Forum Index > Trip Reports > Dry, Elbow, Meadow Valley, Sunflower, Kane, April 11-14, 2020
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Gimpilator
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Joined: 12 Oct 2006
Posts: 1695 | TRs | Pics
Location: Edmonds, WA
Gimpilator
infinity/21M
PostFri Apr 17, 2020 6:03 am 
4-11 Dry Benchmark – 3994' This peak has a more extensive fossil record than any other limestone peak I’ve set foot on. Typically you encounter one type of fossil in one or two narrow layers, but here we saw a variety of fossils all the way from the bottom to the top of the mountain.
What kind of fossils are these?
What kind of fossils are these?
We used the more direct Stav Basis route which ascends a west/northwest ridge. There is a natural arch along the way. For a somewhat indistinct and average looking Vegas area peak, this is a very nice hike.
???
???
Elbow Range High Point – 4650' Ever since my first trip into the Arrow Range, I wanted to return for this impressive looking peak across the valley, which features steep features all around with cliffs and broken ridges. We skipped my idea for a route at the recommendation of Stav, who liked his route choice.
there it is
there it is
The northeast canyon was brushy and a bit ho-hum, but it got us to a point where we could access the north ridge and avoid all the cliffs. It’s a fun narrow ridge which makes up for the canyon. We saw sheep.
Arrow Range
Arrow Range
Dry
Dry
Big Arrow
Big Arrow
Broken Arrow
Broken Arrow
north Sheep Range peaks
north Sheep Range peaks
Elbow Butte – 3488' On the way back down the canyon, we went over the top of Elbow Butte. Thanks again to Stavros for scouting this route. Descending the upper part of south ridge requires scrambling down a few steps.
green spider
green spider
4-12 Peak 4757 No record of any ascents. Not even the usual suspects, Carey, Vitz, Lilley, McLeod. Old highway 93 has been closed for awhile, which severely limits access options. The road is gated and overgrown with brush and appears to be washed out in several sections on satellite maps. Maybe that is why nobody has done this prominent peak?
Peak 4757
Peak 4757
Peak 4757
Peak 4757
We walked a long distance across the desert to enter the big wall canyon north of the peak. This canyon has several artificial siphoning water tanks, perhaps to attract sheep to hunters. The canyon, which might be called “Tri Canyon”, still sees a fair amount of quad traffic despite the road closure.
It’s a spectacular canyon. We were tempted to try a more direct attack on the peak with some of the north facing gullies, but evidence of serious dryfalls were discouraging and we were unable to see the larger part of these hidden gullies. Alternatively we went further up canyon to where easy class 2 ridges connect with the main east ridge.
north Sheep Range
north Sheep Range
It’s amazing that such a striking peak with several vertical faces has a softer easier personality on the far side. No evidence of previous ascents, not even the usual USGS trash.
4-13 Meadow Valley Mountains High Point – 5772' This rotten limestone peak has several peculiarities which make up for the choss. The first is an extensive military airplane wreck. We measured a distance of a mile from one large pile of wreckage to another. There are also smaller fragments scattered hither and nigh. We spent an accumulation of an hour exploring the pieces and even found a wheel.
What makes the northwest canyon unpleasant is the footing. Squarish chunks of limestone tend to roll underfoot and there’s some minor brush to navigate, which also takes away from the whole experience. Below the saddle there’s a steep chute with unstable scree and small boulders. From the top of the chute you traverse climbers right through more steep and loose terrain and small cliffs. Yuck.
Once at the saddle, the main peak is to the northeast and the bonus “Freakel” is to the southwest. We started with the main peak. It looks impossible from any angle, with a summit nipple and cliffs all around that, some of them overhanging. Fortunately there is a chimney. The chimney is divided into two halves, with an awkward ledge move in the middle. We enjoyed this chimney and found it to be much easier than it looks from far away.
Freakel
Freakel
chimney
chimney
A thieving summit swindler has stolen the registers from both peaks. Shame! You should be made to walk naked through the streets of Kings Landing. We replaced this first register, but I forgot to restock my pack, so bring one yourself if you plan to get freaky. Peak 5678 "J. J. Freakel Peak" Went up the steep slope right above the saddle. The summit block looks really rotten, more so than anything else. Exercise care.
Range High Point
Range High Point
Sunflower and Kane
Sunflower and Kane
4-14 Sunflower Mountain – 5022' A nice name for a nice looking peak, volcanic in shape and entirely pumice. A spur road off the Elgin road puts you pretty close, west of the peak. From there, we went up a couple steep ridges to reach the plateau south of Sunflower and ascended that southern side. There was a young mother sheep and her small baby on the summit.
Sunflower up there
Sunflower up there
sunflowers?
sunflowers?
Kane
Kane
north side of Sunflower
north side of Sunflower
Kane Benchmark – 5438' Of course the main objective for the day was Kane Benchmark. There was one successful ascent and one failed attempt on the books. No route information whatsoever. I assumed that the failed attempt began from the obvious jeep trail on the topo map, northwest of the peak. Because of that, I decided we should try something different, a much longer but perhaps more pleasant traverse from Sunflower. This would make it a long day, but hopefully be successful. Getting off the north side of Sunflower was a little tricky. The pumice layer which spans from where we parked, all the way to Kane Benchmark, forms extensive cliffs wherever it becomes the top layer of rock. The north and west sides of Sunflower are vertical in places.
Kane and Point 5053
Kane and Point 5053
Point 5053
Point 5053
Most of the long traverse to Kane was gentle and open. I found a broken arrowhead in the middle of sheep path. We traversed around the west side of Point 5053 on steep pumice below a pervading cliff. The sheep have established a nice trail there where it is possible to friction walk.
I knew from the map that the next part was critical and I had told Frances that it might not even work, but with one logged ascent, it seemed hopeful. Indeed there was a passage through the cliff layer, right where the map indicated it should be and then we made an ascending traverse eastward. The map here is a bit wrong because it shows gentle slopes the further you traverse, but in reality there are still some craggy cliffs there. We ascended a key gully to get to the better slopes above.
key gully
key gully
The rest of the traverse was trivial. We passed around a final bump on the ridge and then went up to the benchmark. We left a register at the benchmark, but a rock spine 100 yards to the east is likely of equal or greater height, so I built a cairn over there. Hopefully future visitors will do both. A sight level would be advisable.
traversing under the west side of Sunflower
traversing under the west side of Sunflower
Kane Benchmark is the least attractive looking peak in a trip of surprisingly great peaks, however as part of the Sunflower traverse and with the overall novelty of a giant pumice layer, it was actually a personal favorite of the trip. Future parties are likely to enjoy this route as well.
Last look at Peak 4757 before driving home.  A first ascent?  It seems likely that native scouts or hunters would have frequented this whole area before it was invaded by settlers.  Perhaps we were the first peakbaggers up there.  Who knows.
Last look at Peak 4757 before driving home. A first ascent? It seems likely that native scouts or hunters would have frequented this whole area before it was invaded by settlers. Perhaps we were the first peakbaggers up there. Who knows.

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Fletcher
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Joined: 29 Jul 2009
Posts: 1873 | TRs | Pics
Location: kirkland
Fletcher
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PostFri Apr 17, 2020 9:55 am 
Good to see that you're out and about Adam. up.gif up.gif

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Mike Collins
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Joined: 18 Dec 2001
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Mike Collins
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PostFri Apr 17, 2020 3:41 pm 
Gimpilator wrote:
???
???
One beauty of the internet for me is the easy access to people who know the answers. I corresponded with a professor of Geology at Yale University. One of her students actually did a master's thesis on the geology of Arrow Canyon. She describes this as a receptaculites. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Receptaculites This rock strata is from the Ordovician Radiation [expansion of species] about 485 million years ago. The Ordovician period ended with the Ordovician extinction that witnessed an 85% loss of species. That is second only to the Permian extinction epoch. In her explanation she noted that it is controversial as to just what the receptaculitids are. The answer ranges from sponges to calcareous green algae to problematica [fossil species that cannot be identified]. The link will take you to the Master's Thesis of Sara Henry written about the geology of Arrow Canyon. https://escholarship.org/content/qt25q6j3nz/qt25q6j3nz.pdf

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Michael Lewis
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Joined: 27 Apr 2009
Posts: 629 | TRs | Pics
Location: Lynnwood, WA (for now)
Michael Lewis
Taking a nap
PostSat Apr 18, 2020 12:57 pm 
Quote:
Not usually into the desert hikes but this TR is kind of awesome.

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John Morrow
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Joined: 03 Apr 2007
Posts: 1526 | TRs | Pics
Location: Roslyn
John Morrow
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PostFri Oct 29, 2021 3:02 pm 
Gimpilator wrote:
4-12 Peak 4757 No record of any ascents. Not even the usual suspects, Carey, Vitz, Lilley, McLeod. Old highway 93 has been closed for awhile, which severely limits access options. The road is gated and overgrown with brush and appears to be washed out in several sections on satellite maps. Maybe that is why nobody has done this prominent peak?
Peak 4757
Peak 4757
Peak 4757
Peak 4757
We walked a long distance across the desert to enter the big wall canyon north of the peak. This canyon has several artificial siphoning water tanks, perhaps to attract sheep to hunters. The canyon, which might be called “Tri Canyon”, still sees a fair amount of quad traffic despite the road closure.
It’s a spectacular canyon. We were tempted to try a more direct attack on the peak with some of the north facing gullies, but evidence of serious dryfalls were discouraging and we were unable to see the larger part of these hidden gullies. Alternatively we went further up canyon to where easy class 2 ridges connect with the main east ridge.
north Sheep Range
north Sheep Range
It’s amazing that such a striking peak with several vertical faces has a softer easier personality on the far side. No evidence of previous ascents, not even the usual USGS trash.
Peak 4757
Peak 4757
Peak 4757
Peak 4757
Where is this? Cannot find it!

“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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Forum Index > Trip Reports > Dry, Elbow, Meadow Valley, Sunflower, Kane, April 11-14, 2020
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