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Having camped quietly at Granite Pass for the night, we were up early to drive north on Kelbaker Rd, then east on a utility road going over the Providence Mtns at Forshay Pass. Neither of us had been to the pass before, so there was a bit of the unknown in going over it - was the road open, and could we drive over it? It was, and we could, with both the Wranger and Grand Cherokee.
To start, we followed a dry wash south for about a mile before climbing out of the drainage. I pointed ahead to Patrick, telling him we'd aim for the saddle to the left of our peak. The peak itself looked like difficult scrambling from our vantage point, but it would be no more than class 2 from the saddle via slopes hidden to us. I reached the saddle first and continued up to the summit only five minutes further. Patrick arrived at the saddle a few minutes behind, stopping for a rest and to take a few photos. I was at the top watching him, thinking he'd seen me continuing to the summit, when I noticed him starting towards the lower NE summit. I called down, catching him by surprise, and got him redirected in the proper direction. While it would have been funny to see the look on his face had he gone to the NE summit, I don't think he would have been very happy about it. I vehemently denied I'd given him wrong instructions - I think something was simply lost in the communication.
The imposing rock face of Peak 5,032ft was on the north side only. The east, south and west sides were somewhat steep, but class 2. Not finding a register, we left one before heading down the west side to follow the ridgeline connecting Peak 5,032ft to the higher Peak 6,043ft, about 1.4mi in that direction. We had to drop a bit under 300ft before climbing almost 1,300ft to the higher summit, an effort that would take us an hour and three quarters. The terrain was quite decent and enjoyable, with a few breaks to catch our breath. Arriving at the summit around 12:15p, we found a register left by Adam Walker in 2018. To the southwest rises the P2K Providence BM, another 600ft higher, about 1.5mi distance. We joked a bit about Patrick continuing on to do that one while I went down to the Jeep where the beers were chilling in the cooler. It was a bit warm today and neither of us were in any mood for a more serious outing, so it got no serious consideration.
We turned our attention to the north and the descent back down to Foshay Pass. It would take us about an hour to make the 1,700-foot descent over the course of a mile and a half. We were done around 1:40p, ready to call it a day though there was more than five hours of daylight remaining. More than an hour of this would be taken up in driving to the Bonanza King Mine about 5mi to the northeast (the driving was hardly direct and would involve about 13mi on various roads, some good, some poor). On the final leg of the particularly rough road leading to the old mine, the Grand Cherokee suffered a puncture, two in fact, on the left rear tire. We spent some time repairing it, happy to find that it was holding air. I was expecting Patrick to call an end to the trip since these sort of mishaps tend to get in his head and keep him from enjoying himself, but after checking the tire pressure a dozen times over the next few hours, he decided to let it sit overnight and see how it held. We moved our vehicles to the end of the road where there is a covered structure that would allow us to get out of the warm sun. We spent the night there in comfort with plans for more hiking in the Providence Mtns the next morning...
This page last updated: Tue May 24 18:14:16 2022
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