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JHC members take note ...
Helga Hirschmann's latest


16 July


You are doing a superb job for the JHB Hiking Club. Do the members realize how much work goes into it? Enjoy Footnote tremendously. If it works, attached are some backpack/hike photos from the California High Sierra, with me as a "drop'in". 


The Sierra Club here has a rule for sending in a cheque four weeks prior to event and even earlier as many events book out 5-6 months in advance. One can cancel four weeks prior to event and the cheque will be cut-up. If one wants cheque back, send a SASE (self-addressed with stamp envelope to leader).  After that, sorry guys, no return of cheque if one cancels out. That means, the Club makes money on no-shows and does not lose, and that's the point. Yes, it happens, that people cancel 2-3 days prior to trip, but, they paid up. The sad part is that there is mostly a long waiting list and mostly it is hard to get prospective replacements within 2-3 days to fill in the void.  Sometimes yes, often no.  It means, more space at camp grounds for the show-ups!


I am on many backpack & carcamp trips this year, although we had to change early May and June trips because of up to 3 meter of snow in high altitude. Incredible snowy winter, since 89 years first time.

The Waterfall ones are taken inside Yosemite National Park; group picture is 'Lower Yosemite Falls' at 1,230 M elevation, fall length is 2,425 feet. The wide waterfall picture is at 'Vernal Falls' at 1,538 M elevation; the other waterfall is ' Nevada Falls' at 1,803 M elevation.  Waterfalls are awesome this year because of the 89 year record snowfall. This was 2-4 June 05. We could only go on trails up to 6,700 feet, above  3 - 4 Meter snow. All camps in Yosemite National Park above 7,700 feet remain closed this year due to the snow pack.

The Llama Foto was 4 Sept. 2004 in 'Desolation Wilderness', the playground for weekend backpack und hiking trips for us city folks. Only 220 miles one way..... We call it the backyard of San Francisco... Very crowded at walk-in lake sites, very solitary at the higher lakes because of permit control. At some lakes only six back packers per day are allowed! And, the cost is $5/night, ugh!  I was on a solo back pack trip for 3 days to Lyons lake. Not another sole there, step ascending. As a matter of fact, I am off tomorrow, 16 July, for another 'Desolation Wilderness' back pack trip, solo, to 'Twin Lakes', if the snow cooperates. Four weeks ago still 2 M of snow. I just need to get away into the mountains, they are calling me....

The backpack photos are from 23-29 July 2004, a year ago, 'Kings Canyon National Park', a jewel of spectacular scenery. I still dream of the granite mountains, the green meadows, the gurgling creeks, and blue coloured lakes. Altitude from 6,700 feet up over Glenn Pass at 11,979 feet (with me in the granite bowl).

Hope you can incorporate a new resolution for four weeks prior to trip start fully paid-up trips, into the JHB Hiking Club rules. This will make the members think twice.  Any unforseen situation can occur and a hiker might not be able to partake, but, at least the trip is paid, the Club does not loose money.  We have had people cancel one day before the trip, just not feeling'like it'.  They are black-listed and are not taken any longer on trips...

I booked all my 2005 backpacking & car camping trips in January, as they fill up so fast. We are usually the same people, a small group of approx. 25 and getting older! It is tough loaded up with gear and hike 8 miles at 8 - 10,500 feet altitude. The rewards, arriving at a lake, or stream, in High Sierra country, are mesmerizing. Every time I wish I just would die there right on the spot, too beautiful to let go. But then, there is another day, another trail, one needs to continue on and marvel at the spectacular high mountain world.

From 1 -4 July was at Mt. Lassen National Park, a volcanic area, still active, North East of San Francisco, appr.185 miles. Area is part of the Ring of Fire. We were 14 backpackers and literally walked on ash. Camped at two different lakes with still snow covered mountains around, swam in the warm water.  Hiked up to two dead volcano craters.  Sinking into soft ash and so steep. I swore never again, hellish going.

Would be nice to hear from you and how everybody is doing. I am so sad to hear that Mickie passed away.  I knew her from many Sunday outings in the Magaliesberg.  Inge Meets sure was quite a "gal" and I remember Hans Brandes. One must enjoy every day and I shall tomorrow in the High Sierra.
Best Wishes to you all,
Helga-Brita Hirschmann
Divisadero Street
San Francisco, CA 94115
Tel: 415-447-5598 work