Peak 3,625ft P300
High Peak P1K RS
Peak 3,362ft P300
Chance BM P300

Nov 9, 2023

With: Iris Ma
Tom Grundy

Story Photos / Slideshow Maps: 1 2 GPX Profiles: 1 2


We were in the Pahrump area to visit a collection of six P1Ks northwest of town. There were more than a dozen other summits in the mix as well, so this was just the first of four days we would spend in the area.

Peak 3,625ft - High Peak

High Peak can be approached from either paved Bell Vista Rd to the north or excellent dirt Ash Meadow Rd from the southwest. The Bell Vista approach is longer but starts about 350ft higher. We wanted to include bonus Peak 3,625ft, so we started from Ash Meadow Rd at the junction with spur White Hawk Rd. There are a number of isolated homes on the west side of Ash Meadows Rd with dogs, but they seem to be kept on a short leash and were not granted permission terrorize us. We headed east from the Jeep, aiming first for the lower bonus peak. The first half was across mostly flat desert with easy walking, then starting up the Western Slope. While the rock in the wider area is primarily limestone, Peak 3,625ft is almost entirely smoother rock in shades of grays and orange, a rubbly mess not all that fun to ascend through. We did come across a number of bluish-green rocks indicative of copper content, following these up to a large vein of rock that was apparently not large enough for someone to excavate it for profit. It took us about 45min to reach the summit where we found a cairn and some wooden boards from a survey effort. The more impressive High Peak was across a small valley to the NNE, rising 400ft higher. It was clearly limestone and would be the more enjoyable of two peaks. We left a register before heading off the north side and down to the intervening valley.

We decided to tackle High Peak in a nearly direct line from Peak 3,625ft. Though High Peak's South Face is steep and rugged, it appeared that we ought to be able to find our way up via a variety of routes that would be no more than class 3, and so we were. After crossing the valley, we started up a short bit of talus slope before climbing onto one of the limestone ribs descending from the summit ridge. This was an enjoyable stretch of scrambling that occupied us for about 20min until we reached the summit shortly after 9a.

The summit features a benchmark labeled "TRUMP" which one might expect to be devisive, even among peakbaggers. Mark Adrian, bless his soul, had left a register in 2019 with his usual "Glory to God!" and then an added "I heart Trump!" which I had never seen him post before, but always suspected. Subsequent visitors to the summit took turns either blasting or reinforcing his sentiment, though mostly the former. We signed in to a small booklet that Richard Carey had left on his visit in 2022. It was interesting that among perhaps a dozen parties over the past four years, two of them hailed from Alberta, Canada.

We had a nice stay on the summit lasting longer than usual, after which I offered the others the option to continue east to Peak 3,362ft while I went back and drove the car around to the east side of that peak. It looked a bit rugged, but I expected they could easily make it to the summit before I could return to the Jeep, drive around the other side of the range and join them atop Peak 3,362ft. Iris decided to return with me while Tom chose the more adventurous option, so we parted ways and headed off in opposite directions. Iris and I followed the NW Ridge down for a short distance before dropping into the narrow canyon just to the north that would empty out to the south. Once in the canyon, it made for some fun scrambling, no more than class 3. Where the canyon turns south and widens, we then went over a low rise to the southwest to take us more directly back to the Jeep, arriving around 10:50a.

Peak 3,362ft

We were still driving when we got a text from Tom that he was already at the summit, about an hour after leaving High Peak. We still had to get gas in Pahrump and then finish the drive to the base of the peak. Iris was texting Tom as we drove to the base of the peak on its NE side, off a rural dirt road. He could see us driving from a distance and we managed to spot him at the summit before we had parked. Tom was trying to redirect us to a dirt road he'd crossed over on the west side of the peak. In looking at the satellite view, it did appear an easier route, but the driving to reach it seemed tedious to me, so I elected to hike from our current position. It was a non-impressive route we chose, going up a wash and then chossy drainage that had nothing remotely fun until we turned north for the final 100ft or so of limestone scrambling that would take us to the summit after half an hour's effort. By now, Tom had been on the summit over an hour, but didn't seemed put off by the bother. We left a register, took in the views that included our next summit to the north, then headed down. I picked another uninspiring route that took us directly down the north side of the peak on cruddy talus slope that went down more than 500ft before easier ground was reached. Iris, still suffering from an injured knee that has been slow to recover, came down at a slower pace, getting the worst of this deal. We were back on the dirt road and to the Jeep just after 12:45p.

Chance BM

We approached this one from the south, using a dirt road that BobG had posted about on PB. As we drove the road north, we spotted the ascent route he'd used but noticed the road continued further up the drainage. We decided to drive it another 1/3mi further, figuring we could find a shorter route to the summit that would include some class 3 scrambling on the limestone face in front of us. This worked out again quite nicely, taking a steep gully and then merging with BobG's route around the 3,957ft spot elevation shown on the topo map. More scrambling took us along the South Ridge and up through a cliff band before settling into an easier class 2 slope we could follow to the summit. It would take us something short of an hour and a half to reach the top, longer than we had guessed for only a mile and a quarter - the 1,800ft of gain had much to do with it. We found a few small cairns, the benchmark, but no register that we could discover. Sadly, I'd forgotten to bring one up with us. On the way back, we reversed much of the route until the steep gully on the lower half of the mountain. I was curious as to whether there were other ways down, so I descended an adjacent gully to the east while Tom and Iris went down the original one. Mine had only one short dryfall that went class 3-4, but otherwise had no surprises. It wasn't until we were nearly back to the Jeep that I reconnected with the others a short distance ahead of me. This mountain appears to offer many possible routes on this side that can make for good scrambling. It was 4p when we finished up, heading back to our campsite we'd used the previous evening. We showered among several of the unoccupied shooting areas, then reconvened for happy hour and dinner at the campsite.


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