do some rock climbing as well as the fact that my shoes got pretty muddy; still, I got to tease and laugh with the one and only, Bob Burd.

It was my second attempt at this highpoint, which undoubtedly is the most technically difficult range highpoint of any range in California. It had been almost three years since I had been here and in that time I had forgotten just how difficult this summit block would be. I had it in my head that I could throw a rope over the top and aid my way up, but after several attempts at lassoing I realized I had no strength and pretty much no chance at anything other than watching the rope fall helplessly off one side or the other. I then wound the rope around the base of the rock and tried raising it slowly by pushing it up, securing it, repeating, all to no great effect at all. I was about as lame in the effort as described by my daughter. Noting that an extension ladder would work nicely, I mentioned this to Mark when I saw him the next day - he said he would be happy to provide his 18-foot ladder for the effort at some future date. If you'd like to be included in what may be the first ascent of this impressive California range highpoint, make a comment at the end of this trip report with an email address if I don't have yours already.

Others expressing interest for future trip:
*Mark McCormick
*Tom Becht
xBob Sumner
*Avery Wear
*Brian Browning
*Laura Newman
*Greg Gerlach
*Craig Barlow
xRon Moe
xCraig Jagow
*Mark Adrian
*Richard Carey
* - responded for Apr 14, 2017

Mark comments on 12/26/15:
Next time you and Jackie are in town, let me know. We will return with more "gear" I'm sure your daughter is very anxious to make another attempt on the summit block.
Avery Wear comments on 12/27/15:
Let me know when y'all are bringing the ladder...
Brian Browning comments on 12/28/15:
Count me in Bob.
Shane Smith comments on 01/02/16:
A good writer just like the amazing BB! Look forward to more duo reports! Nice and interesting knowing about the most technically difficult summit range highpoint in CA. Looking forward to reading about your future attempt
Laura Newman comments on 01/04/16:
Sign me up...
Craig Barlow comments on 01/05/16:
Would love to be included on the next attempt.
Ron Moe comments on 01/19/16:
Appreciate the effort you've already put into this. Could a 25' one inch pvc pipe push a loop of rope over the top - maybe with a little hook attached to pull it down and around? Just throwing out an idea.
Slim chance I could make it, but there's a chance. Please include me.
Craig Jagow comments on 10/20/16:

Definitely interested in your summit push! I'll bring the beer.

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