Peak 1,200ft
Peak 1,338ft P300
Peak 1,538ft P500

Thu, Jan 20, 2022
Etymology
Story Photos / Slideshow Maps: 1 2 GPX

With my wife heading to Southern California to ref a volleyball tourney, I headed back out to the desert, my third weekend in a row - something of a record, I think. This trip, I was heading to the SE corner of Death Valley on the west side of SR127. My first order of business, however was to tackle a few summits in the Sperry Hills that I had neglected last week. Afterwards I headed into Death Valley on the dirt/gravel Ibex Mine Rd.

Peak 1,200ft - Peak 1,338ft

These two peaks are located at the southern end of the Sperry Hills. They are somewhat detached from the rest of the range, and made of limestone, have a different composition as well. But whether they are part of the Sperry Hills mattered little - they have sufficient prominence and needed to be visited. I reached them from the Dumont Dunes Access road. Any vehicle can travel the well-graded gravel road that provides access to the Dumont Dunes OHV area. I turned off this road to follow tracks north for a mile and a quarter to the base of Peak 1,200ft. I'm not sure of the legality of driving vehicles in this area, but I knew that it wasn't Wilderness, at least. I visited both summits in a 2.5mi loop taking a little over an hour and a half. I went directly up the West Face of Peak 1,200ft, steep but class 2 (as was all the day's ramblings), reaching the top in less than 15min. A large wash cuts between the two peaks, which meant I had to lose all the elevation before starting to the second summit. I followed a side wash on the northeast side of Peak 1,338ft's summit ridge for a short while before climbing up to the ridge. I then followed the remaining distance along the ridge to the summit, about 45min from the first peak. Peak 1,338ft was both higher and more prominent, so I left a register here. I descended the south side of Peak 1,385ft, traversed around the base of the ridgeline on the west side before crossing the wash for a second time to return to the Jeep.

Peak 1,538ft

I spent the next hour and a half driving. I had planned to drive Ibex Mine Rd to its end at its namesake mine to climb a pair of summits in the Talc Hills, but found the road completely washed out for the last mile and a half. I made some effort to find the continuing road by driving some in the wide wash, but after about 10min decided it was a futile effort - the road appears to be gone for good. I made some quick calculations and decided the extra 3mi added on to my six mile hike was going to keep me occupied hours past sunset, not the preferred time of day for me. So I gave up and returned back for the easier effort to Peak 1,538ft. The peak is located in the Ibex Hills, about half a mile south of the gap that allowed me to cross the range on my drive. It made for a pleasant hike, taking about 30min to reach the summit. I followed one ridgeline from the north on the way up and an adjacent one on the way down. I enjoyed the late afternoon views from the summit while leaving a second register here. It was after 4p when I finished up. I had more daylight, but it was expended in more driving, this time south down a small valley separating the Saddle Peak Hills from the Ibex Hills. I found a nice place to camp on the east side of the Ibex Hills where I planned to do more hiking the next morning.

Continued...


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