To the following
members, please note that your membership expires this month:
Please make your
check payable to the Las Vegas Mountaineers Club and mail to: P.O. Box
36026, Las Vegas, NV 89133-6026.
Ali Haghi, Raoul Kennedy, and Bob Grozenski were led by me on my first solo trip as an outings coordinator. The hike from the Mack Canyon Road route in the Lee Canyon area was especially interesting considering I had never done this hike before. I was glad Ali was able to come along since he had hiked the peak before, but from the Old Mills Campground route.
We all met at IHOP at 8 am, then set out for the drive to Mack Canyon Road which is off of SR 156 and a few hundred feet before the 158/156 intersection. The road is not well marked, but there is a good-sized dirt parking lot off SR 156. If you look carefully you will see a small wooden sign indicating Mack Canyon Rd. Keep in mind the sign is only visible while traveling west on 156. The road does not require the use of a 4x4, but it sure is nice in a few spots to have a high-clearance vehicle. We saw several cars parked in camping areas (even at the end of the road) that were not 4x4. One thing that is guaranteed on this 4-mile road is that your vehicle will get very dusty. Bob was gracious to volunteer to drive the four of us. We could only travel about 15 to 20 mph not because of the condition of the road, but because of the abundance of blind turns on this one-way dirt road. Otherwise, the road was in pretty good condition. The GPS coordinates for the trailhead are N 36 degrees 20 feet 56.8 inches by W 115 degrees 40 feet 56.2 inches.
We started the hike around 9 am. The first mile or so had a slight incline and was an easy hike along a gravel trail that later changed to a dirt trail through the woods. We eventually reached a creek (still flowing) that signified the end of the visible trail. The only way to the peak was via cross-country hiking. We decided not to follow a recommended route to the right of the creek towards the ridgeline. Instead, we decided to traverse the wash which was a very steep, rocky, dirt route. Ali took the lead and proceeded up the wash with ease while Raoul followed close behind. I stayed back keeping on eye on Bob who was having difficulty with the steep incline. Ali introduced Bob to the stutter-step technique which helped him a lot. We stopped a couple times hiking up the wash for a small breaks and took our time reaching the saddle. We took another small break at the saddle, admiring the scenery which included a great view of the ski area. We figured hiking up the wash instead of the other route saved a mile, but it was much steeper.
Our destination was in sight and seemed to be taunting us. We proceeded up the steep rock scree with Bob struggling. We continued to encourage Bob to continue because the reward would be worth the effort. Bob was reluctant and wanted to stay back. Ali wouldn’t hear of such an idea. He volunteered to take Bob’s backpack to ease the burden. Bob continued and was able to reach the last saddle more easily thanks to Ali’s help. The final stretch to the peak was to climb a small chute (about 12 feet) to reach the peak. It took us about 3 hours to reach the peak with an elevation gain of about 2000 feet, and we were rewarded with a wonderful view of the entire Lee Canyon area. The original route should have been about 3 miles, but we estimated it was only 2 miles. The GPS coordinates for the peak are N 36 degrees 19 feet 51.7 inches by W 115 degrees 41 feet 2.2 inches.
We signed the register and ate our lunch, except for Ali, who had inadvertently left his lunch on the kitchen table! We all graciously helped Ali giving him a portion of the food we brought. He was reluctant, but we insisted. We remained at the peak for less than an hour then walked across the saddle a bit for a slightly different view of the area. We then proceeded to start our trek to the car.
The trip down the scree was very interesting as it was the first time Bob and I had ever attempted scree-running. It was a lot of fun and a lot easier than trying to carefully and slowly walk down. We also continued scree-running down the wash. We were able to reach the car in a little more than an hour thanks to our running.
Once we reached the car, I rewarded everyone with ice-cold Gatorade. Bob jokingly decided to refer to himself as the “sea anchor” since he slowed us down so much. We were happy to help and we all enjoyed the hike. We were very proud of “sea anchor” for pushing hard and reaching the peak. We didn’t hang out at the trailhead for long because a family had set up camp for the weekend and their kids were playing paintball. We almost got hit a couple times. Also, Ali remembered he was supposed to pick up his nephew from the airport an hour ago. Ooops, I guess he was a bit late! Special thanks to Ali for helping and encouraging Bob to reach the peak.
Bob Grozenski (sea-anchor), Val De LaBrosse, Paul Kuroda, and Sosoo Lee were lead by me on my second solo trip as an outings coordinator again to a peak I had never hiked. We met at IHOP at 8 am then started the long drive to the trailhead.
We traveled up Hwy 95 until we reached the Corn Creek Wildlife Refuge turn-off to the right. We traveled a well-groomed dirt road for several miles until we reached a ranger station. We stopped to use the bathroom (which had running water) and to sign the register. We continued down the dirt road which was also groomed, but not as well as the portion before the ranger station. A regular vehicle can travel this portion, but there are a couple questionable washed-out spots. After driving 4.3 miles we reached a fork with a sign indicating Gass Peak Road to the right. We continued on the Gass Peak Road for another eight miles on a rough dirt and gravel road which definitely requires a high-clearance vehicle. A non 4x4 (as I was driving) was fine, but there were a couple very tenuous areas where the road was washed away and not level. I approached those areas realizing uh-oh, then tried to angle my approach resulting in one side of the car being less than a foot higher than the other side. Many areas were rocky and more suited for a 4x4, but we managed in my 2x4.
The feeling of driving on the rocks was like driving on slushy snow. I had to continue forward motion without stopping because I knew I would have had difficulty moving forward again. I also had to ensure I had sufficient forward motion to make it up a couple steeper parts of the road. After traveling the eight miles on this difficult dirt road, we reached a turn-off to the right. We stopped and parked. The sign indicated only appropriate vehicles permitted on the very rough dirt road which definitely required a 4x4. Considering my experience on these types of roads is extremely limited, I managed pretty well. The GPS coordinates for the trailhead are N 36 degrees 26 feet 5.1 inches by W 115 degrees 9 feet 33.6 inches.
We started the hike around 9:30 am along a road with Gass Peak visible most of the route. We traversed up some hills following ridgelines occasionally losing sight of the antennas on the peak. Some areas had a somewhat clear path to follow, but most of the way, it was simply the route of least resistance; we couldn't get too far off as long as we kept the antennas at the peak in sight. There is absolutely no shade on this hike so I was glad I brought sunscreen. Thankfully the temperature was mild so the hike was enjoyable. Several of the hills were steep with a bit of rocky areas making it difficult to get a good foothold. We even encountered a lone bighorn sheep that scurried away after seeing us.
We were able to reach the peak with a 2000-foot elevation change inthree hours at a leisurely pace. Paul was the first to reach the peak with "sea-anchor" pulling up the rear. The GPS coordinates for the peak are N 36 degrees 24 feet 2.6 inches by W 115 degrees 10 feet 49.4 inches. The peak offered a wonderful view of the entire Las Vegas Valley. The surrounding mountains were wonderful. We noticed Lake Mead and Frenchman Peak in the distance thinking about the other LVMC group on that peak. The area was a bit hazy so we didn’t get as good of a view as we would have liked. We enjoyed the scenery taking pictures and having lunch. We even called our loved ones on our cell phones. We intended to sign the register, but could not locate it. There were a couple of rock piles on the peak, but none had a register.
We proceeded to return to the car. We actually weren’t able to retrace our trail very well, but continued in the direction of our car which was visible for most of the descent. It took us about two hours to reach the car with a couple of us starting to get some sunburn. I rewarded everyone with ice-cold water and Gatorade to quench our thirst. We then began the trek back home on that wonderful dirt road. We finally returned to IHOP around 3:30 pm.
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