Climax Peak RS
Anticlimax Peak

Tue, Mar 22, 2016
Etymology
Story Photos / Slideshow Map GPX Profile

I was on my back to Red Rocks, NV for the fourth time this year, and as has become ritual, I stopped along the 8hr drive to tag a few summits. The two here are found in the Mescal Range just south of Interstate 15 at Mountain Pass. Because of the long drive from San Jose, it wasn't until 2:30p that I got started at the south end of Bailey Rd. The road turns to dirt/gravel and splits after less than 1000ft. The right (west) fork goes to a private inholding on what is mostly BLM lands just outside the Mojave National Preserve. The left fork continues on public land but grows rougher and I had to park at a second fork before I got into trouble. From this point, Climax Peak is just about a mile SSW. The right fork here goes to the private inholding I found on the ascent, but the left fork can be used to follow on road and then trail all on public lands (which I used for the return). The area appears to be home to a great many wild burros judging from the many trails criss-crossing the slopes and the amount of poop found along them. These turn out to be most helpful getting through what otherwise would be brushy affair. The road ends at an old mine site part-way up the mountain, but the burro trails can be used to advantage. It took about an hour to reach the summit of Climax. The name derives from Courtney Purcell's Rambles & Scrambles - I'm going to have to ask him just how he came to use that particular name. The register was fairly new, less than a year old and was already sporting the name bestowed by Courtney. The summit offers a fine view of Mountain Pass and the huge Molycorp open pit mine complex that sprawls over the north side of the pass. The highpoint of the Mescal Range can be seen about a mile to the SW, a summit I had visited more than three years earlier. Less than a mile to the northwest is Peak 6,020ft which I've dubbed Anticlimax Peak since it's lower and makes a nice companion. The connecting ridgeline is fairly easy to follow and took only about 35min to traverse, dropping to a saddle between them before climbing back up some 360ft. No register at this summit. The whole outing came in at under 5mi, less than 2,000ft of gain and about 2.5hrs - just enough to get my legs warmed up before continuing on to Las Vegas. The real show would start the next day...

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