Joined: 12 Oct 2006
Posts: 1297 | TRs
Location: Edmonds, WA
|Mike and Robbin stopped in for a total surprise visit. They were on a road-trip, but had a few spare days in my area, so I took them hiking.
Note: To change things up, I loaned Mike my camera for the 2 days. All photos in this report were taken by Mike, with the exception of the summit panorama, which I took.
On the first day we did the Sloan Canyon petroglyph hike and then went to Brownstone Basin to see the pictographs. Afterward we scrambled up some good sandstone rock piles and then Mike suggested we do Peak 5936, which is located northwest of Turtlehead.
On the second day, we went to Atlatl Rock, Fire Wave via Pink Canyon, and White Domes narrows before attempting a much bigger undertaking.
Valley of Fire Peak - 2972í
In the main grouping of red sandstone, Valley of Fire Peak is the highest point. According to the guidbook, it is 5th class, but after some research I concluded that there are actually several ways to access it. The south and west sides are cliffs, so a logical starting point is Mouses Tank.
The complexity of the washes and slabs and rock piles cannot be overstated. I strongly suggest using a GPS to create a track log and use that to find your way back out again. Itís a labyrinth, with a lot of class 3. Much of it looks similar and can be confusing.
The way that we went made use of 3 narrow canyons. One of them was so narrow that I had to take my pack off and turn sideways. We were lucky to spot bighorn sheep, both near the start and also in the middle of the route.
down this deep crack
Nearing the final north ridge we came to some class 4 slab moves with potentially bad exposure. I would not want to solo this one and was very happy to share the experience with good friends who I trust.
Valley of Fire Peak
Above the crux spots there was a broad angled expanse and picnic tables for people who come in with helicopters. After we got back to the car, we finished the day with the Mouses Tank hike.
Keep climbing mountains and don't slip!