A late season chill, and windy days, have kept the focus on lower peaks for the extended period. I returned to a favorite area on the north-shore. There were 4 main peaks left for me in the Pinto Valley area. Some people are hiking 20+ mile days just to get 2 of these, but I had an idea to shorten the approach.
Pinto Ridge - 3083'
I hiked over the top of Pinto ridge and down a south side diagonal limestone ridge. This ridge was the biggest unknown factor because I havenít heard of anyone going that way before. The ridge was class 2 and pleasant.
Booth's Pinnacle and Pyramid
Wilson and Harlan
on the wall
Below the ridge, 2 canyons are separated by a narrow wall. From part way down the ridge, I could see a sheep trail on top of the wall. I was tempted to try and exit in one of the canyons, but decided that the sheep probably go the best way, so I followed the trail. There are a couple of narrow exposed spots on top of the wall and the material looks crumbly.
Ram Skull Peak - 2825'
I crossed Pinto Valley and followed the big wash south. This is the main drain for the whole valley. I turned right onto the toe of the north ridge and followed that to the summit, avoiding some crags along the way. Kevin Humes carried some sheep horns up, to go with the register.
Ram Skull north ridge
Guardian and Arch
Guardian Peak - 2811'
Guardian does not look far from Ram Skull, but it took me awhile to negotiate the narrow ridge and there was more scrambling than what is visible from Ram Skull. There were sheep along the ridge and 2 ravens on the summit of Guardian. I startled one of them, that seemed to be dozing.
looking back at Ram Skull
Landís End Peak - 2536
The south side of Landís End is a bit of a route finding hassle. I tried to follow what appeared like the obvious south ridge, but it didnít go, so I crossed over two rotten loose exposed ridges and then went up some gullies and ledges until I got onto the crest of badlands type dirt ridges.
looking back at Ram Skull
came over those ridges and up this choss
The final slopes and ridges to the summit appeared to be rotten limestone, too steep and rubbly to ascend safely, so I circled around to the east side of the summit and went up steep rotten dirt and rock from there. The way I descended along the northeast ridge and then north into a small valley, is much better. South approach not recommended!
On the way back over the summit of Pinto, there was a group of 14 sheep. Peakbagger app says 16.2 miles and 8k gain, but that is probably hugely exaggerated and inaccurate.
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