Forum Index > Trip Reports > Scrambles in the Lower Colorado River Corridor AZ/NV; Dec. 11-14, 2020
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John Morrow
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John Morrow
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PostMon Jan 18, 2021 7:19 pm 
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Down into the warm still air of the lower Colorado River Corridor, basing out of Katherine Landing in Lake Mead National Recreation Area. Katherine Landing is just a glorified trailer park, but offers some shade, free showers, and free wifi.

Dead Mountains Wilderness, NV
Black Mountains by Oatman, AZ and adjacent to Warm Springs Wilderness
Cottonwood Cove area of Lake Mead National Recreation Area
Lave Butte, Lake Mead North Shore

December 11: a loop connecting a couple summits, a narrow canyon, and a broad canyon with notable petroglyphs.

DeadMtnsPictureCanyon
DeadMtnsPictureCanyon

Key notes: the powerline road off US93 is a bladed gravel road OK for standard clearance (hardest part is hwy berm).
I could have went further along the powerlines before parking
After crosscountry southward I entered a nice easy canyon leading to an easy indistinct west rib of the first summit: Peak 3448'. Class 2 scrambling over to Peak 3467'. Descending the east ridge of 3467' to a north trending rib with excellent scrambling led down to a nice waterpolished granitic canyon and on to Picture Canyon with no more than Class 2 downclimbs of scenic dryfalls.

gray day
gray day
up a side canyon
up a side canyon
Spirit Mtn in rain
Spirit Mtn in rain
easy scrambling
easy scrambling
above Picture Canyon
above Picture Canyon
Descend thatta way
Descend thatta way
hmm, water polished canyon
hmm, water polished canyon
into the canyon
into the canyon
descent route scramble
descent route scramble
awesome wash bottom
awesome wash bottom
dikes and seams
dikes and seams
narrows
narrows
fun spot
fun spot
power of water
power of water
smooth travel
smooth travel
Picture Canyon
Picture Canyon
wide dryfall
wide dryfall
turning back upstream
turning back upstream
spring
spring
petroglyph sample, Grapevine Style
petroglyph sample, Grapevine Style
petroglyph sample 2
petroglyph sample 2
petroglyph sample 3
petroglyph sample 3
petroglyph sample 4
petroglyph sample 4
great sunset, heading out
great sunset, heading out
Peak 3448 look back
Peak 3448 look back

Dec. 12: Boundary Cone, Peak 3360' and Peak 2880' scrambles.

Down to Oatman AZ for a Courtney Purcell classic plus a couple more aesthetic looking mountains.

Notes: Boundary Cone is almost continuous Class 2 and 3 and really really fun. With no beta on Peak 3360' I liked the looks of a steep rock gully to gain the knife-edgy and really fun and scenic SE Ridge, Class 3 with maybe a touch of Cl 4. The east slope made a nice easy Class 2 descent. The least unpleasant route up Peak 2880 (surrounded by continuous talus) looked to be a loose and unmemorable W/NW Ridge.

BoundaryCone+2
BoundaryCone+2
just east of Boundary Cone
just east of Boundary Cone
South side Boundary Cone
South side Boundary Cone
those later
those later
Up to the saddle
Up to the saddle
great scrambling
great scrambling
and lots of it
and lots of it
more
more
fun exposed piece
fun exposed piece
Peaks 3360 and 2880 next
Peaks 3360 and 2880 next
Mt Nutt Wilderness
Mt Nutt Wilderness
Class 5.0 descent variation
Class 5.0 descent variation
the easier way
the easier way
key notch low on ridge
key notch low on ridge
great country
great country
key gully to notch
key gully to notch
Boundary Cone rises
Boundary Cone rises
knife edge
knife edge
fantastic Class 3 route
fantastic Class 3 route
SE Ridge just great
SE Ridge just great
more of it
more of it
look back again
look back again
love this place
love this place
the easy east slope descent
the easy east slope descent
3380 and route on skyline
3380 and route on skyline
descending 2280, really loose
descending 2280, really loose
hugged the left edge of slope
hugged the left edge of slope
parting
parting

Dec. 13: Lake Mead NRA, Copper Mountains East and West.

These are well known local scrambles in the Cottonwood Cove area above Lake Mojave. They can be kept at Class 2 with visible route finding. I chose some more solid looking ribs to get more scrambling in.

SW Buttress of West Copper W Ridge Copper right saddle wash return of polished rock
SW Buttress of West Copper W Ridge Copper right saddle wash return of polished rock

Notes: the SW Buttress I chose to gain the summit ridge of the west peak got very steep and exposed (Class 4), Thus, getting my heart pumping mostly because I always suspect holds to be loose. I varied the east peak by going over to a nice solid low angle western rib to the south ridge, visible in the pics. A Class 4 variation stays right on the very south ridge crest. It can be avoided on the west, and goes over an arch that is not visible until returning the west slope Class 2 route. From near the central saddle, descend (or ascend) the eastern of the two main gullies/washes. It has very nice solid waterpolished wash bottom.

lower left to upper right highpoint
lower left to upper right highpoint
aesthetic scramble
aesthetic scramble
gets steep
gets steep
steeper yet
steeper yet
fun inside corner
fun inside corner
profile of buttress descending right edge
profile of buttress descending right edge
The center right ridge
The center right ridge
interesting topography
interesting topography
heading to the west ridge scramble
heading to the west ridge scramble
wash between the 2 Copper Peaks
wash between the 2 Copper Peaks
easier scramble, good rock
easier scramble, good rock
Ireteba Peaks
Ireteba Peaks
Spirit and Newberry Mountains to south
Spirit and Newberry Mountains to south
scrambling on the south ridge now
scrambling on the south ridge now
summit scramble was great Class 2
summit scramble was great Class 2
climbed over this initially
climbed over this initially
looking back at summit
looking back at summit
cholla garden
cholla garden
take this one out of the eastern of the two saddles between the peaks
take this one out of the eastern of the two saddles between the peaks
easy descent
easy descent
almost down
almost down

Dec. 14: Lake Mead NRA, the ubiquitous Lava Butte.

Lava Butte is a short pleasant trip up a cone shaped hill, distinctive and visible from many locales along the North Shore of Lake Mead. Any variety of routes up a north/northwest side from a high clearance powerline road off NV-147, Lake Mead Boulevard. I chose a fun and solid rib, a left one of two separated by a pale white gully. An example of one of my several short casual easy days.

Lava Butte NW Ridge (take rib left of gully)
Lava Butte NW Ridge (take rib left of gully)
surprisingly great scrambling just too short
surprisingly great scrambling just too short
it's a walk after this pitch
it's a walk after this pitch
almost to the easier ground
almost to the easier ground
Frenchman
Frenchman
Sunrise Mtn in there somewhere
Sunrise Mtn in there somewhere
wrinkled earth
wrinkled earth

--------------
“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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