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Gimpilator
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PostTue Nov 19, 2019 6:53 am 
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Time for the annual Saline Valley trip, on the way back home to Vegas.  Frances and I agreed to spend a few days peakbagging along the way.

11-5
Fredonyer Peak – 7943'

Drive up to a locked gate 1 mile below the summit.


Dixie Mountain – 8327'

Rough road, but we drove to the end.  Short walk to the summit.


11-7
Parched Peak – 6948'

From the Steel Pass road we walked 2 miles across open desert and entered an unnamed canyon in the Last Chance Range.  This canyon was a partial mystery and I wasn’t sure if it would work.  It turned out to be gentle the entire way, except for a rock step with 10 feet of class 3.

Inyos
Inyos
10 feet of class 3
10 feet of class 3

At the top of the canyon we turned left and followed a rib up to the summit.  Almost all desert summits have survey garbage left by the USGS and/or a cairn.  This one had neither.  Considering it’s location, it’s possible we were the first ones there, but who knows.  In any case, we decided to name the peak following a theme with respect to it’s higher neighbor, Dry Mountain.

Ubehebe Valley
Ubehebe Valley
Dry
Dry
Waucoba
Waucoba
Keynot, Inyo
Keynot, Inyo
Grandstand, Ubehebe
Grandstand, Ubehebe
Telescope
Telescope

Peak 6180

From “Parched” we descended south and followed a ridge system west.  There are two summits a mile apart but very close in height.  We did both.  The south one has USGS debris while the north one is higher.

Saline
Saline

We returned to the lowest saddle in the ridge system and descended a gully, back into our canyon, avoiding some dryfalls.  Near the bottom of the gully were some very strange rocks shaped like spears.

strange rocks
strange rocks

11-10
Daisy Canyon

On one of our days in Saline Valley we went to explore Daisy Canyon and the base of the historic salt tramway, which carried salt 10,000 feet over the mountains, about a hundred years ago.

woven tram line
woven tram line
tram-way
tram-way

11-13
Zinc Benchmark – 6789'

Drove the road to Jackass Flats.  Very rough and rocky in Jackass Canyon, but only briefly.  Barely passable with a Subaru.  After that, the road is overgrown with brush.  A spur road goes into the next valley to the east and we started there.


Followed a draw to the northeast and then ascended out of the draw to a saddle at the base of the southwest ridge.  Gentle ridge over false summit to broad rounded summit.


Peak 6310

There was an hour of daylight left so I tagged one more hill.  Northeast ridge.  Afterward we camped at the Micadon Mine building.

Zinc
Zinc

11-14
Eureka Peak - 6604

One of the most obscure and remote peaks in CA.  Surrounded by empty undulating ridges, volcanic rocks, and small dry lake-beds.  Very few ascents since that original traverse.  In April 1987, Doug Kari and Morgan Irby did a 3 day traverse of the Saline Range, carrying 9 gallons of water each.  Eureka Peak was unnamed at the time, but one of several summits they visited.


Bob Burd has published an eastern route from Eureka Valley, but we came to explore a western route.  Starting at a small dry lake in the valley east of Jackass Flats, we hiked over a 5800 foot pass and then down a thousand feet in a gentle wash, eastward to another dry lake bed.


At the southeast corner of the lake, in the mouth of a canyon, was a single petroglyph.  We continued east by southeast over and around some rolling hills.  There was a long snake that reared up and hissed at us until we went away.

petroglyph
petroglyph
dry lake
dry lake
Zinc
Zinc
Pituophis catenifer deserticola
Pituophis catenifer deserticola
obsidian
obsidian

I found more petroglyphs at 5600 feet, near the toe of a southwest pointing ridge.  Some very old and covered in dark black patina.

dark patina
dark patina
Eureka
Eureka

We came to the south ridge passing around and over several false summits.  The ground was scattered with obsidian, at times dense enough to form “desert pavement”.  Great views in all directions, especially Eureka Valley, and a new favorite peak for Frances.  We left a register.

Eureka Dunes
Eureka Dunes
soloed Saline a couple years ago
soloed Saline a couple years ago
White Mountain Peak
White Mountain Peak
Obsidian pavement
Obsidian pavement

Peak 6373

We descended almost back to the petroglyph at the dry lake and then turned west up a ridge leading toward Peak 6373.  Ascending traverse across several gullies and then southwest into a canyon at 5600 feet.  It’s possible to climb steep ribs out of this canyon and get the peak more directly, but we were tired so we used the full extent of the canyon to take us up more gradually, ending on the southwest side.

6373'
6373'
Eureka from 6373
Eureka from 6373

Time was short, so we made a rapid descent in the northwest canyon back to the first dry lake.


11-15
Peak 6460

Time enough for two bonus peaklets before the drive home.  West Ridge.  Summit at sunrise.


Peak 6590

Steep ascent to a saddle a half mile southeast of the peak.  There are multiple points along the ridge and  the actual summit is the furthest out, but looks lower until you get there.  Don’t be fooled by the deceptive backdrop.


On the way back to Owens Valley, we stopped to explore a cabin which has been renovated with solar lighting.


--------------
https://www.youtube.com/c/Zogador
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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Brockton
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PostTue Nov 19, 2019 2:14 pm 
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Gimpilator wrote:
strange rocks
strange rocks

Very strange rocks indeed.  It looks like a spear.  Anyone know what that is?  Slate that split along another grain?

Also, that cabin looks well maintained.  Was it something you could rent or stay in?
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Riverside Laker
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PostTue Nov 19, 2019 3:24 pm 
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Cool petroglyphs -- so interesting to find. I was in the area about the same time, but bike riding instead of peak bagging. Saline Valley and Steel Pass is on our list.
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puzzlr
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PostTue Nov 19, 2019 5:44 pm 
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This almost belongs in the "News of the strange, weird and funny" thread with the creatures and weird geology you ran into. It's fun to keep up with your peakbagging and thanks for posting.

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Mid Fork Rocksflickr
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Gimpilator
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PostWed Nov 27, 2019 12:58 pm 
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Brockton wrote:
Very strange rocks indeed.  It looks like a spear.  Anyone know what that is?  Slate that split along another grain?

Also, that cabin looks well maintained.  Was it something you could rent or stay in?

I think you're right about it being odd slate.  That was my guess too.  As for the Death Valley cabins, there's likely dozens of them scattered off the beaten track.  I know of several very well kept ones which are not advertised, but taken care of by anonymous volunteers.  It's sort of a protected secret, first come first served.  Over the years they have all been empty when I get there, except once or twice.  Haunta virus is a concern however and Death Valley posted warnings back when it was a National Monument.  Many of these laminated warnings are still on the wall inside many of the cabins.

puzzlr wrote:
It's fun to keep up with your peakbagging and thanks for posting.

Thanks Monty!  Much appreciated.  And I enjoy your reports also.   biggrin.gif

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https://www.youtube.com/c/Zogador
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 > 10 peaks in CA, Nov 5-15, 2019
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