First Annual (?) Class of ‘63
whole thing started with a casual conversation that took place between Richard
Liebig and several of us at last summer’s 1960-1966 Summer Reunion Party.
It just kind of grew from there. Climbing
Well, getting back to the story, someone suggested that it might be a great Class of ’63 activity. Obviously, that is not really too practical. As difficult as this climb is, it has become so popular the last several years that you must enter a lottery and select alternate dates just to get the opportunity to extend yourself to the point of exhaustion. Our Sherpa guide, Richard, agreed to enter the lottery for the maximum allowable group size of fifteen. In March, he was informed that our big day was August 3rd.
those of you that may not be familiar with what climbing
The map and the table below show some additional details.
there were fifteen of us who were ready to give it the old high school try.
Over the months, our ranks thinned a bit as schedule conflicts etc took their
toll and the participants changed somewhat. We all in our own way began to train
for the assault. For myself, I had no illusions about making it to the top.
It’s a good thing too; because I didn’t. But it did get me into the
gym, which helped me shed a few (very few and not enough) pounds. I also began
to participate in Sierra Club leader conditioning hikes – too little, too
late as it turns out. Others prepared in their own way, including making day
hikes up mountain peaks in the
Those of us who set out on the trail August 3rd are listed below. All of us graduated from Leuzinger. Only Alan, Michael, and John were not from our class.
David Akins **
Alan Best **
Richard Faith (Time & Knees)
Judy Best Hawley (Time)
Tom Hawley (Knee)
Richard Liebig (Looking out for the rest of us)
Gail Fisher Liebig (Never Her Intention)
Michael Liebig **
Donna McLaughlin Endress (Time)
Gary Miller **
Don Stouder (Not in Shape, Period)
John Swoboda (Acute Mountain Sickness)
** Reached the summit
you see, most of us did not make it to the top for a variety of reasons. My
reason – I was just not in good enough shape. Most of us got to the Trail
Camp or base of the switchbacks. We all went as far as we wanted to, as far as
we planned to, as far as we could, or as far as time allowed. Richard Liebig
did not necessarily intend to reach the top on this trip. As our leader, his
goal was to help each of us go as far as we could, ensure that all of us had a
safe hike, and to be the last in our group back at the trailhead at the end of
the day. Gail never intended to take the complete trip either. She hiked up to
Lone Pine Lake with her 80 year old father (a veteran Mt. Whitney day hiker)
later in the morning and then provided bus service back to the hotel in Lone
Pine as we staggered off the mountain throughout that evening. Ben never
intended to go much further than
started our climb from the trailhead Saturday morning at , each of us going at our own pace. The
two Richard’s were the last back to the trailhead at that night.
next morning most of us met for breakfast. John, Michael, and Gary were not
able to join us having departed for
Facing the camera, Gail Fisher Liebig, Richard, and Tom
To see additional photos from the trip, click here. To see an enlarged version of the photo, click on its thumbnail image.
Don Stouder 8-15-02