I had 5 spare hours today between chores. It was supposed to rain in the afternoon, but it was definitely enough time to do some “dumpster diving”. I drove to the Sloan Canyon National Recreation Area. This canyon has a lot of good petroglyphs which I have visited before, but this peakbagging loop would be circumventing the central part of the canyon. Photos of the petroglyphs are from a previous hike.
From the parking area, I cut cross-country directly to the mouth of the canyon. I followed the wash over two minor dryfalls and ascended left out of the canyon before the tricky scramble dryfall. This brought me to the north ridge of Sutor. No real difficulty between there and the summit.
North McCullough Range
To get off Sutor, I followed the ridge south briefly and then dropped down the west slope. I was aiming for a small pass through some little hills between Sutor and Canine. The east side of Canine looked craggy and the south slope made for a chossy unpleasant traverse. On the map the west ridge above the Canine/Feline saddle looked good, but I should have trusted John Morrow’s class 3 and 4 rating. Didn’t like the look of it, so I continued around to ascend the north face which was ok, but loose. Descended the same way.
Canine and Feline
Canine east side
west ridge above saddle
standard north route
Feline from Canine
The southeast side of this crag goes nicely and I finished on the due south side. I descended class 3 on the north face and then puzzled through some rock formations on the northwest side to reach the Feline/Silver Dollar saddle further west. Would not want to ascend Feline this way.
looking back at Canine
Silver Dollar Peak
This peaklet is not as straight forward as it looks from the east. I went to the east ridge crest prematurely in an attempt to avoid a steep loose traverse, but was blocked by an unfriendly looking knife-edge. Went down and around that on the north side. There was more scrambling along the crest further on and some minor exposure. The register was a rusty Altoids tin with no pencil. I signed the register with the business end of a lead 22 bullet that was in the tin.
looking back at Feline
Silver Dollar north face
Descended the northwest ridge of Silver Dollar, which turned out to be good because the whole north face is blocked by a cliff. Dropped down into the small canyon and then ascended the south slope of Peak 3970. No major difficulty. Rain was clearly coming my way. It had already enveloped the higher Spring Mountains to the west. But there was still time for one more.
last look at Feline
Descended the steep east face of Peak 3970 to a saddle and then went up the trivial west slope of “Yucca Knoll”. The wind was still blowing and the air felt slightly moist, something uncommon in the desert. This was my 100th peak so far this year. I descended the north and then northeast ridge back to the parking area, without making use of the indirect trail through the wash. As I was taking my boots off in the car, the rain came.
That's some sweet smellin' good lookin' dumpster. That place is so special, despite the appearance of brown lumpy hills. Subtle colors, crazy crags, jtrees and yucca. Man, you are fast! 3 was enough for me in one day. But I want to go back for the others and scope for more art. Don't think that LVMC register was there when I went up Feline.
Looks like I won't make it past the Colo Plateau this spring so will have to wait until Nov. Unless I start my April trip in Zion or Gold Butte. How much rain? Enough to fill potholes around Gold Butte and up by Hilldale UT (Canaan Mountain wilderness)? Lots of peak options around there.
-------------- “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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