I had headed to the Las Vegas area for the holiday weekend to join some friends
for the usual peakbagging. On my own today, I had spent the night camped in
Primm, NV and headed for the southern Spring Mtns in the early morning. Most of
were found in Purcell's Rambles & Scrambles, a guidebook I've
been slowly working my way through over the past several years. I'm almost
halfway done with the 950+ summits described there - this is no walk in the park
list, to be sure.
Ridge View Peak East - Ridge View Peak
At well over 6,000ft, these were the highest two summits of the day, probably
not a good choice. Precipitation the previous night had left
wind-blastered snow on all the vegetation and the summits were
buried in clouds during most of my visit, negating the feature for which they
were named. There is a decent dirt road that allows any high-clearance vehicle
to reach the telecom towers just south of Ridge View East. An easy walk
then leads to the summit. A class 2 hike along the 2mi-long connecting
ridgeline leads to the higher Ridge View Peak. I can imagine the views
are nice, but I had only fleeting glimpses of them. I spent a little
over two hours on the chilly outing that had me bundled up the whole time.
Jagged Peak - Ragged Peak
This was a much more interesting outing since there were few issues with the
views. A longish drive on dirt roads gets one to the drainage that splits
these two limestone summits. I parked between here and did them in a single
5mi loop, starting with the northern one, Jagged Peak. It is the longer
and harder of the two, class 2-3 along the South Ridge that I followed
pretty closely the whole way. There are a few interesting class 3 sections
(mostly avoidable) along the ridge including the crux, a rather
narrow archway that is
quite solid but still made me a bit nervous going over. It took over an hour to
reach the summit where I found an empty bottle under a bush but no register. I
was going to leave one of my own, but decided to repurpose the bottle
a sheet of paper and pencil in it before tucking it back where I found it. I
suspect this summit sees very few visitors and the small sheet will easily
last more than a few years. I decided to take a more direct route off the
summit into the wash
found on the east side. This was a much faster route if
one wants to avoid the castellations of the South Ridge.
Ragged Peak turned out
to be much easier, all class 2 and taking only 45min to reach the summit. There
is a generic benchmark found at the top, and like Jagged, nice
views looking over the Spring Mtns to the north, south and
east, and the vast Mesquite and Pahrump Valleys to the west. Kevin
Humes had left a register here
in 2013 with only a single other entry until my visit.
On my drive back out of the range heading east, I noticed an unnamed summit not
found in Purcell's book, featuring almost 600ft of prominence. It made for a
nice little climb of about 2/3mi each way starting from a pass
the road goes
over northeast of the summit. I found no register at the summit, so I left
a new one.
Located roughly between Shenandoah and Jagged/Ragged, I combined the
names to come up with Shagged Peak ("Shagged" pronounced with two syllables,
naturally). It took 45min for the roundtrip effort.
Mt. Roses Are Free/The Jingle Bells
After returning to Goodspring Valley, I headed north where these two summits are
found in the northeast corner. The roads around here are not
and are quite rough. I didn't get to the starting point
west of the summits until after 4:15p, leaving me little daylight for the
3mi loop. I thought I might be returning in the dark, but
the terrain is very
benign, all easy class 1-2, and it took only and hour and ten minutes. Both
summits had Kevin Humes registers from 2015
(green ink is his signature tell).
The summits have close-up views of Mt. Potosi to the west,
though this much
higher summit was buried in the clouds today. Las Vegas can be seen in the
distance to the northeast on a clear day, today not being one of those.
The sun made a brief appearance just before sunset, adding some
welcome late afternoon color to the hills. I finished
after 5:30p as it was growing dark. It would take me almost an hour
to drive north through Cottonwood Valley to SR160, by which time it was quite
dark. I made for the Las Vegas airport where I arrived within 15min of my
wife's plane landing from San Jose. Good timing on this one...