Sun, Mar 1, 2015
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I had spent the night parked off SR161 and Columbia Pass in Southern Nevada. I was in the southern part of the Springs Mountains chasing down some desert summits featured in Wheelock's Desert Peaks Guide and Zdon's Desert Summits. Four of these are located in this part of the range, one of which, Little Devil, I had climbed the previous day. Today I would be after the other three.
I reached the summit by 8:30a where I found a benchmark but no register. Overcast skies subdued the vistas some, but there is a nice view looking up and down the Spring Mountains. The only peaks I could recognize were ones to the south. Potosi was somewhere to the north hidden behind clouds that were becoming increasingly more crowded. Returning south along the ridge, I decided not to drop into the acent wash but take a different route continuing south to follow the crest of the range. Though mostly tame, the route took me over one interesting point with some class 3 rocks to negotiate near its summit. The ridgeline eventually dropped me back down very near where I'd parked the van and by 9:45a I was done.
I topped out at the summit at 11:30a. It's rare that I make it to three separate peaks before noon. The view is quite fine though this morning it was growing cold and windy with more ominous clouds moving in from the south - I would not be able to stay long at the top. Though the SummitPost page describes it as rarely visited, the register suggests otherwise. There were some 17 pages of a register filled and an additional 20 scrap pages since the first page from 1994. Most of the entries appear to be from locals who hike to the summit to repair the windsock that has been in place for several decades now. Small private planes and gliders out of the Jean airport regularly fly around the summit on weekends.
On the descent I followed a steep gully directly down from the summit. It featured more class 3 scrambling, though easier, and much colorful rock mixed in with the gray limestone. I stopped often to pick up one rock or another and examine the various layers that are displayed during the descent of almost 1,000ft. As I got back to the van around 12:45p, the first drops of rain began to fall on the windshield, though they did not amount to much and soon stopped. I was still hoping I could get a last climb to Devil Peak before heading home. I followed Zdon's directions, taking S. Las Vegas Blvd to the pavement's end, then through a tunnel under I-15. The clouds began to obscure Devil Peak and the other high summits of the Spring Mtns and from the east they continued to look bad - a wall of rain could be seen off in the distance. I had a rain jacket with me and didn't really mind the poor visibility conditions I'd find on the summit nor the scrambling on wet limestone (good traction on that stuff, wet or dry). What had me waivering was the tunnel I had taken under the freeway. There was a couple of large mud puddles from the last rain some days ago and it occurred to me that if any serious rain developed I could get stuck on the wrong side of the Interstate. I decided not to chance it and left Devil for another day - hopefully one with more cooperative weather. I still had some eight hours of driving to get back to San Jose, so I didn't mind quitting early. It would still be well after dark before I got home but I might have a chance to see my family before bedtime...
For more information see these SummitPost pages: Shenandoah Peak - Sheep Mountain
This page last updated: Sat Mar 21 12:43:41 2015
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