Wed, Mar 10, 2021
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A weak storm was moving across the state, with scattered showers predicted in the Mojave Desert starting around mid-morning. My plan was to get up early for a six mile hike, then drive across the state through the storm to get home in time for dinner with my wife. Peak 3,723ft lies in the northern part of the Bristol Mtns and one of the few remaining summits I had left in the range. I had been to the same area only a month earlier to do another nearby peak, not having time on that outing to add this one. I'd camped halfway between Broadwell Lake and Ludlow, rising at 4:30a to do the remaining drive to my starting point in the dark. It was sufficiently light out by 5:30a that I wouldn't need a headlamp, but not very much light for photos. A very thin crescent moon was just rising over the Bristol Mtns to the east in front of me, evidence that the sun was not too far beyond the horizon. It was a chilly 39F when I started out, but with little breeze it made for an enjoyable walk up the wash over the course of the first hour. Sunrise came around the time I was transitioning out of the wash to scrambling up the southwest side of the peak. The summit is not obvious from below and can be confused with the Bristol Mtns HP about a mile and change to the southeast. The two are connected by a long ridgeline, and a GPSr is helpful to located the correct point. I climbed out of the wash to an indistinct ridgeline that I followed almost directly to the summit, a class 2 affair, typical of desert scrambling. The last few hundred feet had some larger granite blocks that made the scrambling more interesting. The entire ascent was done in the shade, not unwelcome considering there was no wind and temperatures had risen into the high 40s.
It was 7a when I reached the summit, finding no cairn, no register, no love for a lonely summit. The range highpoint stood out prominently to the southeast, outdoing my summit by another hundred feet or so. During a short break I left a register near the highest rock I could identify, then went about looking for a way down. I chose to descend northwest along the main ridge to a saddle, then follow the gully down the southwest side that would reconnect with my ascent route in the wash far below. I was happy to find that the approaching weather would hold off until well after I was done, and enjoyed a casual return via the same wash I had ascended. I spotted some fresh boot prints in the sandy wash, thinking they were mine from the ascent route, but the GPSr showed I wasn't on the same line. Did someone else explore the wash up this way? Later when I got home I found that the track overlayed in portions with my descent route from the nearby peak a month earlier - they had been my tracks afterall, just from the previous visit. I was back to the Jeep by 8:45a. It was a short enough outing and cool enough that I didn't need to bother taking a rinse before starting my drive back home. One of my thoughts during the long drive had me wondering whether the nice weather would hold out for another visit or two before things began to get too warm...
This page last updated: Sun Mar 14 14:55:11 2021
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