Forum Index > Trip Reports > 7 peaks, 4 coyotes, 5 bighorn sheep, 25 quail - January 1, 2019
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Gimpilator
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Joined: 12 Oct 2006
Posts: 1299 | TRs
Location: Edmonds, WA
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PostTue Jan 01, 2019 8:00 pm 
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I decided to start the new year with some peaks.  It was going to be cold and windy, so I went for some lower elevation peaklets.  The windchill was still below freezing.  As it turned out, only the first 3 peaks were planned and after that I got somewhat side-tracked by the Black Canyon environs.  Unfortunately I forgot my camera at home, so all photos are cell phone, and not the best.

Saddle Island - 1606'

This peak has minor access issues because the water intake for Las Vegas is nearby.  The way I went didn't have any prohibitive signage.  When I was about to cross the last wash on the way back, I noticed 3 coyotes watching me descend.  I stopped moving and they carried on in their direction of travel.  A fourth one followed up.  Down the wash, they trapped some small creature in it's burrow and made a ruckus trying to scare it out.


Pluto - 2138'

These peaks are in the guidebook, but the names are unofficial.  They are attractive little summits and nearby Rough Benchmark was a fun one, so I was willing to come back for these, assuming they were similar.  I went up the south side to a saddle and did Pluto first.


Uranus - 2170'

Back down to the saddle and then up a gully.


Hoover Peak - 1880'

Since I hadn't planned on this peak, I didn't have any real beta, but I went the way which looked easiest on the map.  Down Gold Strike Canyon past the bridge, up choss slopes and ledges through cliffs, past a crashed car and over a ridge down into a small basin.  I photographed 5 bighorn sheep at close range.  One had a tracking collar and several had ear tags.

sheep
sheep
one of two cars which fell into into Goldstrike Canyon
one of two cars which fell into into Goldstrike Canyon

From above the basin, the peak was visible.  It looked like a nice peak.  Going down into the basin I followed a well built trail past ruined foundations with ancient wood.  This is likely the foot path that Boulder City residents walked during the construction of the dam.  I continued up the west ridge, which was narrow and fun.  The views of Hoover dam are wowza.  Actually great views all around.

Hoover
Hoover
Goldstrike Mountain
Goldstrike Mountain
alluring
alluring

Pass Benchmark -2695'

First I tried to drive the old Black Canyon Overlook road, but I chickened out and backed up for awhile.  I probably could have driven it, but it's borderline.  Rather than hike the full length around Pass Benchmark, I just went straight over the top and down the other side to rejoin the road.

Uranus, Pluto, Rough
Uranus, Pluto, Rough

Goldstrike Mountain -2395'

Again, I had no beta for this peak.  It seemed like the Canyon Overlook road was a good starting point, but as I discovered, the obvious gully is blocked by cliffs.  Poop.  Well, there's another gully further south.  I hiked over a ridge and down into some sketchy rubble ledges with bad exposure.

Goldstrike Mountain
Goldstrike Mountain
came down through that cleft
came down through that cleft

I was able to traverse down into a narrow steep canyon where catsclaw tore my fingers open.  But thankfully no dryfalls.  I traversed around the south side of a cliffy mound and then directly up the west face of Goldstrike.  Superb views of Black Canyon to the south.  This peak is in the middle of it all.

Goldstrike
Goldstrike
summit
summit

It's possible this route hasn't been done before.  I think it's a reasonable route if you want to avoid coming from the bottom of the canyon.  On the way back, I followed the narrow canyon all the way up and therefore avoided the sketchy ledges.


Windbreak Peak - 2583'

There was an hour left until sunset.  I drove to Boyscout Canyon and hiked up the northwest ridge of Windbreak.  Another nice peaklet, but no register this time.  I startled about 25 quail in the approach valley, the most I've ever seen in one group.

excluding Saddle Island
excluding Saddle Island

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http://www.summitpost.org/user_page.php?user_id=25744
http://www.peakbagger.com/climber/ClimbListC.aspx?cid=2650&sort=elevft&u=ft&j=-1&y=9999

Keep climbing mountains and don't slip!
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John Morrow
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Joined: 03 Apr 2007
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Location: Roslyn
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PostWed Jan 02, 2019 10:57 am 
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Hi Adam,
Love that area.  I'd like to have given you my loop info for those Hoover Dam Peaks area out of Goldstrike as I found it to be quite aesthetic and fun!  FYU for future: petros in N Fk Boyscout below the summit of Windbreak, was inspired to look in the area by Southern Nevada Rock Art site.
John

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“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”-Mary Oliver

“A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.”
― MLK Jr.
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awilsondc
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Joined: 03 Apr 2016
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PostThu Jan 03, 2019 7:29 pm 
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Great stuff as usual Adam!  Thanks for the reports, it helps boost the spirits during this bleak time of year here in WA.   biggrin.gif  up.gif
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Forum Index > Trip Reports > 7 peaks, 4 coyotes, 5 bighorn sheep, 25 quail - January 1, 2019
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