Kyle BM P500 RS
Grapevine Spring Point RS
Lucky Strike Mine Peak RS
Mud Hole Mountain P300 RS
Edge BM P300 RS

Sun, Feb 19, 2023

With: Iris Ma
Tom Grundy

Story Photos / Slideshow Maps: 1 2 GPX Profiles: 1 2 3


We returned to Lucky Strike Canyon for a second day, with unfinished business in the upper part of the canyon. Once again, I picked up Iris and Tom from their camp near the mouth of the canyon and drove us up the canyon for the day's fun. All of the peaks are composed of broken limestone with much talus - not great terrain, but we would make the best of it. It was slightly warmer today, no jackets required, but cool enough to keep us from getting too warm during the hikes. There were four hikes in all, taking in a collection of five peaks and keeping us busy for the day.

Kyle BM - Grapevine Spring Point

These two summits are located on the east side of the canyon near its head. A rough spur road (4WD, high-clearance needed) forks off the main road (where only high-clearance needed), going by Grassy Spring (where there are cattle enclosures and fencing) on its way south to Grapevine Spring. We parked not far from Grassy Spring and headed up Kyle BM's Southwest Ridge, a pleasant hike on firm ground, taking about 45min to reach the top. It was the only summit of the day that did not already have a register, so we left one of ours, after spending a few minutes to partially re-establish the survey tower next to the benchmark. We descended the south side into Grassy Canyon, a bit of unpleasantness due to excessively loose rock on the slopes. After crossing the wash in Grassy Canyon, we headed up the Northwest Ridge of Grapevine Spring Point. This is the easier of the two, almost 400ft lower than Kyle BM, taking about an hour and ten minutes between summits. A Kevin Humes LVMC party had left a register around 2018, but the poor choice of ink had been washed out, making it difficult to read. The summit has a nice view looking east to Grapevine and Kyle Canyons, with Las Vegas beyond in the distance. The return was the easiest leg, a half mile downhill hike WNW to the Jeep, taking about 20min.

Lucky Strike Mine Peak

After returning to the Jeep, we drove back to Lucky Strike Canyon and then up a side canyon to the west that separates Lucky Strike Mine Peak and Edge BM. This 4WD road then turns south to climb higher up to an old mine and homestead on the southwest side of Lucky Strike Mine Peak. It was less than 1/3mi to the summit, but steep. Snow lay on the ground in the shady areas at the start, but not on the slopes of the peak. We spent 20min climbing to the summit where we found another Kevin Humes register from 2019, with only a pair of additional entries in 2020. From the summit, we noted that Mud Hole Mtn was a mile and change to the west, and decided to add it to our itinerary. How much extra work could it be?

Mud Hole Mountain

Plenty, it seems. At 7,600ft, Mud Hole was 1,000ft higher than any of the other summits we would visit on the day. We attempted to driver higher towards the end of the road to save us distance and elevation, but the snow coverage had us stopped not far from where we had parked for the previous peak. Ascending the East Ridge of Mud Hole started off well enough, but once above 7,000ft, the snow became continuous and more troublesome. We weren't equipped for snow travel, let alone plunge-stepping through 6-12" of the stuff that would not let up. I was trying to take a direct line to the summit, thinking I could minimize the snow travel, but it took me across north-facing slopes that held even more snow. Realizing the folly in that line, I changed tack and turned left for the ridge above me on that side. This worked out much better once it was reached, as the SW side and most of the top had little or no snow at all. I reached the summit a few minutes ahead of the other and took a needed break. There is an open view looking south to Angel Peak and Snow King, Mummy Mtn behind them, all of them sporting significantly more snow than Mud Hole - good thing we weren't trying to get to those today. At the summit, Iris broke out the Fireball Whiskey for rejuvenation purposes. A somewhat busy geocache served as the register, which surprised us. What we didn't know is that there is a USFS road climbing to within half a mile of the summit on its west side. After a sufficient rest, we headed back down, this time staying longer on the SE ridge before turning NE, saving us from going through the deepest sections of snow. Back by 2:30p, we had time for one last one before calling it a day.

Edge BM

We drove partway back down the canyon, parking just past where the road turns to the east. It was about a mile and a quarter north to Edge BM from that point. There seemed to be two possibilities, the easiest simply climbing onto the South Ridge and following it over several bumps to the summit. The other was to do some sidehilling on the east side of the ridge to avoid the extra bumps, hopefully with some sheep trails to make the sidehilling less annoying. We started off opting for the latter, but when I decided the hoped-for sheep trail wasn't forthcoming, I went up to the ridge while the others continued with the traverse on the east side. When we next caught sight of each other, Tom and Iris were well ahead, having just climbed onto the South Ridge after finishing with the sidehilling. Sheep trail or not, their route was obviously better. They continued in front all the way to the summit, taking just under an hour. An LVMC register from 2017 was found along with the expected benchmark. Candace Skalet was the latest visitor, just a few months prior. Our descent would go a little faster as once again we split up. I wanted to take the faster route Tom and Iris had used on descent while they went for the ridge route, but somehow I still ended up behind them, leaving me with the uncomfortable conclusion that it wasn't the route that was slower. It was after 4:30p by the time we finished up back at the Jeep. The drive back out Lucky Strike Canyon was accompanied by cold beverages from the cooler, making for a pretty good finish to the day. I dropped the others off at Tom's truck and head back to Las Vegas. We would meet up again the following day on the other side of town...


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