Knob Peak P500 RS
After-Work Peak P500 RS
Mine View Peak RS
Polytick Peak P300 RS
Murphys Peak P500 RS
Basalt Peak P300 RS
Northshore Peak West P300 RS

Mon, Dec 3, 2018
Story Photos / Slideshow Maps: 1 2 GPX Profiles: 1 2 3 4 5


I was back in the Lake Mead NRA for a second day, tagging some peak along Northshore Rd found in Purcell's Rambles & Scrambles. Though they were all fairly short, they were technically challenging with steep, broken limestone rock, conglomerate, some sandstone and the spooky, steep soft earth stuff on the last summit. After rescuing Tom and Iris at Clipper Mtn in California the previous day, I had driven back to Nevada, camping at the same spot between Searchlight and Henderson that I had used the previous night. I was up in the morning, driving through Henderson and into the NRA around sunrise.

Knob Peak

My first stop was to the peak I had aborted on when I got the distress Snapchat from Iris the previous day. I drove back up West End Wash, then onto a rougher road going up and around the north side of Knob Peak. Only 0.4mi from the summit, the distance was short but there was still almost 600ft of gain. The northwest side I climbed was somewhat loose, but fortunately the angle not so great as to make it dangerous. There is a convenient ramp where the face is steepest near its base, keeping things class 2-3. As I was not really sure if I had other options for the descent, I came back the same way.

After-Work Peak

Located south of Knob Peak and on the south side of Northshore Rd, I found this to be a straightforward class 2 pile of rubble with no fun scrambling. Good views of Lake Mead to the south from the summit, but as an after-work exercise, there are far better alternatives closer to Las Vegas.

Mine View/Polytick/Murphys

This trio is found a few miles east on the north side of Northshore Rd. A hihg-clearance gravel road goes up Callville Wash to get you close to the three summits. Mine View and Polytick are primarily broken limestone slabs, much like Knife and Slabs Peaks the day before. I headed west for the lower Mine View Peak climbing up the east side and then down the north side, dropping to a saddle with Polytick Peak. The name derives from the large (but mostly non-operational) surface mine found to the west. Some decent scrambling can be had climbing the south side of Polytick. Seems Pucell & company picked up three ticks while climbing this one - I was glad to see none of the critters today. The summit ridge is a mix of limestone conglomerate and sandstone. Both Mine View and Polytick had registers only a few years old. I continued NE across the summit of Polytick, passing a large class 4 pinnacle before dropping into the western end of Bowl of Fire, a brightly-colored sandstone area. It was fun to cruise through this area, a maze of narrow canyons and interesting rock features. I then began climbing up to the north side of Murphys Peak, avoiding the closer northwest side that looked a bit treacherous. The north side was steep, but not overly so, and made for a good scramble to >P33>the summit. I descended an easier route down the south side, eventually dropping into a gully before emerging in the main Callville Wash for a short walk back to the jeep. This was the best hike of the day, hands down.

Basalt Peak

This was a summit I bypassed earlier in the year when I was doing a loop around Hamblin Mountain and Hamblin Butte. It uses the same starting location on Northshore Rd, at a paved turnout with trash receptacles. The distance is a little over a mile as the crow flies, though the easiest route is a bit longer, going up a wash to approach the summit from the northeast. I ignored the nice line I had drawn on the GPSr to make a more direct effort from the north, going over a couple of false summits with drops on the other side. I found some cool scrambling in places and a lone bighorn sheep, so I didn't mind the more difficult route option. It wasn't that great, so on the way back I took the easier route down the wash.

Northshore West

Purcell has this to say about Northshore West: This is an awful peak, littered with loose scree. The north face is a treacherous, supremely dangerous route. I didn't read this until after I had climbed it, but there was nothing there I would disagree with. It WAS awful, and I didn't even use the routes mentioned in the book. I went up the West Face, starting along a low shoulder, finding loose, spongey-soft slopes composed of powered rock and gravel. Higher up, the rock quality improved, but only in comparison to the other stuff lower down. Not wanting to return the same way, I descended the NE Ridge, another dangerous route (though not as bad as the West Face), that had me crab-walking down more of the soft crud, wondering just how sturdy this stuff could be. It seemed to hold my weight well-enough, but I was nervous almost all the way up and down this thing. No fun found here.


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