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The alarm went off at 4:30a. I expected another hot day and wanted to get done with the climb before it got too warm. I sat there dazed for a few minutes, debating quietly as to whether I wanted more sleep. I'd only slept about 6.5hrs, a bit on the light side, and the desire to go back to sleep was strong. I fought it off and got up instead, putting away the sleeping gear, dressing, breakfasting, and the then driving back up to the 4WD trailhead. I was quick to park and be on my way so as not to disturb the folks in the nearby truck. It was still quite dark when I started off by headlamp before 5a. I would spend over two hours climbing steadily up the decent trail by headlamp for the first hour, sunrise coming around 6:30a.
The trail leads to a saddle on the crest where one starts cross-country. I followed some ducks north to where I hoped to pick up the use trail to Ibapah. I probably could have downloaded a GPX track of someone having done this, but failed to do so and ended up on a make-your-own-route ascent to the SW Ridge. The route was not really bad as the cross-country is not difficult above 10,000ft where the desert scrub relents and the slopes become more forested. From the saddle, one has a fine view of Red Mtn to the south, a P1K I was hoping to add as a bonus. It becomes an even better view from Ibapah's SW Ridge where the trees thin and the views stretch across the horizon. I eventually found the use trail I had been expecting that took me all the way to the summit, reaching it after almost four hours' effort. As the highest point in the Deep Creek Range, and indeed the second highest in the western half of the state, Ibapah has commanding views in all directions. There were several register books in an ammo box found in a crude rock shelter built to keep out the wind. In a quick perusal, I found several entries from some of the familiar California regulars. I considered only briefly continuing to either Haystack or Red Mtn, but decided it was getting too warm and would only be worse back at the 6,900-foot trailhead. Better to get done with this one.
On the return, I did a decent job of following the use trail back down to about 10,200ft where I lost it in a small meadow. A 300-foot decent through forested terrain got me easily enough back to the trail and the road leading to it. I had hoped to come across the visitor I had disturbed the previous evening so I could apologize, but the camp was cleaned up and the vehicle gone when I returned around 11:30a. A few days later I received an email from the same gentleman. Seems he recognized my license plate and knew who I was. He had climbed the peak the previous day and had left in the morning after I'd started up the trail. It was over 80F when I returned, thankfully it had been all downhill since the summit. Time to go find cooler parts of the state.
For more information see these SummitPost pages: Ibapah Peak - Monument Peak
This page last updated: Tue Aug 18 16:44:19 2020
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