Mountain Logo
Ascender Title
May 2005
Volume 11, Issue 5



President: Xavier Wasiak
Vice President/Training Director: Chris Meyer
Secretary: Kristi Meyer
Treasurer: Jim Albamont
Newsletter Editor: Joel Brewster
Outings Director: Chris Ransel
Membership Director: Kim Friedman
Website Director: Amy Brewster
Public Relations Director: Nadia von Magdenko
Club Gear Director: Josh Owen
Assistant Director: Alan Andrunas
Assistant Director: Richard Baugh
Assistant Director: Howard Herndon

The Ascender 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 120.
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. June 5 is the deadline for the next issue.

Joel Brewster
Phone: 456-8520


To the following members, please note that your membership expires this month:

Cheryl Beyer
Kevin Cannon
Paul Daniel
Larry & Clare Dunn
Faith Forrester
Doug Foust
Donna Metcalf
Alan Nakashima
Nick Nelson
Jennifer Parks
Victor Priebe
Kristen Williams
Troy & Andrea Wirth

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.

To All Members:
Please send any address, phone number and e-mail changes to Kim.

Kim Friedman
Membership Director


This club gear is available at no charge to members:

4-season tent
Bear Barrels
Alpine Axes*
Strap-on Crampons*


*Will require a signed waiver.

Non-members 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 Owen.


Classified Ads
Members: Free
Non-members: $5

Business Ads
1/8 page (business card): $5
1/4 page: $10
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.


April 30 , 2005
Report and photos by Joel Brewster

Six months to the day after my last Hayford Peak outing, I led a group of ten up Hayford hoping to find a little less snow than last time. Our group included Harlan, Brett, Alda, Gretchen, Adam, Arman, Paul Francis, Mike Brooks, and Harvey Eastman. After the long journey to the trailhead (including 22 miles on dirt roads), we began up the trail, which is actually a continuation of the road. Many years ago this road provided access for vacationers heading up the cabin for a weekend getaway.

We were on a tight schedule as Alda had tickets to see Gordon Lightfoot at 8:00 that evening. Alda knew it would be cutting it a little close, but she was an inspired hiker singing Lightfoot songs as she began the hike. Due to the wide range of ages and musical tastes in our group, some joined in singing Lightfoot tunes, while others were unfamiliar with his work, or had never heard of him. Our group was lively and energetic as we covered the five miles to the cabin in a little over two hours. We encountered only small patches of snow up to this point even though the cabin is at about 7800 ft.

After a short break at the cabin, we began the steeper portion of the hike. From the cabin to Hayford Peak, we gained over 2000 ft. in about 2.5 miles.Our progress was steady as we trudged up to a ridge. There were a fair number of cairns along the route to keep us on track. We admired the increasingly spectacular views as we climbed higher.

Once on the ridge, the grade lessened slightly. The ridge had frequent snowy patches, especially on the north side. As you approach the peak, there several rock outcroppings that you must either climb over (class 3) or traverse around. Most chose to traverse over some fairly steep snow patches. Once beyond the outcroppings, we made the final ascent to the peak reaching the summit just after noon.

From the summit, we surveyed the terrific view of snowy peaks near us in the Sheep Range as well as a clear view of Mt. Charleston and the Spring Mountains. It was amazing how much snow there still was, even down to low elevations. We ate lunch and signed in, noting how few groups had been up here since our October group (the last group, a few weeks previous, included Raoul Kennedy and several other LVMC members).

We considered descending a different route to the east, but due to all the snow, opted for the traditional route. The descent to the cabin was fast except for when we lost Harvey briefly. He had stopped for a pit stop and we thought that he had gone ahead. After Harlan and Mike found him, we continued on down to the cabin. There, we paused briefly before making the easy, but long five-mile haul to the cars. Alda, intent on not missing a minute of Gordon Lightfoot, was well on her way out by the time most of us reached the cabin.

We all spread out over this five miles going at our own pace and reached the cars between 4:30 and 5:15. It was an enjoyable hike, but I think everyone was happy to get off their feet. I don't know about anyone else, but I sure slept well that night!


May 8 , 2005
Report by Kristi Meyer, Photos by Joel Brewster

To many of you who read this article, hiking Turtlehead won’t seem like a big accomplishment. But to me, it was. Last year I went on a Club-led trip to summit this LVMC “must bag.” I didn’t reach the top. A cramping calf muscle and sub-par endurance forced me to turn back long before I reached the saddle. I made some progress on my own after the group went ahead but ultimately fell short of the summit by at least three-quarters of a mile. On the way back down, my tush hit the turf more than I would like to remember. Blast that hard desert crust and the precarious sand that covers it. When I got back to the car, I vowed to never go on that trail again. For months, I made unkind hand gestures each time I drove the Red Rock loop and passed Turtlehead.

A girl can’t live with that much hate in her heart, so finally the time came for me to attempt it again. After countless hours in the gym, on the yoga mat and, of course, on other trails, I finally mustered up my courage and faced my fears on Sunday, May 8th. Amy Brewster, who has been my esteemed hiking and gym partner, went with me. The other Brewsters, Joel and Toby (age 3), decided to tag along and work through the lower portion of the trail.

To my surprise and excitement, I made it up the trail, slow and steady, step by step, and found myself at the top. The winds were a little wicked and the dive-bombing birds gave me a bit of a fright, but nothing could squelch my glee. We stayed up top long enough to see Joel come over the crest with Toby. (Seems it was all or nothing for them, so Joel carried Toby up on his back.) Right after them came an exhausted mom who seemed a little perturbed that her Mother’s Day outing was a tough hike with hubby and teenage sons instead of a nice brunch somewhere. The shiny black handbag swung over her right shoulder and treadless Keds on her feet suggested hiking was not her idea.

The people-watching and amazing 360° view distracted me only temporarily from the inevitable descent to come. My feet got me up there, and they were the only way I was getting back down. I started off with trepidation, but quickly started to realize I wasn’t as uncoordinated as I previously thought. I certainly didn’t set any land-speed record, but I trudged my way down and surprisingly never fell. I had tired feet and a happy heart when I got back to the car.

I learned a couple things that Sunday: First, don’t let your sons pick out what you will be doing to celebrate Mother’s Day and second, you really can do anything you put your mind to.


May 7, 2005
Report and Photos by Chris Meyer

Today was a first for Kristi and I since we were both leading groups in Red Rock on the same day, but on different hikes. I was scheduled to meet a group at 6:30 to do Bridge Mountain while Kristi was scheduled to meet a group at 7:00 to do the White Rock loop. Kahmien LaRusch and I arrived at the Red Rocks parking lot a few minutes late to find an almost empty parking lot except for Janet Curry waiting and wondering if someone else was coming. I had received a call from Dave Nelson telling me he was about five minutes late. We waited around and then Kristi’s group consisting of Ron Myers and Bob Grozenski showed up really early. Eric King then pulled up soon followed by Kristi with Steffi (our exchange student). We were getting worried and wondered where was Dave? Kristi’s group left for their hike, then poor Dave pulled up after dealing with a flat tire. There were others signed up for my hike, but we waited long enough. Everyone except Kahmien was going on the Yosemite trip and wanted to use the Bridge route as a warm-up for Half Dome. We were ready for the challenge!

We piled into our cars and reached the Willows Springs parking lot starting our hike at 7:45. We had low-profile vehicles so we walked all the way up the Rocky Gap Road. If we had driven up to the washed out area, we could have saved a half-mile each way off of our journey. The washed-out area did look bad, but throughout the day we saw a number of jeeps and pick-up trucks on the road so they were able to maneuver through the washed-out area and even up to the saddle. Good news for those of you with the appropriate vehicles and gumption.

It took us about an hour to reach the start of the North Peak route, then less than an hour to hike the steep trail to the ridge (1,500 foot elevation gain). Those that had not done Bridge were happy to have made it to the saddle and then I revealed we had over two more hours to go to reach our goal. There was a low sigh!

The conditions were great, but clouds were rolling in and the temperature remained in the low 60's. All of us were comfortable with long pants and short-sleeved shirts, although we alternated putting light jackets on and off; Eric trudged along in shorts and a tank top. Eric did the best out of us all consistently leading the pack by several hundred yards, then waiting for us to catch up. He’s definitely ready for Half Dome in Yosemite!

Surprisingly we encountered mud in one of the wooded areas on the way making for a slippery, but short experience. Along the way we ran into another group of hikers. One of which, Ron, tagged along with us since we were going more his speed. We stopped several times to enjoy the beautiful scenery and seeing the dark clouds building over Mount Charleston and coming closer to us.

The class III scrambling heading towards the approach for Bridge was challenging and fun. We were glad there were a lot of cairns and black marks pointing the way the entire route. It sure made the hike easier to navigate. We were all amazed with the amount of scrambling. Dave kept yelling out in frustration “Friends don’t let friends climb slab” whenever he climbed a rock face. We reached the bridge and then found a big pool of water probably over ten feet deep and about 15 feet below us. The water presented a nice dip in the summertime if you were willing to make the long jump, but it is a difficult hole to get out of. We then looked at the side of Bridge Mountain and all were bewildered saying to ourselves we’re going up there…and how are we doing that? It sure looked difficult! Once we started the route, it wasn’t as bad as it looked. Although, it was still very steep. We were all glad we had good sticky shoes.

We made it to the top in about 4 hours and 40 minutes, and then enjoyed the great scenery. Eric kept a watchful eye on the dark clouds covering Mt. Charleston 14 miles away letting us know they were getting lower and the clouds were getting darker over us. We stayed on the peak for about 20 minutes because we were afraid we’d encounter some weather on the way down. We really didn’t want to deal with a wet, steep rock face. The temperature was also dropping to about 55. Some of us almost didn’t bring jackets since the weather forecast indicated warm temperatures with no chance of rain. We encountered very light drops on the way down. The temperature lowered even more to 47 degrees. We were again amazed!

The return trip was uneventful with the last part down the North Peak route really putting strain on our legs and joints. We were so glad to finally reach the Rocky Gap Road, we sat around for about 30 minutes relaxing. We finally got back to the cars at 5:45 ending our 10-hour journey for about 13 miles. The actual elevation only showed about 2,600 feet, but all the ups and downs and steep rock faces made it seem like a lot more than 4,000. We all enjoyed the hike and will do it again.

Bridge is a great hike to experience a lot of different terrain with established trails, marked routes, loose rocks, solid steep rock faces, class II and class III scrambling with a lot of exposed terrain. The views of that part of Red Rock were absolutely beautiful. It would have been better if the sky was not overcast, but it was still a great hike. Ironically, the clouds all but disappeared by the end of the hike. Go figure!



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.


Tuesday, May 24, 2005
Canyoneering the Colorado Plateau and the American Southwest
Neal Wilkinson & Ted Wring


Tuesday, June 28, 2005
Mount Charleston Winter Ascent
Alan Andrunas

©2002-05 Las Vegas Mountaineers Club, all rights reserved.
Dedicated to the preservation and enjoyment of the mountains.
Website Problems. Contact Us.