Bubba Bean Peak P300
Peak 2,421ft RS
Bowl View Peak RS
Peak 2,474ft P300 RS
Peak 2,700ft
Mud Hill P300 RS
Capuchin Peak P300 RS
Endless Peak P750 RS

Mon, Feb 21, 2022

With: Tom Grundy
Iris Ma
Tom Becht

Etymology
Story Photos / Slideshow Maps: 1 2 3 GPX

Continued...

We were in the Lake Mead NRA for a second day, this time for a collection of relatively easy summits on the north side of North Shore Rd, most of them found in Purcell's Rambles & Scrambles. Most of the peaks were in the Bowl of Fire area, utilizing dirt/sand roads in the Callville and West End Washes. Though not an early start, we would compensate by keeping at it until after sunset, making for a pretty full day. To start, we left TomG's truck at the junction of SR167 (North Shore Rd) and Callville Wash, driving the two Jeeps northeast up the wash for about 3mi. We left TomB's Jeep on a spur road between Bowl View Peak and Peak 2,474ft to facilitate a point-to-point hike later, then took my Jeep a few miles further for the hike to Bubba Bean.

Bubba Bean

The peak is named by one of the registers left at the summit. We didn't take the easiest route, instead following a class 2 ramp across the imposing East Face that eventually led to class 3 scrambling at the top where we found we were still some distance from the summit. We were separated from it by a wide gully leading down to the south where the easier route is found (and we used on the way back). Despite our miscalculation, it still only took 30min to reach the top. Along with the Bubba Bean register was a second left by Kevin Humes in 2020. Nice views looking southwest into the orange-crimson Bowl of Fire formed by colorful sandstone formations contrasting with the duller limestone surroundings.

Peak 2,421ft - Bowl View Peak - Peak 2,474ft

After returning to the Jeep, we drove a mile back south until we were east of Peak 2,421ft. We would do these three closely-spaced summits in a short 2mi point-to-point, ending at TomB's Jeep. We would spend 2.5hrs at a leisurely pace, climbing the three limestone features in turn. The first two featured Kevin Humes registers from the same day in 2015. The third one had a busier register, probably because it had more than 300ft of prominence while the other two did not. All three have different views into the Bowl of Fire area. Aside from the unnecessary clas 3 on the first peak, all of them are class 2 by the various routes we used.

Peak 2,700ft

Back at the his Jeep, TomB somehow enticed us with cold beers from his cooler, and as it was after noon, I felt obligated to accept. We drove back to TomG's truck and worked out a plan for the afternoon, settling on some additional peaks in West End Wash almost 3mi west of Callville Wash. There was much driving to get from point A to B, occupying an hour's time since the past summit. Iris decided her bum knee had had enough for the day and took it easy while the Toms and I went up this easy summit a short distance south of the road. An easy 12min saw us to the summit. Not much to this one, and so-so views.

Mud Hill

This is the easiest of the Mud trio that includes Mud Tower and Mud Crag. I had originally thought we might do all three, but it seemed we were going to be short on time. In hindsight, we could probably have done them in the same time we did Capuchin and Endless, perhaps even less time. The short climb from the north took us less than 20min to reach the summit where Kevin had left another register dating to 2015. Judging by the name of the peak, we expected badlands-type terrain, but it was your standard rocky desert peak, primarily lilmestone. The winds had picked up and were now lifting dust and dirt, considerably reducing visibility. When we got back to the Jeeps we found Iris off to the side with her legs propped up on a rock, looking like she'd just taken a fall and landed on her head. Seems she was keeping out of the wind, however, and taking pressure off the bad leg.

Capuchin Peak - Endless Peak

Not exactly sure why we decided to do these on the drive back out. I think TomG had checked for sunset and declared it to be 6:15p. It was close to 4p when we reached the starting point, so we figured we had plenty of time, only sunset was well before 6:15p - that must have been twilight time. TomB decided to hang with Iris to drink beer and dig through my food bin while TomG and I went after these. Endless Peak is the highpoint of the Gale Hills, really just the southern extension of the Muddy Mtns, and sports more than 800ft of prominence. We set out to do Capuchin, but with Endless only half a mile further north, I felt we had to do it - "It's so close!", which is code for "I hope they don't mind waiting longer..." We followed a wash from where we parked the Jeeps for about half the distance, then climbed onto the West Ridge which we followed over a false summit to the non-obvious highpoint along the flattish ridgeline. We spent half an hour on the effort, finding another of Kevin's registers, dating to 2020. Endless really did look close at this point, though I misjudged the additional climbing, not realizing it was another 600ft higher in addition to the 300ft drop between them. We were hustling pretty quickly now, not pausing for anything as we descended to the saddle then started up the south side. Knowing that the highpoint was going to be to the west of our ascent line, I took us across a sharp rib that had some unnecessary class 3 scrambling, then some sidehilling to avoid the lower east summit. About 35min after leaving Capuchin, we were atop Endless. It was just after 5p and it was now clear the sun would be setting sooner rather than later. Adam Walker had beaten Kevin to leaving a register by more than a year. Sue & Vic Henney had been the second to sign it in 2019. We hastily signed in before starting a similarly hasty retreat down the broad gully descending the south side, between the two summits. The sun set through the dust haze about 15min after we started down. We managed to work our way back out through an alternate drainage that joined with our ascent gully where the Jeeps were parked, no need for headlamps, but barely. Our companions looked little worse for the wear, though apologizing for a half-eaten bag of tortilla chips I'd forgotten to eat a week earlier. It would be dark before we got back to the highway and TomG's truck. I would head back to Las Vegas to join my wife for a last night while the others headed to the southern part of the city to get a jump on the way back to California. We would meet up again in the morning for a last half day of hiking before parting ways...

Continued...


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