Forum Index > Trip Reports > 10 Peaks with Josh Lewis – February 9, 15, 16, 2018
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Gimpilator
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PostThu Feb 22, 2018 12:05 pm 
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La Madre Mountain – February 9

The three mountains which gain the most attention from visitors to Red Rock Canyon are Wilson, Rainbow, and Bridge.  Those 3 are the colorful ones that jut out from the surrounding sandstone wall.  But a group of higher peaks looms to the north.  The La Madre group features huge limestone cliffs along it’s southern face.  If these peaks weren’t eclipsed by the more colorful sandstone peaks, they might attract more attention.

fossils
fossils
El Padre
El Padre
up this ridge
up this ridge

We drove in from the north.  The road was rough at the top.  We went cross country through open forest to the start of the northwest ridge of La Madre.  For the most part it was an easy ascent, but there were a few brushy sections and some minor rock formations to scramble over or around.  We found some excellent fossils in the limestone.  From the top we had an excellent view of the Red Rock Canyon area below.

La Madre summit
La Madre summit
Damsel Peak
Damsel Peak
Ridge to El Padre
Ridge to El Padre

El Padre

This line of peaks has a family naming scheme which is sort of amusing.  We traversed west to El Padre with no noteworthy difficulty.

Bastardo from Padre
Bastardo from Padre

Burnt Peak

A bump on the ridge.  It has a register.

El Bastardo

To reach the illegitimate child was a bit more challenging.  Several short limestone walls required earnest scrambling.  For the second one, we went directly up some class 4 with loose blocks.  The summit is partially covered with trees.

Madre and Padre from Bastardo
Madre and Padre from Bastardo
Turtle Head group
Turtle Head group
Bastardo summit
Bastardo summit

To descend back to the car, we retraced our rout part of the way to El Padre and then descended the north ridge which goes directly to the road.

Tortoise Shell Peak – February 15

Tortoise Shell is the second furthest north peak in McCullough Range.  The base of this peak is only a few miles from my house.  Josh had already done it 3 times, so I asked him to show me his preferred route.

Tortoise Shell summit
Tortoise Shell summit

From Palisades View Drive we hopped over a subsidiary northwest ridge, crossed a wash, and then began our ascent of the main northwest ridge.  There’s not much route finding involved.  A lot of basalt boulders along the entire route.

Railroad Range
Railroad Range
Black with Fortress in front
Black with Fortress in front
Henderson Benchmark
Henderson Benchmark

Hamblin Mountain West Peak – February 16

I had an idea for a 5 peak loop in one of my favorite areas.  Josh had never seen Lake Mead, so he was excited to join me.  We parked along Northshore Drive and then hiked over the pass east of Hamblin Butte, not to be confused with the two main peaks of Hamblin Mountain.

Peak 3054
Peak 3054
Hamblin Butte
Hamblin Butte
the pass we came over and Muddy Mountains in the distance
the pass we came over and Muddy Mountains in the distance

We crossed a small valley and then ascended the north ridge.  At one point I followed a loose gully while Josh preferred to stick to the crest.  I think his choice was better.  The guidebook describes this ridge as class 2.  For the most part it is, but there’s some 3 near the summit.

Hamblin Mountain West Peak summit
Hamblin Mountain West Peak summit
Hamblin Mountain main peak
Hamblin Mountain main peak

The views were really good.  To the east I could see the main peak of Hamblin and to the west several unnamed peaks that I hoped we would have time for later in the day.  Far below, at the lake I could see where we were going next.

Auxiliary Point far below
Auxiliary Point far below
Peak 2867
Peak 2867
remote narrow section of Lake Meade
remote narrow section of Lake Meade
Northshore Peak
Northshore Peak
Muddy Mountains
Muddy Mountains

Auxiliary Point

While Auxiliary Point is a named feature, it’s kind of a stretch to call it a peak.  But getting to this remote area which is seldom visited by anyone without a boat represents a challenge in itself.  Our first task was to get off Hamblin West Peak.  Continuing south along the ridge from the summit was not an option.  There are significant cliffs barring the way.  We backtracked slightly and then traversed lower on the east slope before climbing back up to the crest south of the cliffs.

below the cliffs
below the cliffs

We crossed the ridge and dropped down the west slope which is steep and loose.  In an attempt to avoid the worst of the loose rock, I picked a line down a water groove which was some hybrid between a gully and mini canyon.  There was one vertical dryfall.

dryfall
dryfall

Once we reached the canyon floor, it was very pleasant.  The canyon is loaded with different colors of rock layering and walking down the sandy wash is a lot of fun.  We continued several miles down, out of the mountains into the foothills.  At the crucial point, we left the main wash and cut right into a side canyon.  This brought us up onto the hills above the little Auxiliary peninsula.
formations on Peak 2867
formations on Peak 2867
colorful
colorful
secondary canyon
secondary canyon

We passed over and around more hills and then along a beach where Josh was surprised to see small white clam shells.  This part of the lake is very scenic.  Auxiliary Point has two main high points and one of them has a benchmark.  We continued beyond the main points to a third bump for a more extensive view of the lake.  Looking back the way we had come, I could see it was a long way up to get back into the mountains.  This would end up being a 7k gain day, plus or minus a thousand.

Auxiliary Point ahead
Auxiliary Point ahead
Hamblin Bay and the canyon we came down
Hamblin Bay and the canyon we came down

Peak 2867

We went back up the canyon and ascended a loose slope to reach a gully.  This peak is composed of some sort of volcanic cinder material.  It’s white-yellow and riddled with cliffs and pinnacles.  I had some doubts about whether we would be able to complete it or not, but figured it would be fun to try.

summit from false summit
summit from false summit

We scrambled up to a false summit.  There was a deep cleft and then a wall with improbably gullies.  But it looked like we could descend below the wall and avoid it.  We carefully scrambled down some kitty litter slabs and then followed a gully down below the wall.  We ascended another gully to reach the west slope of the peak.  The summit block looked impossible from this side.

Auxiliary Point with Arch Mountain on the other side
Auxiliary Point with Arch Mountain on the other side

We scrambled some loose class 3 and 4 to the ridge south of the summit block and then found an easy class 3 way up.  From the top we saw that there are actually 2 summits of nearly equal height.  The one further south had a register.

Peak 3054
Peak 3054
Hamblin West Peak
Hamblin West Peak
summit
summit

Peak 3054

We found an easier way off the north peak of 2867 by scrambling down the north and then west side.  Our next objective was not very far away, but it too looked somewhat tricky as well.  I spotted some ledges and ramps that looked like a good way through the cliffs.  We made an ascended traverse up and left and then got onto the main ridge crest.

Peak 3054
Peak 3054
looking back at Peak 2867
looking back at Peak 2867

On the summit I was conflicted about whether we should reverse our route or continue the adventure and try to descend the unknown north ridge.  Josh liked that option, and the fact that it was more direct won me over.  As it turned out it was a good choice.  We kept west of a canyon that splits the ridge avoiding some gendarmes, and then it was more pleasant and easier than we had expected.
Muddies and Hamblin Butte
Muddies and Hamblin Butte

Hamblin Butte

We were both tired now, but there was one peak left between us and the car, Hamblin Butte.  We chose to ascend the more gradual east ridge.  When we reached the summit, the sun was setting.  The light on the surrounding peaks was very rewarding.  Josh led the way down the steep northeast face and startled a number of bighorn sheep out of their beds.  We reached the car before dark.

last one
last one
Peak 3054
Peak 3054
Hamblin Mountain and west peak
Hamblin Mountain and west peak
rewarding light
rewarding light

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https://www.youtube.com/c/Zogador
https://www.summitpost.org/users/gimpilator/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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RichP
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Joined: 13 Jul 2006
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here and there
PostSat Feb 24, 2018 8:18 am 
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There are enough peaks to keep you guys busy for a couple of lifetimes down there.
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Brushbuffalo
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Location: there earlier, here now, somewhere later... Bellingham in between
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PostSat Feb 24, 2018 6:19 pm 
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More nice desert adventures!
These look like belemnite fragments ( this not-a-paleontogist geologist thinks), and the rock appears to be a fine-grained limestone.
Gimpilator wrote:
fossils
fossils


--------------
Passing rocks and trees like they were standing still
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Gimpilator
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Location: Edmonds, WA
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PostMon Mar 12, 2018 4:38 pm 
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RichP wrote:
There are enough peaks to keep you guys busy for a couple of lifetimes down there.

Absolutely right Rich.  But it's hard to commit to one area when there are so many good places in this country.

Brushbuffalo wrote:
These look like belemnite fragments

Thanks for that identification Doug.  Did you see the fossils in my most recent report?  One of them looks just like brain coral to me.

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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 > 10 Peaks with Josh Lewis – February 9, 15, 16, 2018
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