Jan 31, 2024
Patrick and I had planned to spend a few more days in the area, but a strong weather system was due to track across the state starting later in the afternoon. We decided to do these two peaks in the morning, then drive home in the afternoon. The peaks are both located in the South Nopah Range Wilderness, south of Old Spanish Trail Hwy, a paved road out of Tecopa. A large drainage emptying to the north splits the southern part of the range. We parked off the pavement at the mouth of this drainage and headed up the dry wash.
Much of this range is composed of limestone. That portion near the highway is rugged and steep, but the topology eases the further south one travels. The wash made for a good route with easy travel and no dryfalls or other impediments, even as the canyon narrows in places. We spent the first half hour traveling the wash to where it opens more broadly, east of our first summit, Peak 3,625ft. The peak was out of view behind an intervening ridgeline on our right. We had first to get around the toe of this ridge before we could see the peak and start up. From a distance, the SE Face appears sheer and daunting, but closer up, it is neither. The limestone made for excellent footing and it really was no more than a steep class 2 scramble. Patrick had fallen behind at the start of this slope, with clothing changes and nature calling. I reached the summit by 8:30a with Patrick some 20min behind. We'd been chasing Mark Adrian around the various peaks these past few days, this one being no exception. He'd visited the summit in 2018, leaving a register that we only found after I'd already been at the summit for nearly half an hour.
The second summit was about 1.3mi to the south along a connecting ridgeline that turned out to be a nice traverse without any real difficulties. Where some short stretches grew rocky, we could bypass on one side or the other, usually on the east side. We spent an hour getting from one summit to the other. The higher Noon BM, a P1K, looms higher to the southwest, the most dominant summit in the immediate area and the Wilderness highpoint. I had no trouble finding Mark's register this time, left in 2020. The return was pretty straightforward, dropping northeast into the drainage that we could follow all the way back out to the start. It was a bit less than 3mi, taking us about an hour and a quarter, or about 4hrs for the whole outing. It was 11:25a when we finished up, leaving us plenty of daylight for the drive home. It would take me about 8hrs for the drive, about half that for Patrick. I managed to get within half an hour of home before the rain came down in earnest around Gilroy. The rain actually helped to get much of the bugs and dirt off the Jeep and a thorough cleaning of the undercarriage, so not bad at all...
This page last updated: Mon Feb 5 14:40:15 2024
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