Forum Index > Trip Reports > Providence Mountains, Havasu area, Tiefort Mountain, Jan 27 – Feb 3, 2018
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Gimpilator
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PostSat Feb 10, 2018 3:28 pm 
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I met Greg K for the weekend and we drove to the Providence Mountains.  It was time to face the ogres of the Mojave.  Edgar and Mitchell have a reputation for loose limestone, a fair amount of scrambling, and an unfair amount of cactus.  I figured that if I was extra careful, I could avoid getting stabbed, but I was sorely mistaken.

Edgar alpenglow
Edgar alpenglow

The Providence Mountains State Park has been closed and gated for some time now, so we parked in an obscure location.  Quick parties might be able to bag both peaks in a single day despite the longer approach, but with the short daylight hours I decide we would be better off to camp at or near the mouth of Gilroy Canyon.  We dropped our overnight gear and extra water, a little inside the mouth of the canyon.


Edgar is the highest in the range and would be our goal for day one.  We followed the main channel of canyon which was more open than we expected.  At times it was easier to side-hill above the bushes in the bottom.  We worked our way over and around obstacles until about 5900 feet.  From there we ascended south, coming up above the saddle which is northwest of the peak.

Kelso Dunes
Kelso Dunes
unpleasant area
unpleasant area

So far everything had gone very smoothly and I was wondering if the Edgar and Mitchell reputation was just another Paul Bunyan story.  We scrambled a bit and then near the top there was a gully.  Getting out of the gully there was some loose rock and dirt with minor exposure, and that part was indeed unpleasant.  But soon we were on the summit.  This peak has top notch views which are better than a lot of desert peaks.

Greg
Greg
Granite
Granite
Mitchell
Mitchell
Fountain
Fountain
New York
New York
Edgar summit
Edgar summit
main summit seen from northeast summit
main summit seen from northeast summit

We discussed continuing over to Fountain Peak, which is a pride of completion sort of thing, but we decided against it since the ridge looked very troublesome and it would certainly put us going back in the dark.  Before descending back to camp we scrambled class 4 to reach the slightly lower northeast summit.

Gilroy Canyon
Gilroy Canyon

1-28
Mitchell Point

From camp it was a short distance to the base of the southeast ridge.  This route is steeper and much more rugged than the previous.  There were a number of scramble steps where the utmost care is necessary to avoid cactus collision.  It wasn’t long before I was picking needles out of my left shoulder.  Point taken Mitchell…

first light on Edgar
first light on Edgar

As we climbed higher on the ridge, the views to the east became more expansive and some narrower sections were pretty memorable.  At the top of the ridge we had to drop down to a saddle before reaching the main peak.  Exposure on the west face was truly awesome.  Overall the route is semi-challenging and fun.  I would not want to do both of these peaks in the same day during the shorter daylight winter months.

Edgar
Edgar
Mitchell
Mitchell
Mitchell summit
Mitchell summit

Back at camp we noticed a cave indicated on the map, so we went to explore it, but the entrance was locked with a padlock.


1-29
Crossman Peak

For the next 5 days I would be solo.  I started with a hike up Crossman which is the big one right behind Havasu City.  I reached the summit not long after sunrise.  I could see Whipple and Chemehuevi across the lake as well as the Parker Dam area peaklets.  I had noticed this group of small peaks recently while studying maps, so I decided to go check it out.  Most of them are not named or not officially named, but on the map, they appear to be very rugged with big walls everywhere.  This group of mountains comprises the furthest east peaks in the state of California.

Chemehuevi
Chemehuevi
Andy Boos not training for anything
Andy Boos not training for anything

Peak 1990

I parked near the first accessible peaklet and worked my way up the main gully on the west face and then followed the ridge north to the summit.  The rock was terrific!  Dark brown and solid, it appeared to have a volcanic origin, but I can’t be sure.  There was a new register on top.  Bob Burd had just been there, so I took a photo of the register and sent it to him.  He told me this was one of his personal favorite areas.  To the northwest and east were a couple more rugged ones which I wanted.  Peak 2037 had a striking profile, so I went for that one next.

Peak 2037
Peak 2037
main gully
main gully
Peak 2056
Peak 2056
Bob Burd
Bob Burd
Peak 2037
Peak 2037

Peak 2037

I moved the car and studied the map.  To reach the upper portion of the mountain, there are two gullies on the south face.  The right one looked like it would become vertical near the top, but the left one was promising.  As I explored, I found some easy class 3 at the top of the left gully.  Then over and around some little hills to reach the upper southwest face.

looking back at Peak 1990
looking back at Peak 1990
top of the gully
top of the gully

I tried the southeast ridge first, but was stymied at 1800 feet.  Next I tried scrambling directly up several lines on the southwest face, but it was too risky to complete solo.  Finally I found a loose chimney northwest of the summit and above the chimney, mostly class 2.  Another Bob Burd register!  I swear I’m always 2 steps behind that guy.

southeast ridge doesn't go
southeast ridge doesn't go
southwest face
southwest face
loose chimney
loose chimney
Peaks 2056 and 1990
Peaks 2056 and 1990
Havasu
Havasu
Peak 2056
Peak 2056

Peaks 1990 and 2037 were so fun that I realized I needed to spend more than a single day in this area.


1-30
Cupcake Mountain

After studying the map some more, I honed in on what I thought was a very rare objective, Cupcake Mountain.  It had no ascents logged on Peakbagger or LOJ.  I drove a powerline road and then parked several miles east by northeast of the peak.  The first canyon wetn directly towards the mountain, but after that I had to cross over a few passes and do some traversing to get where I was headed.  There were a few minor dryfalls along the way which were fun to scramble in the dark.

"Muffin Peak"
"Muffin Peak"
first light on Cupcake
first light on Cupcake

Around dawn I had a good view of the mountain from the final pass.  I traversed to the northeast ridge and came upon a very well traveled and over-cairned trail.  What the hell?  My idea for a route had been to traverse to the south side of the peak which looked more gentle and even the east side if need be, but this trail was impossible to ignore, so I followed it.  I don’t know where the official trailhead starts, but that might be worth looking into.

the trail goes up there?
the trail goes up there?
in the cleft
in the cleft

The trail went in an improbable direction, towards what looked like a vertical cleft in the cliff. By working a series of ledges the trail dumped into the upper part of the cleft, right below the summit area.  There were wind blocks constructed with rocks and if I had to guess, I’d say some boyscout troops camp up there, or used to.  I couldn’t find a register, so I left one.

Cupcake summit
Cupcake summit
Whipple
Whipple
Havasu
Havasu
Muffin
Muffin

I descended south and then west to reach the valley floor.  The next two objectives also had zero record of ascents.

Muffin
Muffin
Cupcake
Cupcake

“Porthole Mountain” Peak 2716

This peaklet is easily ascended from the northeast.  On the summit I gawked at several more peaklets to the southwest which look completely unclimable.  I also noticed the huge arch in a wall to the southwest for which I named the peak.  There was something mysterious in the arch, a white object.  I am not used to seeing strange objects in such remote locations and I felt a little like the chimps when they first notice the monolith in 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Muffin from Porthole
Muffin from Porthole
the porthole arch
the porthole arch
Peak 2940, possibly unclimbed
Peak 2940, possibly unclimbed
Cupcake and Muffin
Cupcake and Muffin

After leaving another register, I went to investigate the object.  It was actually a blue plastic 50 gallon drum which had been full of water at one time, but the sun bleached it white and the water had mostly evaporated out through a tiny hole in the cap.

a space odyssey
a space odyssey
water drum
water drum

“Muffin Peak” Peak 2712

I scrambled up the west face and then south ridge of this third peak.  This time no sign of previous ascents whatsoever, not even a cairn or any survey scrap remnants.  I built a cairn and regretted not carrying a third summit register.  With proximity to Cupcake Mountain, I decided to enter this into the database as Muffin Peak.

Capcake from Muffin
Capcake from Muffin
Muffin summit
Muffin summit
last look at Muffin
last look at Muffin
wild burros
wild burros

Peak 1860

By the time I got back to the main road, there were only 2 hours of daylight remaining.  I really wanted to get the gnarly looking peak I had driven by on the way to the Cupcake area.  I followed the main road to a point below the east face.  And what a face!  This thing has big walls on all sides and looks like a real undertaking.  Without beta from previous ascents, there’s no way I could have puzzled out the route in a short amount of time.

Peak 1860
Peak 1860
hidden gully goes up diagonal right from center
hidden gully goes up diagonal right from center
ledges
ledges

I scrambled up to find the hidden gully on the east face.  I followed some ledges that went in an obvious direction to the north.  At this point I identified 3 options, but they were all class 4 and 5, even if only briefly.  I tried all 3 and decided not to do it.  But I studied the beta again and thought I might actully be off-route.

I back-tracked and found another series of gullies moving more in the southwest direction.  There was one committing move above some slabs and then more scrambling and then I came to the upper crest and inevitable summit.  What an awesome peak!  This might be in my top 10 favorite routes.  Highly recommended if you find yourself in the Havasu area.

summit visible
summit visible
car straight below the drop off
car straight below the drop off

--------------
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCw7tyvnbUagAxIxEuJE5Udw
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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Gimpilator
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PostSat Feb 10, 2018 3:28 pm 
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1-31
Peak 2056

I started in the morning with one more lakeside peaklet before moving further inland.  This one looks very imposing from the road.  A southwest gully system looks promising on the map, but the beta I had indicated a more direct approach on the southwest face.  Once again, significant cliffs bar any obvious line of attack.  I found where it seemed previous parties had started despite the absence of cairns.  Some class 3 and then a steep class 3+ chimney with nice big bucket holds.

Peak 2056
Peak 2056
first light on 1990
first light on 1990
closer look
closer look

The upper slope was still steep, but class 2 and then I came to an exposed summit ridge with various class 3 options.  On the summit I had another fine view of the lake and signed another new Burd register.

starting point
starting point
the finish
the finish
Havasu
Havasu
Monument Peak and Tower
Monument Peak and Tower
went up this way
went up this way

Peak 2860

I drove through Earp, CA and then slowly up the long and very sandy Bowmans Wash road to reach Copper Basin.  I drove over a pass and then came to some large boulders in the road where Jeeps might make it around, but my Subaru could not.  I was very tempted to try to get to Peak 2158, but decided to leave that for another trip.

Peak 3012
Peak 3012
Monument Peak
Monument Peak
Monument Tower
Monument Tower

Instead I hiked across some washes to reach Peak 2860.  This peak also features numerous cliff bands, but the southeast ridge seemed like it might be a walk-up.  For the most part, it was.  The day was hot and I stopped to cool down in a cave before pressing on to what the map indicated was the summit.  Another point to the northwest appeared to be about the same elevation, but when I went to it, looking back, it was obviously much higher.  The higher point also had a cairn and register.

best spot to access the southeast ridge is right of the gully
best spot to access the southeast ridge is right of the gully
Peaks 3012 and 2922
Peaks 3012 and 2922
true summit from the USGS summit
true summit from the USGS summit
Copper Basin Reservoir and Monument Peak
Copper Basin Reservoir and Monument Peak
Peak 1860
Peak 1860

There was no time to waste.  I returned to the car and quickly put more food and water in my pack.

Monument Peak
Monument Peak

Peak 3012

This time I knew I was pushing it a little.  Just two hours of daylight remaining, but a longer route and more gain than the previous afternoon.  I knew that if it proved to be really rough, or if I made any route blunders, I would be coming back in total darkness.


I hurried to the mouth of the large canyon northeast of the peak.  I tried to stay in the bottom of the canyon, but it was often too rugged and too slow, so I mostly alternated between either side.  There were some dryfalls with work around options.  Around 2100 feet, I left the canyon and went up around boulders to the very base of the cliffs that isolate this peak.  Following along the base of the cliff I came to an easy passage on the north slopes.  From there I hiked more directly toward the summit.  There was a little bit of craggy rock at the end.


My goodness, what a view!  Right below me was Monument Peak with two scenic valleys on either side.  The light was waning, painting everything in yellow and orange tones.  An eagle was riding updrafts in one valley and I watched it for awhile and then I heard and saw two eagles screeching and flying around in the other valley, down below me.  To the south there were some very sharp towers including Peak 1982 and I wonder if they have ever been climbed.

Monument
Monument

What a magical place.  This whole area is like a mini Monument Valley, with the exception that there is virtually nobody exploring the area.  After taking it all in and signing the mostly empty old register, I rushed down the mountain.  Fortunately I made it back to the car right before dark.


2-1
Riverside Mountains Highpoint

I parked at the quarry and hiked up a canyon and then a gully to reach the upper northeast ridge crest.  There was some unpleasant loose terrain in the upper gully and adjacent slopes.  Once on the ridge, it was better.  From the summit I could see the middle and south peaks of this eastern range.  There is a separate Riverside Range to the west.

Maria Mountains
Maria Mountains
down this way
down this way

West River Mountains Middle Peak

I decided on the spot to climb the middle peak before descending.  It looked steep, but whiter rock indicated more solid limestone.  I descended the ridge southwest and then descended to the saddle.  From there I went up a minor gully to reach the ridge just north of the summit.  It was a fine peak and a  nice route.  Big surprise, another Bob Burd register.  He later told me that he didn’t expect anyone to find that for years to come.

South River Mountains
South River Mountains
main peak from middle peak
main peak from middle peak
looking back up at the middle peak
looking back up at the middle peak

Savahia Peak

I had time for one more, so I drove to Savahia Peak.  This dark mountain looks formidable from afar, but on the map I made note of the western gully.  The gully goes mainly at class 2 with a couple of minor scramble steps which are probably avoidable.  I scrambled over a false summit and then came to the benchmark stamped “Peanut”.

Savahia
Savahia
false summit
false summit
main summit
main summit
false from main
false from main
Umpah and Mopah
Umpah and Mopah
Whipple
Whipple

2-2
Providence Benchmark

I returned to the Providence Mountains for the final remaining large objective in that range.  I would have done this one right after parting ways with Greg, however a windy forecast had forced me south into Arizona.  I returned to the rough overgrown approach road which I had driven once before and this time I made my way further up, making it all the way to wash at 3600 feet.


I hiked up the wash to reach the upper east valley and then got on the minor east ridge.  Not as much cactus present here as Mitchell Point, but enough to keep my attention for sure.  Overall, it felt like a somewhat unpleasant route after all the spectacular areas I had just been to.  I signed the register and prepared to descend, but then I decided to follow the ridge over to one more peak first.

Mitchell and Edgar, right of center
Mitchell and Edgar, right of center
Granite
Granite

“Goldstone Mountain” Peak 6043

The ridge between Providence and Goldstone is longer and more rugged than it appears.  Getting down off Providence required some scrambling and then I had to navigate around an intermediate point along the way.  There was no register on the summit, so I left one.  On the way down to the valley, I startled a herd of deer and then shortly thereafter spotted the first rattlesnake of the season.  Higher than average temps are already bringing them out.

down this
down this
looking back at Providence
looking back at Providence
looking on toward Goldstone
looking on toward Goldstone
came around this
came around this
Providence from near Goldstone
Providence from near Goldstone
Edgar from Goldstone
Edgar from Goldstone
rattlesnake
rattlesnake

2-3
Tiefort Mountain

Tiefort is a big prominent mountain smack dab in the middle of Fort Irwin.  Obtaining legal access to this military base is not easy and took me several months to finalize.  I had been texting the previous day with Craig Barlow and was pleased to discover we were scheduled for the same outing.  I was also excited to finally meet Craig Jagow and Richard Hensley, some very accomplished guys.  I hope to get out with them again in the future.

At the entrance gate, I waited for 40 minutes while they issued me my temporary identification papers and then was allowed to proceed to the appointed meeting place.  It was a group of 20 of us, including a handful of hardcore peakbaggers and the rest were people who lived or worked on the base.  The leaders had more paperwork for us, and then we rode in two large vans to the checkpoint where another 20 minutes of paperwork and permitting for range access awaited.

our crowd
our crowd

The route ascends 2000 feet on a northwest ridge underneath defunct powerlines, to the west peak, and then continues over to the true summit.  I asked the leader how many times he had been up there and he said 8, but after 10 minutes it was obvious that he was struggling, so he gave us the green light to proceed to the west peak.

main peak from west peak
main peak from west peak
getting closer
getting closer
summit under there
summit under there

I took the lead and made it to the west peak in just under an hour from when we started.  After another hour, when everyone had regrouped, we were again given the green light, so I went to the true summit, which was covered underneath all the tower complex construction.  I didn’t want to hang around the towers, so I went back to an old, white communications ball structure, which was empty and sat inside it to get out of the wind.  After another hour, everyone had tagged the summit and had a break, except for those who turned around, and all were ready to descend.


Back at the military recreation center, the leader presented us with certificates of “conquest” as well as lovely medallions, in a graduation type ceremony.  From this day forward our names will be proudly displayed in the Fort Irwin book of distinguished climbers.  Seriously.  smile.gif

Here's some bonus photos from drive-up peaks in the afternoon.

Tiefort
Tiefort

--------------
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCw7tyvnbUagAxIxEuJE5Udw
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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Fletcher
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PostSat Feb 10, 2018 4:22 pm 
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Enjoyable reading, as always. Some fun looking terrain. Get an furniture yet?  wink.gif
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Sculpin
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PostSun Feb 11, 2018 7:11 pm 
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Fletcher wrote:
Get an furniture yet?


lol.gif

Just wanted to say that I really appreciate these posts.  I most likely won't summit any of these peaks, but I seek crags behind my wildflowers, and I am already planning spring trips based on your TRs.

--------------
Even my best friends, they don't know, that my job is turning lead into gold. When you hear that engine drone, I'm on the road again, and I'm searching for the philosopher's stone - Van Morrison
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Jake Robinson
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PostSun Feb 11, 2018 7:43 pm 
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Seconded.  Please keep it up, I always appreciate your reports and photos.
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raising3hikers
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PostSun Feb 11, 2018 7:51 pm 
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many more useful TR's from the NW/SW hiker!

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Eric Eames
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puzzlr
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PostMon Feb 12, 2018 11:16 am 
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So many mountains! I continue to be impressed with your relentless pace and figuring out the logistics of all these climbs.

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Mid Fork Rocksflickr
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Gimpilator
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PostThu Feb 22, 2018 12:13 pm 
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Fletcher wrote:
Get an furniture yet?  wink.gif

I have 4 camping chairs.  2 of them are recliners.

Sculpin wrote:

Just wanted to say that I really appreciate these posts.  I most likely won't summit any of these peaks, but I seek crags behind my wildflowers, and I am already planning spring trips based on your TRs.

Thank you very much for saying so.  One of my main motivations is the hope that people will use the information in the future.

To everyone else who commented, thank you!

--------------
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCw7tyvnbUagAxIxEuJE5Udw
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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Forum Index > Trip Reports > Providence Mountains, Havasu area, Tiefort Mountain, Jan 27 – Feb 3, 2018
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