Peak 2,201ft P500

Apr 9, 2020

With: Tom Becht

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Most of the day was spent driving from San Jose across the state to Needles on the Arizona border, about 8hrs all told. I was meeting Tom out here for some desert fun. We had originally planned to go to Death Valley, but the Park Service had closed the whole park only a few days earlier. COVID-19 was taking its toll, even on folks that make social distancing a hobby. It was raining on and off across most of the state as a late season storm stalled over Southern California. It was mostly dry near Needles, so we got in a short hike late in the day, not starting until 6pm. The hike was fairly short, only about a mile each way with 800ft of gain, so we would easily get up and down before dark. Our peak was the southernmost summit in the Dead Mountains north of Needles and Interstate 40, sandwiched between US95 and the Colorado River. There was a very busy double set of train tracks between where we parked and our summit. There must have been 7-8 trains that came by in 70min it took us to get up and back. We had to wait a few minutes on our return for a particularly long train to go by. The hike is all class 2, a moderately steep climb up moderately rocky slopes, nothing difficult. We knew that Adam Walker had recorded an ascent six months earlier, so it was no surprise to find a register he'd left, but it was interesting that he used an old, rusty tobacco tin, perhaps one he'd found at the summit with unreadable contents. Though it was a quick up and down, it made for a good leg-stretcher and warm-up for the next day.


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