Club Peak P500 DS
Silver Lake BM P500
Pinto Mountain P500 DS
Bobcat Hills P300

Mon, Nov 9, 2015

With: Bob Sumner

Story Photos / Slideshow Maps: 1 2 3 4 GPXs: 1 2 3 4 Profiles: 1 2 3 4


Bob and I were up well before sunrise in order to get an early start driving west from the CA/NV border on Interstate 15 to the Halloran Summit exit for the first stop of the day.

Club Peak

This minor summit appears in Andy Zdon's Desert Summit, a compilation of 334 desert summits that Bob and I have both been pursuing as a side project. The peak is one of several features in the Cinder Cone Lava Beds west of Cima Dome in the Mojave National Preserve. The drive is somewhat tedious, more than 11mi on fair roads that Bob's high-clearance Liberty had little trouble with. We started from a point about 2.5mi east of the peak as described by Zdon. Our route was a fairly direct line to the summit with the first two miles mostly flat and then directly up the east side that featured some easy class 3 scrambling on volcanic rock. It took just over an hour to reach the top. Mark Adrian had left a register earlier in the year, the old one having disappeared. We found a reference mark nearby but no benchmark. Bob suggested a variation on the descent that proved a little easier technically but no faster than the ascent route. We were done by 9a, a little over two hours after starting out. My suggestion that we tag Button Mtn while we were in the area was met with some disdain and I was unable to provide a convincing argument why we should care. Bob still maintains some standards while recognizing that I have almost none.

Silver Lake BM

This is the highpoint of the Hollow Hills Wilderness area found just northeast of Baker along I-15. We followed driving directions out of Halloran Springs provided by Dan Baxter on, though we didn't bother with the hiking description which seemed overly complicated for my short attention span. With the summit less than two miles away, we headed southwest downhill across a low-gradient wash before climbing up one of the ridgelines heading to the summit, at first climbing west but eventually curving around to approach the highpoint from the north. It took just over an hour to reach the highpoint at the south end of the summit plateau where we found a 1980 MacLeod/Lilley register. There were only about ten parties signing in over the past 35yrs - a fairly obscure summit. Most of the names were familiar, including a 1996 visit by Andy Smakto & party (who couldn't help mentioning he and Bill Schuler had climbed it before MacLeod), the usual San Diego suspects, the ubiquitous Sue & Vic and of course Dan Baxter. For the descent I talked Bob into a looping route along another ridgeline to the south, or thought I had, but somehow this devolved into dropping into the drainage between the two ridge routes, which also worked just fine. Part of this was along a nice, sandy wash that took us out to the broader wash that we followed uphill to where we'd left our vehicle. We were done by 12:30p and back out to Holloran Springs sometime after 1p. Bob decided to head home while I still had a few more days, so we parted company while I looked for something to do with the rest of the afternoon.

Pinto Mountain

Another Zdon summit, this one lies in the Mid Hills near the center of the Mojave NP, roughly between the Providence Mtns to the southwest and the New York Mtns to the northeast. The dirt Cedar Canyon Rd that accesses the area and passes to the south of Pinto Mtn is excellent, suitable for any vehicle at reasonable speeds (up to 40mph). While Zdon's hiking directions are adequate and will get one to the summit, it is not the shortest route. I started about 4/5mi east of Zdon's start, making for a 2.7mi effort to Zdon's 4.5 miles. A cattle guard and fenceline are found where I parked. The summit is not quite in view to the northeast, hidden behind a cliff band in the foreground hills. The cliff band may have been why Zdon chose his route, but it is easy class 3 to get through the lowest point of the band, the only difficulty of any sort on the route. Once above the cliff band the route becomes much more mundane, an easy slope up to a very flattish summit that is so large that good views are hard to come by. A wooden stake near the benchmark helped in locating the register. A fire had swept through the area sometime before 2008, burning the old register and pretty much everything growing in the area. The trees have not recovered but desert scrub and other plants are regenerating slowly. Shane Smith, Terry Flood and Dan Raether were among the recognizable names found in the new register comprising eight pages.

Bobcat Hills

After returning to the van I continued east on Cedar Canyon Rd to Ivanpah Rd heading south. I was on my way to Hackberry Mtn, a P1K, but was short on time when I got to the area after 4p. On a whim I decided to spend the last half hour of sunlight tackling the easy highpoint of the Bobcat Hills found just east of the road. Though I tried to reach the summit before sunset, I missed by about 5min. The rocky summit held a 2006 register left by Richard Carey and Mark Adrian. Better, the only other entry was in 2011, a solo effort by Barbara Lilley (sans MacLeod) - it's a rare day when I get to sign into a register after Barbara. I got back to the van before 5p without needing a headlamp and then drove a few more miles on a spur road west of Lanfair Rd to an informal camp site where I spent the night at the base of Hackberry Mtn. A full day to be sure...


Anonymous comments on 11/30/15:
I don't know if it is just me but for some reason your lists aren't working, like when you click the DS list it says you have climbed 0/334.
See if it's working now. If not, send me an email:
Anonymous comments on 12/01/15:
It's still not working. It usually shows the number of peaks you have completed out of the total number for the list you are working on. This is great to see you progress so we were just wondering if you are able to make the number of peaks you have climbed show out of the number of possible peaks. It used to show it. Thank you for checking. This is the google map based versions of the lists you are working on
Anonymous comments on 12/13/15:
ok, I see. you have to select your name from the pull down menu now that the names of other "climbers" are listed in addition to you. Not really interested in the other "climbers" since I come to your site for you since you're in a league of your own --but thanks for posting your completion numbers as my husband and myself enjoy following your overall completions
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