Sat, Mar 11, 2023
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I dropped my wife off at the Mandalay Convention Center where she was reffing a girls' volleyball tournament, then headed to the northeast side of town for some peakbagging fun on my own. Temperatures would reach the low 70s today, but a stiff wind would keep things nice and chill - good tshirt weather all day. All of the day's peaks can be found in Purcell's Rambles & Scrambles.
My route to Sunrise Mtn was not the easiest or most efficient, nor was it as good as I'd hoped. I chose to ascend the long SW Ridge from the bottom of the drainage, an ascent of more than 1,000ft. The ridge was primarily limestone and had some decent scrambling, but not enough to recommend it, particularly since there are several false summits to go over before the highpoint is located. In hindsight, I think a more direct ascent up from the south or southeast sides would have been better. In all, I spent about an hour and a half to reach the summit. There are two closely-spaced points of nearly the same height. A geocache/register is found at the slightly lower SW point. The higher point appears to be to the northeast where the remains of an airway beacon are found.
After visiting both points, I returned back along the upper part of the SW Ridge and made my way over to Peak 2,980ft, about a mile to the WSW. The connecting ridgeline is fairly tame and enjoyable, offering views to Las Vegas, under very clear skies today. It took a little under an hour to get between the two. A register was found in a sealed, black plastic bag, found inside a small cairn. It had been left by Harlan Stockman in 2021. ZeeJay had been the most recent visitor, only three days before I arrived. After a short break, I descended off the SE side, a mellower effort than the ascent of Sunrise or the traverse to Peak 2,980ft had been. Once at the bottom of the drainage, I used a combination of old road and the trail that I had found earlier. I went back over the low saddle and down to the TH, about an hour after leaving the last summit.
My planned descent off the North Ridge did not take long to fall apart. I got down only a few hundred feet along the ridge when I was distracted by the steeper route off the west side and the possibility of making a shorter loop of the outing. Steep, with much loose limestone rubble, but not really dangerous and a good deal of route-finding fun to find my way down through the various cliff bands. After getting myself down to easier terrain near the bottom, I looked back up at the imposing cliff bands and wondered some how I managed to get through it all - certainly I would never have thought of going up that way once I'd seen that view. It took about an hour and a quarter to make my back down to the Jeep from the summit. A fun day, but that was all the energy I had for the day - just after 3p and time to head back to town. I would return to the area the next day...
For more information see these SummitPost pages: Sunrise Mountain
This page last updated: Sun Mar 19 15:36:25 2023
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