I was in the Bristol Mtns for a few days of desert peakbagging while
the rest of the state was working through a few storm systems. None
of it reached the desert save for some clouds, as far as I could tell. My
primary mission today
was to reach Peak 3,618ft, an isolated P900 that I had
run out of time for on previous visits. I would make this my first stop
which would take up more than half the day. Afterwards, I did some
short hikes in the Cady Mtns to various summits.
I wasn't up as early as I'd planned because sleep was feeling pretty good
at 5:30a and I gave myself another hour. The sky was aflame with the new
day only minutes after I finally arose. I hadn't far to drive and ate my
breakfast along the way, allowing me to get started on my hike
by 7a. Peak 3,618ft
lies in the center of the Kelso Dunes Wilderness, in the northern part of
the Bristol Mtns, about 6mi from the
nearest road. Despite the distance, it was
a fairly pleasant hike, mostly going up the broad sandy wash from the
northwest, picking my
way past several junctions. The first five miles climb 1,000ft at a low,
consistent gradient. For much of the way I followed tire tracks from a few
vehicles that had driven up the wash despite the Wilderness designation.
By the time I exited the wash, there was less than a mile to
On the way up, I followed a ridgeline out of the main wash, but on the
descent I used an adjacent wash/gully (found a
bighorn skull there).
John Vitz had visited this summit in 2002,
reporting no signs of previous
visitors. No one had bothered to sign the register in the intervening
17yrs. The Bristol Mtns stretch out for many miles NW to
SE, larger than
most of the Mojave Desert ranges. To the northeast and west rise higher
within the range, P1Ks I had visited previously. Kelso Dunes can be seen
16mi to the east. Interstate 15 is the nearest pavement,
about 17mi as the crow flies to the northwest. Despite the remoteness, I
had pretty good cell coverage at the summit and for much of the drive to
reach it, a dirt road north from Ludlow along Interstate 40. Go figure.
The whole outing came in at just under 4.5hrs, easier than I had expected.
I returned to the main dirt road junction between the Bristol and Cady
Mtns. The south branch leads back to Ludlow through dry Broadwell Lake
which I'd driven the previous evening.
The northeast fork, the one I just returned on, follows some transmission
towers and goes to a couple of old
Union Pacific RR stops, Sands and Balch. The north fork goes to Crucero,
also an old RR stop. The southwest fork follows the same
set of powerlines into
the Cady Mtns and would be my route following Junction BM. This summit
lies less than a mile from the junction, so I simply started from near
there. I spent a little more than an hour and a half covering two miles,
climbing up a gully east of the summit and down an adjacent ridgeline.
The rock here was loose and rubbly, not all that much fun. I found an old
survey tower at the summit along with a register left by
Barbara and Gordon in 1980. A few others had signed in since,
but it was Vitz again with the last entry in 2002
(the day after he'd climbed peak 3,618ft).
I next drove about 4mi in on the powerline road to tag some minor summits
in the Cady Mtns with better rock than that last one.
Peak 2,660ft was the highest of these, only 2/5mi from
where I parked next to one of the towers. It made for an easy climb up
a gully on the south side. I left a register
here since I found none and thought it could use some love.
Found less than a mile SE of the previous summit, Peak 2,342ft made for
the easiest summit of the day, taking about 40min roundtrip. No register
here either, but a little too close to the last one I placed.
Though lower than the other two in the area, this one had the most
prominence, more than 500ft worth. I reparked the jeep
along the powerline road at its closest approach, about a mile away.
It made for an easy walk south across the relatively flat desert, then a short,
steep climb for the last
1/3mi. This summit has a good view of the Bristol Mtns to the east and
Broadwell Lake to the south. I left a register
at this one before heading
back down, taking an adjacent ridge to the one I'd ascended. It was
nearly 4:30p by the time I finished, giving me enough time to shower
before the sun settled over the horizon for the evening. All in all,
a good day...
Craig Barlow comments
Looks like you put a date of January 7, 2018 on all the registers you signed this day. Fake news to mislead all future peakbaggers! It took me a few days to get into the swing of 2019. Perhaps the next visitors can correct my entry. :-)Shane Smith comments
You have to re-climb them again, right? :) -- Heck no! Onward -- 10k or bust!Shane Smith comments
You're going to be the world's first 10k peaks (no repeats) climber -- body willing!