Spring Nevada trip

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Southern Nevada mountains offer an escape from Idaho's February snowmageddon.

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On the road again.

Tom had a list of peaks to try, and I was my usual blissfully-ignorant and unprepared self. But I 'remembered the Alamo' from previous trips. So I knew where I was, and even remembered that you can't get beer there.

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Badger Peak

The next morning dawned clear and cool. After looking for Tom's allegedly missing glasses for 30 minutes (this getting old stuff is increasingly painful), we headed up the long dirt road, which then turned to a mostly snow floor.... Tom was brave enough to drive all the way to the trailhead, where we successfully turned around. With a downhill escape established, we were ready to try our peaks. Originally, there were two on the list from this location. But first, let's try Badger Peak, which was showing dry slopes above.

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The snow was supportive, and then we were on classic steep, desert baseball hiking.

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It wasn't really all that warm, maybe 45 or 50, but Ruby wasn't used to this.

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When we got to the top of the ridge, we found the topo had not lied; we could either go left around this drainage in snow the whole way, or drop down and ascend the mostly-bare ridge on the other side. Our summit is on the far right.

Oh, what's another couple hundred feet of elevation gain? Twice, of course.

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We post-holed our way down the snowy hillside, me wishing I had left my gaiters in my pack (instead of the car). As we finally approached the summit ridge, we were once again in the snow.

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On top of the ridge, it was thin and windblown, allowing us to smartly move to the top. Trailhead

Top.

It had been a lot more work than we expected, and we had that snowy return posthole ahead of us. After some discussion, we decided to skip our second peak, Tikaboo, and instead lounge in the sun and soak up the views.

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All good things must come to an end, so we did eventually head back. Approaching the car, we found calm air and warm temperatures. Ruby took frequent breaks. And the hillside, with melting snow patches all over, was like walking in pudding. I wonder how the road will be?

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Map

3.0 miles, 1928' gain, 3:47 car-to-car

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Red Ridge

As it turned out, the road was a little gushy. We left some tracks, but mostly not deeper than an inch. As they dry out, we think they'll disappear. We hope.

Tikaboo, our other peak on the list, would have been one endless session of postholing, so we opted to instead try this peak, which we dubbed Red Ridge. It was redder-looking in real life.

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Our route started way off on the left (north) in an alcove of boulders. It wasn't clear we could get through, but it was a place to try and looked interesting.

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Ruby led us right through the Class 4 stuff.

There was probably easier terrain, but that would have involved attacking some pretty stiff and prickly vegetation.

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Above the boulders, the hillside opened up to more boulders.

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And then we were atop the ridge proper. Here, the walking was pretty good except don't try to walk in a straight line.

The summit is the far end of the farther bump (of course!).

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We went straight up the nose of the first bump, enjoying classic desert foreshortening: what appeared to be a very steep and tall ridge was Class 2 and maybe 60 feet tall.

Then do something similar to get onto the second bump.

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Tom standing at what we think was the highpoint. Note the old survey stuff.

I made Tom do a silly loop on the way back to the car. He had some choice words for me.

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Map

2.7 miles, 933' gain, 2:26 car-to-car

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Peak 6176

When he decided to drive to this summit, and I got out to claim my summit without any climbing, I responded to his previous comments about my loop by proclaiming "I feel so dirty."

Then we jumped back in the car and headed for our room in Boulder City. It was dark before we got there (it gets dark early here, like about 5:30), but we avoided the really bad traffic through Vegas. And the motel guy made an excellent suggestion of the local brewpub for dinner.

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Map

0 miles, 0' gain, 0:00 car-to-car

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Northshore Peak

The next morning we used our old-fart passes to gain free entrance to Lake Mead National Recreation Area. The weather was near perfect; clear, warm, and just a light breeze. Up higher we found the stiffer wind welcome to help us deal with "the heat" (it was something close to 70°).

From the trailhead, there's Northshore. With the summit on the far end, of course.

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Tom had found the world's most verbose trip report. When we got out of the car, we promptly ignored it and headed for the obvious ridge. What wasn't obvious was this deep cleft with steep sides. But skirting it didn't add much distance and we needed to gain elevation anyway. Trailhead
Nearing the ridgetop. Trailhead
We admired the excellent cairn work. Was that you, Ralph? Trailhead

Summit.

If I look a little red, that was from yesterday's grilling on the snow.

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Looking back down the ridge. There are several cliff bands that the we were warned about in the verbose trip report. We easily could have climbed them, including Ruby. But her feet were really tender at this point. To keep her feet from further injury, we found that each allowed you to easily bypass by walking downhill 100 feet or so. Trailhead

Map

2.3 miles, 1019' gain, 2:17 car-to-car

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Glyph Peak

We were both in the sight-seeing mode, so we drove further east on the road, visiting several arms of Lake Mead and a load of rock and dirt.

Then we returned to try Glyph Peak. Steep and loose, with several options. We went for the gravel tongue right of the middle cliff band.

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We were able to largely avoid the gravel, but there was still plenty of steep, loose rock. There's Tom negotiating some now. Trailhead
And a tad more above us. Trailhead

Ruby's feet were a little sore, but she was still having fun playing on the summit rocks.

Then we drove back to Boulder City.

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Map

0.9 miles, 481' gain, 1:00 car-to-car

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Red Mountain

This peak sits right above town. So close and obvious, in fact, that I forgot to take a picture of it.

So here we are after parking at the upper trailhead. The road continues to the summit, but it's gated and locked. We opted for the trail.

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As explained earlier, the sun sets early here. This is about 4:30, and we're in the shade. Trailhead
It's a short climb to the top, but you can't get there. It has a giant antenna on top. Trailhead
There's part of Boulder City down there. In real life, you can also see the zipline cables and mountain bike track. Trailhead
And there's Mt. Charleston, with Sin City in the middle distance. Trailhead

Map

0.8 miles, 282' gain, 0:34 car-to-car

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Cima Dome

We had several options for Friday, but our choice was affected by the change in the weather prediction. Instead of sun, there was rain on the way for Saturday. With now somewhat limited time, I pushed to go see the Mojave Desert. This required a longer drive, but was full of interesting stuff.

So today, we were going after Cima Dome, which is supposed to be the most symmetric dome in the US, or something like that. 10 miles across, too. You couldn't really tell we were hiking to a highpoint except that it was uphill. We started out bushwacking across the hillside, heading for what the map showed as a trail.

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Sort of a trail. It's actually an old road used to service the fence that was here. Trailhead

Summit. Not exactly sharp and pointy.

But actually, pretty good views.

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And lots of vegetation, surprisingly more than the Lake Mead area. Those glowy things are cholla cacti, which drop nasty little bits on the ground with spikes or needles in all directions. Ruby kept stepping on them, and they would stick through her already-tender pads. Fortunately, I had tweezers in m first aid kit, because pulling them out by hand (which I tried several times) meant >>transferring<< them from sticking in her to sticking in me. Trailhead
The desert holds all sorts of surprises. Over the last couple days we had seen bighorn sheep, a horny toad, random human artifacts, etc. And this big rock appears to have been sculpted by the wind. Trailhead

Map

4.5 miles, 632' gain, 2:17 car-to-car

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Teutonia Peak

This picture of our next objective was taken during our return from Cima Dome. Looks cool- let's do it!

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So we drove around to the trailhead on the other side, quickly browsed the guide book, and were off. Trailhead
The two-track (closed to motor vehicles these days) turns into a nice hiking trail. Trailhead
You follow the trail into a saddle. Dropping down the other side gives you this view. The guide book we were carrying (yes, we brought it along after reading it's vague descriptions) said to head along the east side of the peak. Trailhead

Then we were supposed to follow a "trough". I didn't see anything that met the definition of trough as I understood it.

We eventually chose a gully that looked like it would get us to the ridge top. Just short of the top it got un-Ruby-friendly, but we were able to traverse to the next gully over. That worked. But once again put us in terrain that was not Ruby-appropriate.

 

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From this point, there was no further description of the route, except that it was "involved". Not very helpful. 'Trough', indeed!

So I tied Ruby to my pack, told her to stay, and started exploring. After one wrong turn, I followed Tom down this notch.

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At the bottom of the notch, a broad flat area offered routes to several possibilities. Tom went left and I right. After a few minutes of inspection, I decided that the only thing on my side of the mountain would require some very scary downclimbing. No go.

Tom found another possibility, but didn't like the exposure. No wonder. But I gave it a go and got most of the way.

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From my high point, the most direct route involved jumping this gap. I've been having an ankle problem, and didn't like the idea. And my old legs weren't sure they could make it. I fussed around, trying to see if I could climb down and out. After wasting a few minutes, and thinking of my dog, I decided the clock had run out. Trailhead

Too bad. If I had crossed the gap, this is all that was left to the summit.

Oh well, it had been a fun explore.

In retrospect, I think there might have been a way across the narrower end of the gap off to the right. More exposed climbing, but I didn't fully inspect it. With regrets we started back.

When we got back to her after maybe 20 minutes, Ruby was laying patiently in the shade. She's such a good dog.

As we made our way back, it occurred to me that the reason the guide book was so vague (and I'm pretty sure here) was that the author had never done this climb!

 

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Map

2.6 miles, 747' gain, 2:11 car-to-car

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