Tue, Jul 18, 2017
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Day 3 in the Spring Mtns had me back for another go at Mummy Mtn. Not the highpoint which I had reached two days earlier, but a trio of summits around the mummy's "head" that I had been unable to reach on that first effort. Cliffs seemed to bar any possibility of traversing from the highpoint to the head. Today's effort would approach from the northwest off Lee Canyon, a route I had gleaned off PB with a GPX track I downloaded. I intended to make a loop of things by descending to the northwest off Mummys Nose and around its NW Ridge, a route I had viewed from several angles the previous day when I was traversing the Sisters. With heavy rains forecasts from afternoon thunderstorms, I got a very early start to avoid any foul weather. Finishing well before 10a and with the threat of thunderstorms minimal, I drove to Kyle Canyon for a second hike to Harris Mtn. This one would take but 2.5hrs (more than 4hrs for the first one), finishing the day early by 12:30p. Though I had done less than 10mi of hiking, the gain had exceeded 6,000ft and I was ready to call it day.
Once above the rope sections, the going is quite easy through a bristlecone forest, class 2 all the way to the summit of Mummys Forehead. It took me 2.5hrs to reach the top of the first summit, your mileage may vary. An ammo box here has the usual busy register for a 52 Peak Club peak, rife with business cards that have since been removed. It was funny that the slogan on the club card seems to have skipped proof-reading - "Changing lifes one peak at a time." Mummys Chin is only a quarter mile south of Mummys Forehead, but the connecting ridgeline is attention-getting. One can ignore the ridge by dropping down into the cirque before climbing the second peak, but I decided to see if the ridge would go. It does, at class 3-4, but the loose material that comprises the route is not worth recommending. It took about 15min to traverse between the two, another ammo box holding a register here. I spent some time studying the view to Mummy Mtn where I had been stymied two days earlier. There was no obvious weakness that I had missed, and at least one of the two major chutes I could see to the left had hard snow patches that would have stopped me short of descending those. I'd be curious to know if folks have found a way to traverse across that gap.
I turned northeast and descended the gully between the Forehead/Chin, using the easier alternate route back to the saddle rather than try and descend the class 4-5 section. The gully drops steeply, narrows some, and soon I picked up ducks and a use trail traversing below cliffs to the 200-foot ascent slope up to the saddle. Back at the saddle, more ducks and use trails lead up to Mummys Nose, a class 2 effort that had me atop this last summit by 8:30a. A plastic bottle holds a register here - an ammo box would seem more appropriate, of course. After snapping a photo looking back at the Forehead & Chin, I turned northwest and started the descent off Mummys Nose. The ridge itself cliffs out in a few hundred feet, but alternates to the left (west side) offer ways through the cliffs and progress downslope. Some ducks appeared that took me down about a quarter mile, but these appear to be for a route coming up from SR158 somewhere. I knew there were significant cliffs on the west side of the NW Ridge, so I moved right to drop steeply down a forested section I had seen the day prior, hugging the base of the cliffs all the way around to where one can drop easily down scree slopes to the west. This route along the cliffs was super-sweet, almost as though it were a use trail - but no ducks. Yay. Anyway, I would recommend this for a descent route but it would be extremely tedious for an ascent thanks to the scree overkill that characterizes most of the route. I eventually rejoined my original route in the gully with less than half a mile to go. It made for a fine tour of the Mummys Head.
For more information see these SummitPost pages: Harris Mountain
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