Hikers Flock to Sheep Peak

May 10, 2003


Report and Photos by Raoul Kennedy
Bob Greer led this hike which took place on Saturday, May 10. Participants were Ali, Alan Nakashima, Mike Deal, Howard, Mike Shackleford, David Platt (a visiting guest from California), Jim Albamont, Luba, Nick, Harlan and myself.
After meeting, we caravanned up 95 to Corn Creek Road, turned right, drove to Cow Camp (some 12 miles), and made a left at an unmarked fork in the road. This is a long and bone-rattling ride if your suspension isn't high-tech. The trailhead (elev. 5,750 ft.) was a sight for sore rear-ends, and at the trailhead it already felt like we'd hiked two miles.
We approached the peak from the north side via a wash. Bighorn sheep skulls and bones lined the way up giving new meaning to "Sheep" Peak. Snow patches starting at 8,000 feet added a little (cold) spice to our hike. I was the "caboose" and at this point radioed to Bob for permission to make a snowman, which he graciously granted me. On the way up, I learned that giving blood prior to a hike can pose a challenge on the uphills. We stopped for lunch at the saddle and shortly after moved onto the peak (elev. 9,750 ft.).
The view from the top was breathtaking: the multicolored desert floor, the snow-capped Spring Mountains to the southwest, the snowy north face of the Sheep Mountain Range, Mt. Hayford to the north, and of course, Las Vegas to the south. The sign-in book's first entry was from July 1975, the year of top-grossing movie classics One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Jaws. A sprinkling of Russian, Mandarin Chinese and Italian could be heard at the top as Luba, Mike S. and David compared linguistic notes.
Bob, map in hand, decided to trailblaze the return route. Early on the way back down we bumped into what appeared to be a weather station. The hikers surrounding this contraption and contemplating its meaning was reminiscent of mysterious oblong column scene in the movie 2001. Further down, Harlan pointed out that brachiopods and snails were embedded in the 600 million year old rock we passed by.
After a long descent involving a convoluted succession of steep ridges and gullies, at times it was hard to imagine we were making headway to the parked vehicles we had left many hours ago. But coming over the last ridge, we were delighted to see the cars parked directly below us. The route couldn't have been planned better thanks to Bob's no-need-for-a-GPS navigational skills.


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