Peak 2,700ft

Fri, Jan 29, 2021
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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 picturesque 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 with no 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 tired and 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...


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