South Arrow Cone P300 RS
Divided Peak P500 RS
Hand Peak P500 RS
The Pincher P300 RS

Sun, Mar 12, 2023
South Arrow Cone
Story Photos / Slideshow Maps: 1 2 GPX Profile


I was back on the NE side of Las Vegas, doing a handful of summits found around Hidden Valley, on either side of US93. Daylight Savings had started again, and since my wife had to be at the convention center at the same time as the previous day, I was getting an earlier start, just after sunrise. Temperatures were mild - 50F in the morning, warming to 71F by afternoon. A nice breeze kept it from feeling too warm. All of the day's peaks can be found in Purcell's Rambles & Scrambles.

South Arrow Cone

This summit is found in the southern part of the Arrow Canyon Range that runs along the east side of Hidden Valley and US93. Not sure why Purcell named it "South Arrow Cone" as there is no complementary "North Arrow Cone." It is an easy class 2 summit less than a mile from the highway. I parked SW of the summit and went fairly directly up from there in just over 30min. The summit overlooks Dry Lake Valley and several very large solar installations to the east and south. A Kevin Humes' party left a register in 2020. Bob Cable was the most recent visitor in 2021. I went back down via much the same route, finishing by 8:55a. Good warm-up, this one.

Divided Peak

This is the southernmost summit in the Arrow Canyon Range, found on the west side of US93. I parked at the end of the pavement on Apex Power Pkwy, about 2/3mi northwest of the summit. I believe there are easy ways to climb this one from the north, but I wanted to enjoy the challenge of finding my way up through the limestone cliffs on the peak's west side. It was an enjoyable bit of route-finding adventure with short spurts of class 3 with some exposure, nothing too serious, taking about 45min. I mistook the lower north summit for the highpoint, so ended up visiting both points. There is a large summit plateau overlooking more solar farms and a couple of gas-fired power stations as well. Kevin Humes had visited this one in 2021, leaving another of his easily-recognized registers. My return was another variation off the west side, easier than the ascent route, with acres upon acres of limestone scree spilling downslope.

Hand Peak - The Pincher

This was the most enjoyable outing of the day, a 3.8mi loop around the drainage between the two peaks, located in the Las Vegas Range, at the north end of Hidden Valley. A BLM dirt road runs west from the highway a little over a mile, to a clearing where I parked. High-clearance needed on the rough road. From where I parked, I headed northeast, following a line up through the limestone cliffs, much like I had done earlier on Divided Peak. Great fun. It landed me on the summit ridge about 1/3mi south of Hand Peak's highpoint. Easy class 2 leads to the summit over a false summit along the way, about an hour from the start. Adam Walker had left a register here in 2021. He had started from nearly the same point as I had, but his route to the two peaks was very different.

After a short stay at the summit, I headed northwest on the summit ridge, eventually turning west and dropping to the first of several saddles on the connecting ridgeline to The Pincher. From the summit of Hand to the base of The Pincher is all easy class 2, but a bit tiring with the ups and downs. I ascended the steep north side of The Pincher, a fun bit of class 3 scrambling on decent limestone. Adam had left a second register here, on that same first day of 2021. I knew the easier descent was to the southeast, as I had studied The Pincher during and after the ascent of Hand Peak. To add a bit of challenge, I headed off to the south, then southeast into a narrow drainage that exits the base of The Pincher on its SE side. I only got about halfway down before I was stopped by a huge dryfall and no easy bypass. I ended up traversing around the top of the large cliff band that formed the dryfall, exiting by another route that turned out to be pretty fun. It gave me a good view into the deep gorge that forms the bottom half of this drainage. It looked like I would have been stopped by other dryfalls, even if I'd managed a way past the upper one. Would probably be a fun exercise to try ascending it from the bottom, but I'll leave that exercise to another explorer. I was back to the Jeep by 1:15p, still with many hours of daylight, but not enough energy nor motivation to continue. I would take it easy the rest of the day, with plans to return to the same area the next day...


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