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
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.
Fenner Hills HP
I had hoped to do two other summits south of the first four, but it was getting
too warm and I didn't feel like doing the five mile hike it would take to
collect them. Instead, I drove further south to the Fenner Hills for a few short
hikes that I could do with my remaining energy. The highpoint of the
Fenner Hills is found less than 1/2mi north of a powerline road I drove
heading west. I parked under a tower and headed up
the rocky slope. Composed of decomposing granite boulders and rock, it
made for a decent scramble, taking all of 25min. It was tiring,
climbing 500ft up the south-facing slope with the bright sun reflecting off the
light granite rock. At the summit I found a register left by
Adrian/Carey/Hanna in 2004. Another party had visited in
Sep, 2011. A month later, Barbara Lilley had visted and left
a notebook. This was about the time that Gordon had stopped climbing
peaks, but still driving to them with her.
This unnamed summit in the Fenner Hills is found south of the highpoint. A rough
spur road off the good powerline road leads conveniently to within a quarter
mile on the northwest side. Less than 15min was needed to climb to
the summit. Also composed of granite, this summit has less scrambling
than the highpoint, but still a nice climb. I left a last register
here. I finished up back at the Jeep by 2:15p, deciding to call it a
day. I still had almost 5hrs of daylight, but it was too warm and I was out of
easy summits in the area. I drove out to Goffs, then into Nevada and the
small town of Searchlight where I gassed up (the first time in a week)
and had an early dinner at Denny's. With a few more supplies from one of
the convenient stores, I headed into the Highland Range to spend the night. I
had plans to climb here the next day and found a very nice spot at one of
the passes to while away the evening...
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: Tue Apr 26 15:45:27 2022
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