Peak 3,989ft P300
Peak 3,694ft
Peak 4,637ft P300
Peak 4,288ft P300

Feb 23, 2024

With: Tom Grundy

Story Photos / Slideshow Maps: 1 2 GPX Profiles: 1 2 3


The twelve day road trip was drawing to a close, leaving us with the final two days. We'd camped southeast of Jean, NV, on a stretch of pavement leading to the Sierra Ready Mix quarry. It seemed a very good spot away from the Interstate 15 traffic noise and other distractions, until sometime after 3a when the first of half a dozen trucks came rumbling down the road in one direction or another. Who needs a truckload of sand so early in the morning? So it goes sometimes.

Today's peaks were easier than the previous day, partly because my body was wearing down after 10 days of this stuff. Tom was still going strong, and once again would get a bonus peak after I called it a day. We visited unnamed peaks in the Sheep Mtns near Jean, and the McCullough Range further east. It was barely 1:30p when we finished our last one together, but that was enough for me today.

Peak 3,989ft - Peak 3,694ft

These two are found in the Sheep Mtns (technically its just Sheep Mountain on the topo map) northeast of where we camped. In the morning we left Tom's truck at camp and drove the Jeep to the Sierra quarry and then dirt roads around to the northeast side of this small range, where we parked next to another active sand quarry. The two peaks are found southeast of the range highpoint, the only other summit in this range on LoJ. We had GPX tracks from Adam Walker and Eric Kassan that we used mostly for the starting point. We followed Eric's track around to a wash to the south of the ridgeline Adam had used for his ascent. Eric had followed the wash to the summit, with the final approach from the north. We got perhaps halfway along the wash when we decided it would be shorter to turn southwest and head more directly to the summit. It looks a little imposing, but turned out to be all class 2, and we were on the summit 50min after starting out. Eric had left a register back in 2022, with one other party signing it before our arrival.

The second summit was another 3/4mi to the SSE along a connecting ridgeline with a few intermediate bumps along the way. After an initial chossy descent off Peak 3,989ft, we were happy to find that sheep trails would take us most of the way along the ridgeline, conveniently bypassing the various bumps, and it would take us only 30min to get between the two. Peak 3,694ft comes up just shy of 300ft of prominence on LoJ, probably why it has no LoJ ascents and isn't even in the PB database - no love for the very obscure. We left a register here to show it a little love, then headed off on an easy descent to the northeast and a direct line back to the Jeep. The 4mi outing came in at a little over 2hrs, and we both found it enjoyable.

Peak 4,637ft

We next headed southeast across the Jean Lake flats to the McCullough Range where the next two are located. I had hoped we could drive up a cherry stem into the South McCullough Wilderness, utilizing a road shown on the topo map. This would have allowed us to climb three or four summits in this part of the range, all fairly close to the road. Unfortunately, the road is not wide enough for the Jeep, suitable only for side-by-sides or motorcycles. We ended up stopping at the Wilderness boundary and tagging only Peak 4,637ft. On foot, we followed a wash and somewhat brushy slope (really just a lot of cacti) up to the West Ridge which would take us to the summit, all class 2. Not a whole lot of excitement in these two peaks. After leaving a register, we decided to drop down a steeper ridge to the south which we found less brushy. It landed us in a branch of the same wash system we ascended, so we had simply to follow it back out to the Jeep. It took us an hour and a half to cover 1.5mi on a pretty mundane summit - seems I was slowing down quite a bit now.

Peak 4,288ft

We next drove partway back on the same road, then a powerline road heading northeast that would take us up to McCullough Pass. This was a pretty rough road that definitely required high-clearance. Peak 4,288ft lay about 3/4mi southwest of the pass, about the same effort as the previous one, and once again it would take us nearly an hour and a half for the outing. Once up the initial steep slope from the pass, the terrain eases to a rolling ridgeline with views off both sides. We left a last register here before returning the same way.

After returning to camp and Tom's truck, I called it good while Tom went off to climb the highpoint of Sheep Mtn, a near-P1K that I had climbed back in 2015. Later that afternoon we would meet up for dinner at the Denny's in Primm, then headed off to camp behind the Whiskey Pete's Casino on BLM lands. The weather was good and we found enough firewood for a nice campfire, the only one I got to partake in for the whole trip. It was a good way to close out our last night together...


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