Peak 2,140ft P300
Peak 2,115ft P300
Peak 1,460ft
Peak 1,140ft P300
Wedge Hill

Mon, Dec 13, 2021

With: Tom Grundy

Etymology
Story Photos / Slideshow Maps: 1 2 GPX

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Our third and last day in the Whipples was a bit of a mixed bag. I was the only one in our group that had been up Copper Mtn, which happened to be my first ascent in the area on a visit back in 2015. The others were interested in this summit and the adjacent Peak 1,982ft to the west, one I had done back in February and given high marks. I encouraged the group to do both of these while I would go off and do a couple of lesser summits that were expected to be low on the excitement meter. So for the second day in a row, we took three Jeeps up Bowman Wash, stopping on the east side of the old dam where the bulk of our party would begin their day. After dropping off my occupants, I continued east for another 2.5-3mi into Copper Basin until due south of Peak 2,140ft.

Peak 2,140ft - Peak 2,115ft

These two summits lie north of Copper Basin Reservoir on the eastern edge of Copper Basin. Peak 2,140ft lies within the Whipple Mtns Wilderness while Peak 2,115ft is outside. The two are less than a mile apart, separated by a high ridgeline, close enough to do them both together in a 3mi loop. Starting shortly before 8a, I headed north across the basin towards Peak 2,140ft, out of view behind a false summit in the foreground. My route wasn't the most efficient but it worked, getting me to the summit in about 50min. Nothing harder than easy class 3 was encountered, and really it was just a class 2 scramble. Lots of cholla in one section, but otherwise pretty straightforward. After leaving a register, I headed south along the ridgeline, through another cholla garden, to a saddle, and then up the NW Face. The latter looks intimidating from a distance, but turns out to have breaks through the cliffs upon closer inspection, class 2-3. It took another 50min between the summits. Peak 2,115ft had a wooden survey tower still partially intact, not bad for what was probably erected 80-90yrs ago. I left a second register here before descending the west slopes back down to Copper Basin, also class 2. I was back before 10:30a, taking about 2.5hrs for the loop.

Peak 1,460ft

Back earlier than expected, I decided to pay a visit to Peak 1,460ft on the western edge of the reservoir. The immediate vicinity around the reservoir is fenced and gated, courtesy the MWD. Still, a rougher OHV road can be followed around the west side of the reservoir to reach a wash on the north side of the peak. I found no fences or signs to discourage me from climbing it from this direction, making my way past a few junked cars to reach the summit in about 15min's time. There is a small telecom installation at the top, but it looks old and decrepid and possibly no longer in use. The summit has a nice view of the reservoir and overlooks what appears to be a caretaker's abode at the water's edge, below to the east. I saw no sign of recent human activity anywhere about the reservoir. To the west rises Copper Mtn with a good view of Monument Peak on its southeastern flank. I returned to the wash and the Jeep, then drove back to where the other Jeeps were parked. I waited for them to return from their outing about 30min later, which they declared a fine success. Chris went off on his own to climb the first two peaks I'd done earlier. He was heading home today and was trying to pack as much Whippleness as he could into the day. The rest of us drove back to our camp at the start of Bowman Wash, TomB then starting his own drive for home. The others would hang around a few days longer.

Peak 1,140ft

TomG and I stopped along Parker Dam Rd to tackle this minor summit close to the Colorado River. It lies on BLM lands and has steep cliff faces on the NE side facing the road. We approached from the south by first following a wash leading inland along the southwest side of the peak. It was an interesting wash with a small, seeping spring, not enough water to get any sort of flow, but it was quite jungle-like in one spot and even supported a few palms. We scrambled up class 2-3 volcanic slopes from the south, some slabs but mostly a lot of rock, not the most enjoyable stuff. We found there were two summits separated by 5-600ft. We sighted the northern one against a backdrop near the Gene Wash Reservoir to determine the southern one we stood upon was higher. This was in contrast to LoJ which had the northern one as the highpoint - I would have this corrected later. Interestingly, the actual highpoint was just far enough east to make this the easternmost summit in California now, bumping nearby Power BM from the title.

Wedge Hill

Back at the vehicles, Tom and Iris went to hike the Castle Rock Trail in AZ while I went there for an easier outing closer to the river. The name Wedge Hill is found on the River Island Park map, but not in the BGN database. This is primarily an RV park with hookups and a boat ramp with river access, along with a $10 entrance fee. There is a small network of trails that can be accessed by parking along US95. I did just this, finding the trails and then hiking to the highpoint where there is a nice view bench overlooking the river and RV park. All of about 15min for the roundtrip effort.

Afterwards, I drove to Lake Havasu City, stopping for a jug shower along the way. Eric had done a good job of finding us a Thai restaurant in town. After Tom and Iris had finished with Castle Rock, we all met up at Chao Praya in the downtown area. We all thought the food was excellent, btw, highly recommended. Afterwards we drove to BLM lands north of town to find a quiet place to camp for the night. We would spent the next day hiking and scrambling around the nearby Mohave Mountains.

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