Lead Mountain P300 RS
Whale Peak P300 RS
The Wild Horse P300 RS

Wed, Nov 10, 2021

With: Tom Grundy

Etymology
Story Photos / Slideshow Maps: 1 2 3 GPX

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Today's peaks lie in the southern part of the Spring Range, just east of the CA border and north of Interstate 15. The peaks can be found in Courtney Purcell's guidebook for the Las Vegas area, Rambles & Scrambles. The hikes were all around a mile or less one way, but there was decent elevation gain and some fun scrambling on limestone rock that characterizes much of the range. We left Tom's truck in Jean, NV, and used the Jeep for the day. We spent almost as much time driving as we did climbing, but that was fine with both of us after the long day prior.

Lead Mountain

We first drove to Primm, NV on the CA border where we could access the Stateline Pass BLM road that would take us most of the way to our peak. We stopped at the Starbucks in Primm for some caffeine and sugar in liquid form before heading into the wild. We spent most of an hour driving the rough road over Stateline Pass and into Mesquite Valley, then a spur road ending near the Addison Mine south of Lead Mtn. The first half mile was spent hiking north across a broad, rubbly wash, not pleasant, but not difficult. The second half mile took us up the South Ridge/Face of the peak, what looks almost impossible from our starting point, but turns out to be class 2 the entire way up. The lower half featured some unusual lengths of limestone slabs, the upper half more broken, but decent footing and interesting. We spent an hour on the ascent with views west overlooking Mesquite Valley and into Calfornia - Clark Mtn, Mesquite & Kingston Ranges, among others. I had suggested that Tom could make a more adventurous day of it by crossing the range over Little Devil Peak and a few others to meet up at the last summit. He eyed the traverse from Lead to Little Devil carefully, but there were too many unknowns about the route and in the end Tom decided having an easy day wasn't bad, either. We returned back down via the same route, reaching the Jeep by 9:45a, just over two hours for the roundtrip. On our drive back out, we paused to visit some old mine works including a tram line on the southwest side of Lead Mtn. This was the starting point Candace Skalet had used for her ascent a month earlier - the effort and distance seems to be about the same as our route.

Whale Peak

We would have another 45min of driving on decent roads to get us to paved Sandy Valley Rd and our starting point to Whale Peak, with a brief excursion in and out of California along the way - no agricultural station was found at either stateline crossing. Whale Peak was named by Purcell for the Whale Mine found on its southwest slopes. The climb up the South Ridge from the pavement is relatively easy, taking about 30min over class 2 terrain to reach the summit. Adam Walker had left a register in 2020, with Stav Basis the only other visitor only a few weeks earlier. We returned the same route, an hour for the roundtrip.

The Wild Horse

Named by Purcell for a herd of horses he encountered at the peak one day. It is found on the east side of the range, south of Goodspring. We followed directions to the Lincoln Mine, a defunct site about 2/3mi southeast of the peak. For the ascent, we chose to hike in a gully rather than one of the ridges, a welcome change of pace from the earlier climbing. It had some fun class 3 sections at a handful of short dryfalls, and was surprisingly free of heavy brush. We eventually climbed out of the gully in the upper reaches through a pair of rocky pillars to reach the summit ridgeline. Another 7-8min saw us to the highpoint in the middle of the ridgeline. We found no register though it certainly seems deserving, but we had none with us to leave. We returned via the same route, retracing our steps back down the dryfalls which generally prove easier on descent. We were back to the Jeep by 2:20p and decided to call it a day, even though we'd had one more peak on the day's agenda. Tom had to get to the airport to pick up Iris, and the last summit might cut things a bit close. We drove back to Jean to retrieve Tom's truck and parted ways. I would spend the next few hours making my way to Emigrant Pass near Tecopa, CA, stopping for supplies in Pahrump and to watch a nice sunset enroute...

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