Mt. Pumpkin P300 RS
Dull Mountain P300 RS
Graduation Peak RS
Bee Canyon Peak P300 RS
Burro Peak P300 RS

Sat, Feb 18, 2023

With: Iris Ma
Tom Grundy

Story Photos / Slideshow Map GPX Profiles: 1 2

I had driven to Las Vegas with my wife who was reffing a volleyball tournament in town this weekend. I was staying with her at the Howard Johnson, dropping her off in the early morning at the convention center before heading out to meet Iris and Tom. We were doing a collection of summits out of Lucky Strike Canyon in the Toiyabe National Forest near Mt. Charleston. The higher summits above around 7,000ft were covered in snow - our summits were all below 6,000ft, with only scattered bits of snow, of no consquence at all. We made two loop hikes of 2.5mi and 5.5mi, keeping us busy for most of the day. All of the day's peaks are found in Purcell's Rambles & Scrambles, all on the southeast side of Lucky Strike Canyon, all primarily broken and crumbly limestone.

Mt. Pumpkin - Dull Mtn

This was the shorter of the two hikes. I met Iris and Tom at their campsite at the mouth of Lucky Strike Canyon around 7:30a. After the appropriate gear was packed into the Jeep, we headed up the canyon a few miles on the decent dirt/gravel road. Most cars could navigate it, but it is a single lane and one would need high-clearance and possibly 4WD to turn around or pull over in most places to let someone pass. We drove about 2.5mi, parking northest of Mt. Pumpkin, and starting from there shortly before 8a. Temperatures were cool with a light wind blowing, keeping us with an extra layer on much of the day. Overall though, a good temp for hiking, 40-55F throughout the day. We went up the NW Ridge of Mt. Pumpkin in about 40min, all class 2 with short cliff bands, easily worked through. The register had been left by a Kevin Humes LVMC party in 2019 with about 5 pages of entries. Bob Cable had been the most recent visitor two years ago. After resting up, we headed off the South Ridge on our way to Dull Mtn, something less than a mile in that direction, with a 460ft drop to a saddle between them. There was a short bit of class 3 getting off Pumpkin, though there may have been an easier bypass we didn't notice, or look for. It's a nice traverse between the two peaks, nothing difficult, taking us about an hour and ten minutes. Along the way, Tom found the skull of a reptile, about the size of a walnut, possibly a chuckwalla or snake. A register had been left on Dull Mtn by Kevin Humes in 2018, this one with fewer entries than the first peak. In descending, we chose to head down the NW Ridge, getting about halfway before our little group split up. I dropped off the north side of the ridge to head more directly back to the Jeep. The others dropped off the other side, then heading west towards the road. With her bum knee, Iris is slower on the downhills, so this would save us a bit of time. I was back to the Jeep by 10:40a, then drove south on the road to pick them up just as they were reaching the road about six minutes later - good timing, that one.

Graduation Peak - Bee Canyon Peak - Burro Peak

This was the bigger loop of the two, taking in higher summits to the south of the first outing. We drove a few miles further southwest on the road, until we were almost due west of Graduation Peak, parking just off the roadway. We chose a fairly direct route up the rounded Southwest Ridge, taking all of 45min to make it to the top. Another Kevin Humes register was found at the summit, dating to 2019, with only one other entry in 2021. We paused for lunchtime on the summit before heading off towards the east on the connecting ridgeline with Bee Canyon Peak. This was the most interesting part of the day, a challenging bit of ridgeline that would keep us busy and guessing for the hour and a half it would take between summits. We were happy to find nothing harder than standard class 3, favoring one side of the ridge or the other when difficulties were encountered, but never veering far from the ridge. As an added bonus, there's a neat little arch the route goes over near the summit of Bee Canyon Peak. Good fun. Another Kevin Humes register was found, this from 2016. Kevin's second ascent was the only other entry. Rather than retrace our route back to the saddle with Graduation, we dropped off the south side of Bee Canyon Peak into the canyon on that side, almost entirely class 2. We then headed west up the wash to ascend the NE Ridge of Burro Peak (all class 2), our last stop on this short tour. Burro had several false summits that made this the longest stretch between summits all day, about an hour and three quarters. Unsurprisingly, we found another Kevin Humes register dating to 2019. It was not long after 3p and with several hours of daylight remaining, we considered extending the outing to the next summit to the south, Kyle BM. It was only about a mile away and had a very nice-looking ridge hike between them. In the end, we decided to save it for the following day to do in a loop with Grapevine Spring Point. We descended the North Ridge back down into Lucky Strike Canyon, the across the broad wash and back to where we'd parked the Jeep. Finishing a little early was ok by me, I was feeling knackered and would welcome the extra rest. I dropped the others off at Tom's truck at the mouth of the canyon and headed back to Las Vegas for the night...


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