Peak 3,346ft P300
Sugarloaf Mountain P300
Peak 3,180ft P300

Sat, Oct 22, 2022
Etymology
Sugarloaf Mountain
Story Photos / Slideshow Map GPX

Continued...

The last day of a long AZ roadtrip found me camped in the Black Mtns on the western edge of the state, between Kingman and the Colorado River. It was expected to be in the 80s today at these lower elevations, so I planned to rise early, do a trio of nearby peaks, then head for home. For all three, I was able to park within half a mile of the summit, making short work of them and finishing before 9a.

Peak 3,346ft

The northernmost of the three, Peak 3,346ft lies about 2mi north of SR68. A BLM road forks off the old Hwy 68, running north across a saddle between Peak 3,346ft and Sugarloaf Peak (not to be confused with Sugarloaf Mtn) that I had climbed the previous evening. I parked at this saddle and spent all of 16min to climb the easy class 2 slopes to the summit. Not finding a register, I left one that I was carrying with me before returning via a minor variation of the ascent route. I was back to the Jeep before sunrise.

Sugarloaf Mountain

This one is named on the topo map and lies a mile south of the first summit. I parked in the wash to the southeast of the peak and went up and down from there in less than 40min. The slopes were steeper than the first peak and took more effort, but still class 2. Mark Adrian had left a register here back in February, mine making the second entry. Barbara and Gordon had reported climbing it in 1993, and I had hoped to find one of their registers, but alas, no.

Peak 3,180ft

This unnamed beauty is found just south of SR68, about a mile SE of Sugarloaf Mtn. Duane Nelson had the only TR available on this summit, describing a low fifth class summit block. I parked off the highway NW of the summit and went up easy terrain from there, finding the hardest part was getting past the highway fence. The summit block was much as described, though I didn't think it warranted a 5th class rating. I used the crack with a chockstone that Duane described, finding the holds solid and class 3. After clambering up the crack and reaching the summit, I dislodged a loose rock sitting awkwardly just below the highest point. I watched it tumble down, take a short bounce in the air, and come squarely down on the chockstone found about halfway up the crack. The impact dislodged the chockstone and sent down a spray of rock, gravel and dust. I was quick to realized the descent might not be as easy as the ascent which relied heavily on the chockstone for holds. I looked around from the open summit, noting a bunch of interesting volcanic plugs that characterize this part of the range. Most impressive was the slender Thumb Butte about a mile to the southwest. This area will have to get more of my attention in the future. I left a register at the summit before beginning my dismount. I'll admit I was a bit nervous, wondering if I could get stuck without a way to get down. I'm happy to report that with careful attention and moving slowly and cautiously, I managed to get down the crack without mishap. But I would now give it a class 4 rating. The dislodging of the chockstone left a lot of loose debris, so others should probably exercise similar caution.

It was not yet 8:45a when I returned to the Jeep. I probably could have found some other similar summits to go after in the larger area, but it seemed a good time for a quick shower and then about 9hrs of driving to get home. I would make it back to San Jose just after sunset, one of my longer driving days with more than 500mi behind the wheel...


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