The start of another desert roadtrip. A particularly wet storm
over the state was drawing to a close, and though there wasn't
nearly as much rain in the desert as along the coast, it was
the first real rain in the Mojave this year.
Hopefully it will help start
it to green up in the next few weeks. I left San Jose around
7a, and with seven hours of driving ahead, I didn't get out to
my starting point until after 2p. I would have time for only a
single summit today, but that would be enough. Peak 2,700ft was
the last LoJ summit in the Soda Mtns I had left, located north
of Interstate 15, about 10mi west of Baker, CA. I used the Rasor
Rd exit and about 1.5mi of driving on rough BLM roads to get me
within about 1.6mi of the summit. There were lots of
clouds over the landscape, giving the desert sky some unusual
contrast, and very pretty. It was breezy and chilly, about 55F
when I started out, and it felt wonderful. I walked up a broad
wash for about half the distance before climbing up
the SE Ridge
of the peak. There was some class 3 scrambling that I enjoyed,
though one could easily keep it to class 2 by keeping to one of
the gullies on either side. I took about 45min to reach the
summit, the highpoint found at the northwest end of
the summit ridge.
There is a fine view of the range highpoint to the north,
and equally nice views in other directions.
I was particularly
excited to see a small blue pill bottle hiding under some rocks
at the highpoint. It was a Smatko register from 1981
other entries. I'd been looking for these all over the other
summits in the range on my previous trip but had come up empty.
It looked like a mouse had nibbled at the plastic lid but hadn't
gotten to the contents (otherwise it would have become mouse
litter and long gone by now). I tucked the register back in the
rocks a little more securely to keep the mice from getting to it.
I descended a gully directly from the summit to the southwest,
dropping more quickly to the wash I had started in earlier. I
enjoyed the stroll back down the wash as the sun grew
was getting ready to set behind the hills to the west. A
I was back by 4p, a short
but enjoyable outing - just enough to whet my appetite at the
start of the trip...