Wed, Nov 9, 2022
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Four of us were in the northern part of the Turtle Mtns with differing agendas. TomG and Iris planned to follow the route to Kelbaholt and a few other summits that TomB and I had done a few years earlier. Karl planned to ride his bike around the network of roads. I wanted to pay a visit to four unnamed summits, a ten mile effort that would occupy me for most of the day. Because their Element was not able to drive to the intended trailhead, Tom and Iris would have an extra two miles each way on top of an already full day. I offered to drive them to the Kelbaholt TH before heading to the one for my outing a few miles away. In reviewing my TR from Kelbaholt, they had seen the picture I took and the story of TomB tripping over the cable at the TH due to inattention. I hung around for a few minutes after reaching their TH so TomG could recreate the scene for amusement purposes. We were all laughing for minutes when comparing the two pictures - cruelty among friends at its best.
I left the pair to drive the rough roads to my starting point at the north end of the range where there is a corner cut into the Wilderness. Eric and I had used this same TH in 2021 for a collection of nearby summits. Today's peaks would be a few miles further to the southwest. The flattish terrain to reach the base of the peaks is not difficult, mostly open desert flats, made easier by an old road heading in that direction, no longer open to vehicles. The first hour was spent hiking this road and some cross-country across broad wash areas to reach the base of the first summit, Peak 2,431ft. I learned very quickly that the dark volcanic coloring I had seen in the satellite view was primarily the work of desert-varnished rocks thrown up in ancient eruptions that have left much of terrain a rubbly mess. Dry grasses on the lower slopes partially hide the rocks lurking underfoot to trip one up. Put simply, it is unpleasant terrain. It wasn't all bad, but enough to void any sort of future endorsement. The four summits are spaced about a mile apart in a diamond shape. Only two are connected by a ridgeline, the others separated by deep washes that require dropping all the way down to the desert floor before climbing the next peak. Though none of the peaks had registers nor entries on PB or LoJ, they all showed signs of previous visits. Several had summit cairns, one had old prospector cairns near the summit, the other had a rusty Schlitz beer can just below the summit. I left registers on three of the peaks, leaving one without because I had no more to leave. It would take me roughly an hour between peaks at a modest pace. Despite the unpleasantries of the terrain, I enjoyed the outing very much, as the weather was near ideal following some nighttime rain, and I had the day to get lost in my thoughts while wandering a remote part of the Mojave Desert with all the fresh smells new rains can bring out.
I finished up back at the Jeep just after 2p, having taken 6.5hrs for the outing. Karl completed his bike ride around the same time, but TomG and Iris would be out until well after sunset, finishing their outing by headlamp. We would all reconvene in the southern part of the range near Vidal Junction where we planned to hike the next day. Karl prepared a fine campfire for our group that we enjoyed until it was time to settle into bed for the night...
This page last updated: Wed Nov 16 08:39:46 2022
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