Wed, Mar 30, 2022
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I was up at 6a, having slept 10hrs and feeling like I could have slept more. I was slow to get up and breakfasted, not ready to start out until 6:40a. I followed the continuing road for a mile and three quarters to a defunct mine found on the lower SE slopes of Peak 4,370ft, my first stop. The road was in poor shape, but made for decent walking. I probably could have made a more direct ascent of the peak from the northeast, saving more than half a mile, but the walk along the road was pleasant enough that I didn't mind the detour. I ascended class 2 slopes above the tailings, lots of broken rock but decent footing, steep in the middle third of the ascent before rolling off. It took an hour to reach the summit. My GPSr showed that Smatko had visited it in Dec of 1976, but I found no sign of his signature registers at this or the other summits in the loop. I left one of my registers, adding Smatko's name as well.
From Peak 4,370ft, I turned south towards Peak 4,327ft about 0.8mi away, connected by a ridgeline dropping almost 300ft to a saddle. The descent off the summit was steep at first, but then becomes moderate for the rest of the route to Peak 4,327ft. There isn't much cacti on the whole route, but I did find a collection of various species at the saddle between the two summits, including a member of the yucca family in bloom. It took a little under an hour to get between the first two summits. I left a second register here.
The 3rd summit, Peak 3,789ft, lies about 1.2mi SE of Peak 4,327ft. After descending to a high saddle SE of Peak 4,327ft, I contoured around the point to the SE before making the rest of the descent, saving me a bit of elevation loss had I simply descended off the south side of Peak 4,327ft. At the low saddle between the two peaks, I crossed over a road going over the saddle east to west. Though part of the Wilderness, the road showed recent, light use. Someone had found a way to drive here from one side or the other. Much like the first two peaks, Peak 3,789ft is a rounded bump with some features to it, pretty much class 2 from any side. I reached its summit at the end of the third hour and left another register.
The fourth summit lay a little over a mile to the ENE. Peak 3,736ft was the most interesting summit of the bunch, looking to be crowned with a difficult cap of dark volcanic rock. It would turn out to be easier than expected upon closer inspection. After descending the northeast side of Peak 3,789ft, I dropped into a wash draining around an intermediate point and Peak 3,736ft. I followed the gravel wash in the drainage for a short distance around the north side of the intermediate point before starting up to Peak 3,736ft from the west. The rocky summit is broken on the west side by a vegetated slope that ramps up steeply on that side. I followed this up to a wide notch where I expected to find class 3-4 scrambling for the last 40ft. This turned out to be class 2-3 via a series of steps that lead to the summit on the south side of the notch. Another hour was consumed between the last two summits and a fourth register was left while I took a short break at the top.
I found the NE slope descending from the notch to be no more than class 2 as well, then dropping to the desert flats on the north side of Peak 3,736ft. From here it was less than 2mi across pretty easy terrain to get back to the Jeep. Enroute, I passed over another old road now consumed by the Wilderness. This one showed no recent use. It was 11:45a by the time I returned to the Jeep, the outing coming in at just over 5hrs.
This page last updated: Sun Jun 5 21:00:33 2022
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