Nevada's SR374 heading west out of Beatty goes over in
Death Valley NP to become Daylight Pass Rd, descending more than 4,000ft down
the west side of the Amargosa Range. Daylight Pass also forms the dividing line
between the Grapevine Mtns to the north and the Funeral Mtns to the south (which
together make up the Amargosa Range). I was interested in an officially
unnamed P1K north of the pass today, Titanothere Peak,
the parent summit to the lower DPS Corkscrew
Peak about 2.5mi further south. The P1K lies closer to the dirt Titus Canyon
Rd to the north than it does to Daylight Pass, but I was afraid my van was not
up to the rigors of the one-way Titus Canyon Rd, a Death Valley classic. My
plan was to make a full day of it starting from Daylight Pass and tagging a
number of bonus summits on my way to and from Titanothere. The names of some
summits were bestowed by Courtney Purcell in his book,
Rambles & Scrambles, generally those lying close to one of the roads.
While some make obvious sense, others are not so easily divined. The outing
made for a most enjoyable adventure exploring a number of little-visited washes,
valleys, ridgelines and summits in the southeastern part of the Grapevines.
The naming of this one is a bit of a mystery, Courtney offering no explanation
in his book. It is located close to Titus Canyon Rd, so it was first necessary
to cross almost 3mi of from Daylight Pass. Along the way
I climbed about 300ft to reach separating two drainages. From
the south, Pot Peak is a colorful sight, with soft, yellowish rock at
and a band of higher up. There are
, the west one being higher. It is a class 2 hike both up
from the south which I ascended and the off which I
retreated. From Daylight Pass it took an hour and a half, but
it would be considerably shorter from Titus Canyon Rd.
Block lies two and a quarter miles due west of Pot Peak, also along Titus Canyon
Rd. It too features , the higher again being to the west,
and also the
one with the crumbly volcanic cap rock for which it was named. As I was
descending Pot, I debated whether it would be faster to head directly to Block
Peak or make a diversion to hike along the Titus Canyon Rd. I'm glad I chose
the road because not one minute after reaching it, Bob and Eric came by to give
me a ride in their .
This seemed so fortuitous that I initially thought I'd get a ride
all the way to Red Pass and climb Thimble Peak before heading back to Block.
But as we went over the first, unnamed pass immediately north of Block Peak,
Thimble looked a terribly and I quickly changed my mind.
I thanked my new friends and hastily got out before committing to a longer day
than I might have liked. The climb to Block took all of
The P1K is connected by to Block Peak about a mile and a
quarter to the southeast. One first drops a bit more than 300ft along the
ridgeline before climbing Titanothere's . Like most of the
climbing today, the ridge was enjoyable class 2. Some snow was found on the
shadier sides of the ridge but not enough to be of any hindrance. Taking about
an hour between the two summits, I found a single left
by Sue & Vic Henney in 2012. The summit offers really nice views around this
part of Death Valley, with Corkscrew Peak prominent to
and Thimble Peak to . Pot Peak looked colorful but
insignificant to . There was yet more snow to be seen on the
higher summits of the Grapevines to including Palmer and
Wahguyhe. As I was descending back down the North Ridge I spotted a
on the west side of the ridge that I had missed earlier. It
was about 20ft in height, formed by a giant boulder that somehow had become
wedged between a rocky pinnacle and the main crest.
It was only a few months later that I discovered I had already climbed this
peak back in 2007 in conjunction with Corkscrew Peak. Since I had climbed it
by an entirely different route and had not considered it an "official" peak
back then, it was not surprising that I didn't recall my previous visit.
Probably not the last such summit I will discover...
I dropped to the east off titanothere's North Ridge to head for this lower,
minor summit. While climbing up a gully on its , I came
across the of a bighorn ram. I reassembled the horn
pieces and left it on from which future visitors might
better appreciate it. The highpoint of Peak 5,744ft is found to
of several possibilities along a short, rocky spine. The
summit has a good view looking west to
and a rather nice
one to the east of . To rose the higher
summit of my next target.
This was the second highest summit visited on the day, about a mile southeast
of Peak 5,744ft, connected through a low saddle at around 5,200ft. One must
first climb over, or as I did, around Pt. 5,955ft to of the
summit, providing the most scrambling opportunities of the day's peaks. The
final proved some challenging from the
west, though fairly short.The descent off the was far easier,
leading to a between it and the of
This summit overlooks Daylight Pass west of the pass, it's naming obvious. The
climb from the northwest out of the small valley I crossed was rather gentle,
rising about 800ft over its . The terrain was easy
enough to be greatly appreciated towards the end of my day's tiring adventure.
A register jar found in the summit rocks had been broken, its bottom half used
to protect a shabby piece of with a few names scrawled on
it. I added my own before replacing it as I'd found it, but it probably won't
last too long without a better container. I briefly considered continuing
for a last
bonus, Peak 5,010ft at the end of another gentle ridge, but the mile and a
quarter distance dissuaded me (along with the much longer return to Daylight
Pass). Instead, I opted to drop directly off to the pass
where I could
see my van parked where I'd left it. I was back just after 3p, having covered
about 13mi in about 7.5hrs.
I had planned to call it a day at this point, but as I was driving back towards
Beatty, NV from Daylight Pass I noted that the road passes within about 3/4mi
of . What the heck. I parked at a small turnout and
headed up, taking about 30min to climb it from the east up an easier ridge and
something less than that via a steeper, more direct route off the Southwest
Ridge and . was more vivid in the
fading light of the late afternoon sun, the only real downside I found was that
my shower water on the dash was cooler than it might otherwise have been after
suffering in for the last half hour. It would do - hardly
enough to dampen an otherwise superb day...