Peak 4,019ft P300
Peak 3,585ft P300
Peak 2,962ft

Tue, Feb 2, 2021
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Peak 4,019ft - Peak 3,585ft

My last day in the Mojave National Preserve had me back in Jackass Canyon where I had hiked two days earlier. Today I was going to climb peaks on the north side of the canyon, north of Old Dad Mtn, a DPS summit I had climbed back in 2005 with Matthew. I had camped up near Rocky Ridge to the east, and was up by 5:30a to get an early start. After warming the car, I dressed, breakfasted, and drove a few miles down the steep powerline road into Jackass Canyon. I then drove about a mile and half up the wash north of Jackass Canyon, following tracks until they gave out, leaving me a five mile loop for the two peaks. Later I found that the wash I had driven is part of the Mojave Wilderness, with no cherry stem leading into it. On foot, I continued north up the wash to the northwest, gaining altitude as the wash gradually morphs into a rocky gully and ascends more steeply up to peak 4,019ft. The slopes near the top look difficult from below, but I found them to be no more than class 2 with a few easy class 3 moves, and numerous options to choose from. I had expected there to be much limestone rock like on Old Dad Mtn, but found it mostly volcanic with little limestone. It took an hour to cover the two mile distance to the peak, sharing a high ridgeline with Old Dad Mountain about a mile and half to the southeast. Andy Smatko had been to the peak in 1979, but I found no sign of a register. I left one of my registers before starting down. There is an 800-foot drop to a saddle between Peak 4,019ft and Peak 3,585ft, steep for much of the distance. From the saddle, the nature of the terrain changes, becomes more vegetated, lighter-colored rock, and gentler, rounded ridgelines. As the elevation of the second peak was lower, the climb from the saddle was less than 400ft. It took a bit under an hour to get from one summit to the other. Smatko had visited here on the same day in 1979. I found some of the broken bits from one of his plastic pill bottles, but the contents were long gone, save for a single penny. I left a register here, adding an entry for Smatko, before starting down. I descended a ridgeline to the south and eventually dropped into another wash just to the east of the one I had ascended earlier in the morning. This worked out nicely since I had parked at the junction where the two washes meet. I was back to the Jeep by 9:15a, taking less than three hours for the loop.

Peak 2,962ft

This last summit lies just above Jackass Canyon, outside the Wilderness. The transmission lines running through Jackass Canyon go over the north side of the summit. A spur road to one of the towers on the north side of the peak can be driven to get one within a tenth of a mile. It took all of six minutes to scramble the class 2 terrain to the summit, with good views of the canyon, the peaks I had climbed two days earlier to the south, and Old Dad to the northwest. My day was done before 9:40a, but I still had more than seven hours of driving to get myself home to San Jose. It had been an enjoyable roadtrip and I was looking forward to future visits to the Mojave NP - there are still over 100 summits in this vast area that I have still to climb...

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