Tess Mountain P750 RS
Peak 4,681ft P300
Adalac BM P1K

Sat, Jan 19, 2019

With: Matt Yaussi
Iris Ma
Karl Fieberling
Tom Becht

Story Photos / Slideshow Maps: 1 2 GPXs: 1 2 Profiles: 1 2


Today's goals included a pair of high prominence summits at the CA/NV border near Primm, along Interstate 15. We had spent the night camped on BLM lands in CA, behind the Whiskey Pete's casino in Primm. The weather today was good, with fair skies, light wind, and tshirt conditions most of the day.

Tess Mtn / Peak 4,681ft

Tess Mtn has nearly 800ft of prominence and can be found in Purcell's Rambles and Scrambles, a comprehensive guidebook centered on the Las Vegas area. Both of these peaks are located in California, in the SE corner of the Mesquite Wilderness. The plan was to do a moderate-size loop tagging both of them, starting from the powerline road to the south. We took two vehicles to allow us to start and stop at different points along the road, saving us a mile and a half walk back along the road. A pair of burros spotted on the drive in had Iris giddy with excitement as we stopped for a few photos. Her reaction is the same for any large mammals - burros, horses, bighorn, even cattle. Yes, cattle. It was after 7:30a by the time we'd driven the 6-7mi of dirt road from our camp, dropped off one jeep and driven the other to the starting point under the transmission lines. We followed a zigzagging line up what could be called Tess's South Ridge, an hour and a half's effort that included some non-trivial class 3 scrambling on good limestone. Out in front for most of the way, Tom was first to the summit just before 9a, the rest of us catching up a few minutes later. We found a benchmark and several registers. The oldest was a fragile bit of moldy paper left by a Smatko party in 1983. Courtney had left his initials when he visited in 2011. Daryn Dodge and Kathy Rich had left another register on their visit in 2015. They incorrectly identified Tess as the Mesquite Wilderness HP, but that point goes to another summit a few miles to the west that is another 100ft higher. The most interesting view is to the south where one has an outstanding view of the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System. Unlike simpler, passive solar panels, this system uses an array of mirrors to focus on central boiler units which generate steam to run electric turbines. The boilers atop the central towers glow intensely and are visible for many miles around. Today, only two of the three units were operating, the one closest to us off-line, with it's mirrors pointing vertically.

After about 20min's time we picked ourselves up and headed off the NE side of Tess in order to follow the ridgeline connecting it to Peak 4,681ft. It would take us about 45min to cover the 1.5mi distance to this minor bonus peak. Arriving first, I spent some time reestablishing the survey stick, complete with guywires to keep it erect for perhaps a few years longer. The others arrived in time for another lazy summit visit that would last about 15min. No register was found at this summit and I didn't have any with me to leave. Tom and I headed down first since it would be our job to retrieve the jeep we'd left at the starting point. The others came down not long after, choosing to stay at the summit a few minutes longer. Our route down the South Ridge was quick and efficient, taking about 25min to find our way to where we'd left my jeep. We then retrieved Tom's at the starting location and drove back to pick up the others and return to our camp just outside Primm.

Adalac BM

Adalac BM is a P1k and the highpoint of Nevada's Lucy Gray Mtns east of Primm and the immense Ivanpah Valley. Access is from the next town to the north along I-15. Jean, NV is the site of Terrible's Hotel & Casino, a state prison, and the world's largest gas station with 96 pumps - they seem to be very proud of this, with gas prices more than dollar higher than found in Las Vegas. We left most of our cars in one of the large lots by the highway, then piled the five of us in Tom's Jeep for the drive in. The pavement ends just past a quarry located at the north end of the range, becoming dirt/sand for the rest of the drive. The area is a popular OHV spot, somewhat busy on the Saturday we visited. The roads are all unmarked so it helps to know ahead of time where you're driving. You can (try to) follow Richard Carey's long description from 1999 found on PB, or just use the GPX track in this report that includes the driving route. I used satellite views to find the most well-used trails which worked nicely to get us to our parking spot about 1.3mi east of the summit. The hike starts across rolling desert flats laden with joshua trees and related cousins. The burned-out hull of a late-model truck was found in a wash soon after the start, pools of hardened aluminum suggesting the intensity of the fire that consumed it. No one seemed to think it worthwhile or necessary to have it removed, so it remains to become part of the desert scene. The hiking becomes more strenuous once the base of the range is reached, all class 2 but seeming to go on for about twice the length I was expecting. We spent almost an hour to reach the 5,700-foot summit where we found an unstamped benchmark and several registers. The ten pages of entries had many of the usual highpointers - Vitz, Adrian, MacLeod & Lilley, Greer, Sumner and Moe. We added our names as well during a longish break as we took in the desert scenes around us. We would spend much of another hour on the return via a slightly different route, getting us back to the jeep by 3p.

After a beers & chips break where we'd parked, the rest of the afternoon was spent in getting us showered and then relocated north to the Red Rocks area, stopping to dine at Al's Garage Sports Bar off Charleston Blvd. We spent the night camped in our vehicles at the TH on Moenkopi Rd, noting that signs for No Camping had been beefed up since we last used this site. I was a bit nervous that we might be rousted out of our cars during the night, but happily, perhaps due to the government shutdown going on, there was no such disturbance...

Matt's Video


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