11, Issue 4
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Vice President/Training Director: Chris
Secretary: Kristi Meyer
Treasurer: Jim Albamont
Newsletter Editor: Joel Brewster
Outings Director: Chris
Membership Director: Kim
Website Director: Amy Brewster
Public Relations Director: Nadia
Club Gear Director: Josh
Assistant Director: Alan
Assistant Director: Richard
Assistant Director: Howard
is published monthly by the Las Vegas Mountaineers Club.
It can be viewed on the “Members Only” section
of our website. Current Club membership is approximately
All Club members are invited to submit trip reports, photos,
trip listings, recipes, classified ads and other related
information. Please include the name and date of the trip
or outing and the author’s name. May 5 is the deadline
for the next issue.
To the following
members, please note that your membership expires this month:
& Danica Allen
Please make your
check payable to the Las Vegas Mountaineers Club and mail to: P.O. Box
36026, Las Vegas, NV 89133-6026.
Single membership is $30 per year, $85 for three years. Family annual
membership is $40, $110 for three years. Please mail all renewals prior
to the end of the month to ensure uninterrupted delivery of your Ascender.
Please send any address, phone number and e-mail changes to Kim.
club gear is available at no charge to members:
require a signed waiver.
are not eligible to borrow club gear. Deposits taken on gear
must be in the form of cash or check and will be returned
upon return of equipment. Gear is also available to members
for courses with no deposit required. If you have any questions
or would like to inquire about club gear, please contact Josh
1/8 page (business card): $5
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1/2 page: $15
Full page: $20
All rates are per issue and will be discontinued automatically unless
renewed. Ads must be either photocopy-ready or sent by e-mail and
prepaid. Please make checks payable to Las Vegas Mountaineers Club.
CHARLESTON WINTER ASCENT
Report by Raoul Kennedy, Photos by Alan Andrunas
Alan Andrunas led Ali Haghi, Howard Herndon, Luba Leef,
and me to a successful winter climb of Mount Charleston on March 13, 2005.
After a false start the prior weekend due to foul weather, this Club trip
began March 12 at 6:00 am at the IHOP at Cheyenne and 95 with a hi-carb
breakfast (we later learned that every one of those carbs was going to
be needed). The weekend weather was expected to be near ideal, with little
wind. The risk of avalanches was considered lower due to no new snow and
a week of warm weather.
We caravanned up to the parking lot above the Cathedral
Rock Picnic area entrance, and after loading up our packs and distributing
weight, we were off at 8:10 am. We snowshoed up Echo Canyon and made good
time up until the last 500 vertical feet when we hit the cliff bands right
below the ridge. There we struggled for close to two hours with a wall
of powdery snow that we had to kickstep multiple times to get enough purchase.
The traversing on steep slopes was also an extreme challenge because improper
footing could cause us to slide down the slope hundreds of feet with our
45-50 pound packs on (note: Luba’s pack was 40% of her body weight)!
Dead tired, we finally hit the ridge near Griffith Peak
at approximately 2:20 pm (approximate elevation 10,500 ft.). After a short
rest, Alan suggested that we continue along the ridge for at least another
half mile so as to shorten the distance to Charleston the following day
(the distance along the ridge from Griffith Peak to Charleston is roughly
4 miles). We established our base camp at about 3:30, cooked our meals,
checked out the sunset, and by 7:30 were all in bed trying to catch some
Z’s. The wind began to pick up and blew in powerful gusts throughout
the night, interrupting any attempt at sound sleep. Moreover, it was very,
very cold and I had to keep reminding myself that this wasn’t a
summer expedition! For some reason, although we had all set our alarms
for 5:00 am, only Howard was able to keep to the schedule and woke us
up at 5:30. Shivering miserably, we prepared a quick breakfast and our
summit packs and were off at 7:00 am. The wind had died down considerably
by then, and Alan decided that it was safe to proceed.
The undulating ridge to Charleston seemed endless, although
we were able to summit by 9:30 am, only two and a half hours later. At
that time the sky was blue and cloudless, and the snow-capped East Sierra
mountains and Telescope Peak were clearly visible. Lake Mead shined on
the other side. Mummy Mountain lay there solemnly in front of us. Then,
my 2-mile radius walkie-talkie started to pick up some dialogue and I
figured that it was some hikers below us in the Pahrump area. I “jumped
in” to their conversation and announced that our group was summiting
Charleston. They were startled and said they were in Baker, California,
some 60 miles away! The register was not buried in snow, so we signed
in the soggy book and saw the last entry was Feb. 10–two extreme
snowboarders. Only Howard’s cellphone worked, and he found the right
spot to call from in between the antenna and the solar panels. After 30
minutes, we headed back down.
Our energy level was very low by now, and the return
to base camp was slow and painful. Clouds suddenly began to pop up out
of nowhere above Griffith Peak, and by the time we were ready to break
camp at 1:00 pm, the sky was filled with dark, dense clouds blocking the
sun. The descent off the ridge began further away from Griffith Peak than
the way up. As expected it was very steep and scary due to the constant
fear of slipping and tumbling down the snowy slopes. Alan plunged-stepped
down the first 1000 vertical feet in less than 10 minutes (he later explained
that he does a lot of leg work in the gym because it would take tree trunk
legs to do what he did!); it took the rest of the group close to 45 minutes
to rejoin him! One time-saving trick was to slide down parts of the slope
because there were no exposed cliff bands in the area that we had descended
(in fact, Alan later said that he wished we had ascended this way, although
any way up those last 500 vertical feet to the ridgeline would have been
miserable). Also, the snow was not icy and would naturally stop you. On
the descent we encountered snowboard tracks and Ali caught a glimpse of
some snowboarders coming off of Griffith.
We surveyed the phenomenal damage caused by recent avalanches
in awe. Alan pointed out the “Vegas Hose Monster”, an amazing
400-foot ice waterfall that can be found in the cliffs of Echo Canyon.
As we headed back to the parking lot at approximately 3:30 pm, visitors
stared at us like we were psychotic (and maybe we were by then!). As we
loaded up our gear into the vehicles, Ali commented how this climb made
Rainier seem milder–he was right. Luba then asked rhetorically,
“Why do we do this?” My best try at an answer would have been
(1) that it feels so good when you stop, and (2) it helps us appreciate
Thanks to Alan for guiding this real monster of a trip,
thanks to good weather, and congratulations to
all for a safe and successful climb.
9 , 2005
Report by Joel Brewster, Photos by Xavier Wasiak
As many of you know, Las Vegas Mountaineers Club participates
in the Adopt-A-Highway program, and has two-mile stretch of Kyle Canyon
Highway that we clean every year. This year, the day chosen turned out
to be cold (low 50's) and very windy. Being a true mountaineer (and having
been half-asleep when I got dressed in the morning), I wore my customary
t-shirt and shorts. Even Harlan was wearing long pants and a jacket; I
almost didn't recognize him in heavy garments. However, Eric King was
even tougher than I, showing up in a tank top! Our cleaning crew was composed
of 13 LVMC members and Kia (Xavier's dog).
After meeting at the turnoff for Mt. Charleston at 8:00,
we caravanned up to our designated stretch of the road strategically leaving
vehicles to shuttle people as efficiently as possible. After taking a
few photos of the group in our stylish orange outfits, we divided into
two groups to do one mile each.
For whatever reason, there was very little trash this
year and we were done in a little over an hour! We met the other group
at the midpoint, and compared notes. It turns out that our group got only
boring trash (a dirty diaper was the highlight), while the our comrades
on the higher half found all sorts of goodies. First they found a sheep
skull with the horns intact. Then they found an odd sequence of items:
1) various liquor bottles 2) handcuffs with the key 3) a mousetrap 4)
a condom. I will let you draw your own conclusion as to what transpired.
After caravanning back down the mountain, we discussed
having a barbecue as originally planned, but decided to scrap it and just
go home since it was so windy and barbecueing at 10:00 seemed a little
strange. It was a short, but productive morning as we beautified our stretch
of highway! Thanks to Alan, Xavier, and Chris for organizing everything.
CREEK / TERRACE CANYON
Report and Photos by Chris Meyer
Charlie Raymond, Erika Miller, Brett Dawson, Eric King,
Paul Francis, and Paul Kuroda were led by me on a trek to find Terrace
Canyon in the Pine Creek area of Red Rock. We were all looking forward
to some physically challenging bouldering as well as the mental challenge
of maneuvering around the boulders so we wouldn’t step in any of
the large amounts of water. A large amount of water was expected because
I drove around the loop with a visiting friend of mine the day before.
We had to drive through water flowing across the road between the Pine
Creek parking lot and 159 from all the recent rain, which also left additional
snow in the higher elevations. I was really looking forward to this hike,
as it is one of my favorites. I also had already cancelled this hike twice
before this past winter due to all the rain we’ve had.
We all met at the Red Rock parking lot at 8 am, piling
into our cars to start the hike around 9 at the Pine Creek parking lot.
The temperature was about a perfect 60 degrees. The first mile and a half
are uneventful as we simply walked on a flat trail until we reached a
couple big boulders on the right across from Mescalito Peak which was
the big marker to either go to the right into Fern Canyon or to go left
down a small slope into the wash which leads into Pine Creek Canyon. We
now started the fun part of the journey enjoying a lot of boulder-hopping.
We encountered a challenging spot to figure out a way not to fall in the
water. Most found a route around the water hazard while a few of us hugged
boulders along the water making it across dry. Then there was Paul Francis
who managed to jump ten feet over water to a boulder then jump another
ten feet over water to the other side without skipping a beat, showing
us the imperviousness of youth.
Brett and Eric had a great time showing us how well
they were able to climb some large, almost impassible boulders with small
ledges to find ways to jump across water hazards. They managed to really
show the rest of us a thing or two and provided some great entertainment
and laughs. As we ventured into the canyon we encountered larger and more
difficult boulders providing a lot of great short class III challenges.
Also, the farther into the canyon we went, the lesser the amount of water
until it actually disappeared for quite a while. The scenery was absolutely
wonderful. We all enjoyed the tall cliffs all around us. We had taken
our time along the trip stopping often to take in the sights, snack, and
enjoy good conversation. Brett introduced us all to his favorite snack,
sheep s**t, which is actually chocolate covered raisins, but it still
threw us for a loop when he offered it to us.
Unfortunately, I can’t adequately describe the
route, but we finally found Terrace Canyon and reached a good spot to
stop for lunch around noon. The Terrace Canyon area is aptly named; there
was a good amount of water cascading down the terraces that provided beautiful
scenery, but also posed a slippery challenge. We managed to climb up the
terraces having a good time enjoying the sights, relaxing, and getting
in a small nap. We took lots of great pictures.
We headed back finally returning to the cars around
3 pm concluding another great hike with another great crew. I’ll
have to lead another trip into the canyon soon to see what it looks like
without the water flowing. I hope more mountaineers join me to enjoy this
FOR LVMC EVENT SCHEDULE
The Las Vegas
Mountaineers hold their monthly meetings at the Sahara West Library,
9600 West Sahara. Click HERE for map. Meeting
time is 7:00 p.m.
Climbing in Ecuador
Canyoneering the Colorado Plateau and the American Southwest
Neal Wilkinson & Ted Wring
Mount Charleston Winter Ascent