Day 11 of my desert road trip had me in the northeast corner of Clark
County, NV. The primary reason for being in this area was to climb
Davidson Peak, a P1K, but there were a handful of other peaks in the area
as well, some in Purcell's Rambles & Scrambles, others not. All in
all, it was a pretty moderate day. The weather was cold and chilly to
start, but it warmed up nicely and was one of the better days,
I had camped near the base of this peak on its southwest side, up before
6a and had driven to the summit before 6:20a. There is a telecom facility
just below the highpoint which is reached with a hike of about
50ft from where I parked. As it was well before sunrise, the
photos were a bit weak, matching the peak nicely.
Little Davidson Peak
This one is nearly a drive-up as well. Purcell doesn't mention this, just
a vague Class 2-3 via North Slope. The roads ends at
a telecom installation a quarter mile from the summit
on its southwest side. The hike would be a simple
class 2 romp except that there is a 20-foot cliff band just below the
summit. I tackled this directly via a class 4 crack with small
footholds. On the way down, I first looked for an easier way off, but the
alternatives seemed worse, so I reversed the same moves. This one
was a little bit of unexpected fun.
I drove back down Little Davidson and then took a rough road over towards
the small valley between Davidson and Little Davidson, parking
at the base of Davidson's East Ridge.
I was about 1.5mi from the summit at this point,
starting off at 7:40a. It took me an hour and a quarter to hike
the ridge to the summit, never very steep and quite
enjoyable with fine views from the ridge overlooking the
Virgin Valley to the south. The rock (as was all
I climbed today) was primarily limestone with good footing. The summit
affords good views looking west to Moapa
and Mormon Peaks. The former is
a DPS summit I'd climbed a decade earlier with Matthew. The latter was on
the agenda for tomorrow. The North Ridge
of Davidson looks interesting as
well, with vertical cliffs on its west side. Purcell had given this a class
4 rating but I couldn't figure out where one was supposed to start on it.
I found no register on this or any of the summits I visited today. My
return was a slight variation of the ascent, basically returning back down
the East Ridge.
Peak 3,100ft/Peak 3,180ft
These were two easy summits found just
off the road, between Beacon Peak
and Little Davidson. With warmer temperatures, I did these two in a very
casual loop of about 2.5mi, taking far longer than normal. I lazed about
the second summit on the leeward side
to soak up the sun for almost half
an hour. Sometimes I get to feeling lazy, but it's usually short-lived.
It wasn't yet 1p when I finished up with the two easy summits, so I looked
around for something to occupy myself for a few more hours.
Since I was heading
south on I-15, I looked for something around Glendale where I'd be
exiting for Mormon Peak the next day. I found Candy BM, an isolated summit
of no great elevation but almost 900ft of prominence. It would do nicely.
I got off at Exit 100 and then drove north on a dirt road (high-clearance
recommended) for about 3.5mi. A rougher road (4WD recommended) forks to
the northwest to get one within about 1.2mi
of the summit on the ENE side.
I hiked west from where I parked, not using either the East
Ridge or East
Canyon mentioned by Purcell, instead following a vague route up
the NE Face
with some really fun but short sections of class 3 scrambling. I
spent about 45min on the ascent, enjoying the late afternoon lighting
on the desert landscape. There was a derelict survey tower
in a small
cairn, the benchmark presumeably buried under there somewhere. I descended
to the south off the summit to start down the
long East Ridge. This went
well enough, but I got distracted when I started looking off
the left side
into the East Canyon. Purcell mentions an interesting cave there with a
hole in the ceiling. I decided to drop north into the canyon, finding that
I picked one of the cliffiest places to do so. Despite this, I
meandered my way
through it with some short class 4 moves to make it work. As a
bonus, I had descended close to where this cave
was, on the opposite side
of the canyon. Once in the canyon bottom, it was a short walk to get
back to the start of the NE Face I'd ascended with a very smooth, gentle
grade to walk the last 2/3mi back to the jeep.
The whole outing was a bit
over an hour and a half, and a good time to call it a day...