Monday, February 4, 2013

Pahrump Point - 5741' - #17 on the DPS List

The peak lies off in front of us.  Like many desert peaks, it looks almost benign.  Don't let that fool you.  Pahrump Point lies west of Pahrump, NV in the greater Death Valley area.  While outside the park boundaries, it shares the same general eco system and characteristics of peaks found within the park, which lies a few miles further west.  Stewart Point, Nopah High Point, Eagle Mountain, Brown Mountain, Pyramid Peak, and Corkscrew Peak (to name a few recently climbed peaks) are all peaks found on the Sierra Clubs Desert Peak Section list.  This was to be my 17th peak on the 99 peak list.

Lorraine is out ahead of me while I fuss with my GPS and my camera.  We're following a closed 4x4 road to the canyon in the middle of the frame.  The peak we're heading towards is in the middle of the frame.  From here it doesn't look like anything all that ominous.  But it is, and was.  As I've said before, the desert peaks make up for what they lack in altitude with attitude.  This was not to be an easy day.
In the start of the canyon we'd be travelling through.  Already full of large boulders and difficult terrain 
A little higher up, looking back down to the desert floor below.
Lorraine working her way up the wash amongst the boulders, brush and general difficulties of a desert climb.
The last hiker through these parts?
Rocks, rocks, and more rocks.
One of many dry falls encountered on the way.  The peak is in the far distance.
Bones, dese bones.
A lost leather glove from some climber up this mountain.  It's clear it's been here for awhile.
The first ridge line, and a view to the distant valley below.  We've come up over 3000' from our starting elevation.

The seemingly impossible summit block out ahead, many hundreds of feet up to go yet.

The famous window rock, pointing us towards the deadly chute to the summit ridge.  Rocks as big as grapefruit are ready to fall and crack your head open if you're not careful.  We took parallel routes up the chute to avoid that problem.  

Lorraine nearing the summit.

Lorraine at the summit!
The benchmark.
A quick view over the Chicago Valley, looking towards Stewart Point.
The summit register and bench mark.
The happy mountaineers!
Looking back towards the Chicago Valley and our starting point.
Our car many thousands of feet below!

Lorraine negotiating the many boulders of the canyon on the descent.

Closer to the bottom, the peak is in the middle of the frame.

Lorraine down climbing more of the difficult canyon.

Coming out of the canyon and back into open country.

The donning of the head lamps.  We had to turn them on for the last 20 minutes of the hike out to the car.

1 comment:

  1. this was a fun climb, even with the difficult parts. i do love those boulders. and the mountaineers were indeed happy! the filter on those shots is wonderful, it gives a true feeling to the drama of the terrain.


Cervelo R3

Cervelo R3
Better Than Being In Love