Tue, Mar 9, 2021
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I was up at 5a to warm the Jeep and get ready to start my day. From the pipeline road I had camped on, there's a spur road heading north that I drove for 2.5mi to get me close to my peaks on the west side of the range. The road sees very little traffic but worked nicely as I took it easy in the Jeep, making my way up the broad alluvial plain, gaining 500ft in the process. I parked off the road and was ready to head out around 6:20a. The first summit, Peak 2,444ft, was about a mile and a quarter distance with 1,000ft of gain. From the Jeep, I continued northeast on foot up the alluvial wash to the south side of the peak. I then turned north, following a gully up the peak's south side. Nearing the top of the slope, I came across a cairn that I guessed had been left by a prospector back in the day. Looking inside, I spotted a rusty tobacco tin that held a mining claim from 1949. I suspect the claim was never filed with San Bernardino County (that would have cost a dollar and some effort), but simply recorded here with plans to return and file the claim with the country recorder if any valuable minerals had been found in the quartz rock. It was similar to countless quartz outcrops one finds scattered across the desert - they are often picked over by prospectors and rock hounds, but most of them prove of little commercial worth.
I topped out on what I thought was the summit by 7:20a, finding nice views and a slightly higher point to the north. Another ten minutes saw me to the other summit and by 7:30a I had reached Peak 2,444ft's highpoint. After a brief stop to leave a register, I dropped 500ft steeply off the east side on my way to the second summit, Peak 2,979ft. I crossed the upper end of a wash before ascending a gully heading east up another 1,000-foot slope. Like the first summit, the slope was steep but class 2, comprised of your standard broken granite and other volcanic rocks, decent footing but not very memorable scrambling - more of a workout than exciting. By 8:40a I had gained the main crest of the range about 1/3mi northeast of Peak 2,979ft. I hiked the ridgeline towards the summit, finding three points vying for highpoint honors. The middle summit was clearly lower than the other two, but I could not tell which of the west and east summits was higher. I visited them both in turn, pausing briefly on the east summit but not leaving a register - I'll leave it to some future visitor with more accurate surveying gear to figure out which one is the highest.
I turned southeast and began making my way towards Peak 2,700ft, about a mile and a quarter in that direction. It was the only traverse between summits that didn't drop down to a wash, but it did cross a low saddle before climbing more than 350ft. I reached the top of Peak 2,700ft by 10:15a and took another rest while leaving a register for future visitors. The view to the southeast is dominated by the profile of East Bristol BM, a near-P1K I had visited in 2015. I was now well past the halfway point, with the last two summits much lower. Peak 1,952ft was a mile away to the southwest. I descended 1,200ft down Peak 2,700ft's SW Ridge, crossed a wide wash, and ascended Peak 1,952ft from the northeast, about as direct a route between the two peaks as one could fashion. There was a cairn on the summit but no register. I decided to save my last one for the final summit, Peak 2,214ft, another mile to the northwest. Once again I dropped into a wash, following it north to approach Peak 2,214ft from the east. This would save me some of what looked like a tedious ridge traverse had I followed a more direct route. I found a loose gully that would take me up to the East Ridge which I then followed around and over a few obstacles before landing at the summit around 12:30p. At this point I was only a mile away from the Jeep which I could see on the desert plains below to the west. I left my last register here before starting down the NW Ridge, enjoying the descent at first, but finding it much longer than I would like. So rather than continue to its end, I dropped north into the wash on that side and hiked the wash back to the Jeep by 1p. All in all, it made for a fun loop, taking about 6h40m.
I planned to hike the next day in the Bristol Mtns north of Broadwell Lake. I was looking forward to getting dinner at the Dairy Queen in Ludlow, at the exit for Broadwell Lake. Unfortunately the DQ and 76 station were closed for remodeling. I would settle for soup tonight. I drove about halfway to Broadwell Lake on the good BLM road, finding a flat spot off the roadway near some transmission lines. I would be in bed before 8p with plans for an earlier rising so I could get a good hike in before driving home...
This page last updated: Sat Mar 13 09:23:14 2021
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