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Ascender Title
November 2005
Volume 11, Issue 11




Group on West Damsel


Ascent of Damsel Peak viewed from below


Taking a break at the saddle


Paul descending chute from Damsel Peak


River across the road on the Red Rock loop

Red Rock with rain in background



Ben Choi, Shinil Kim, Steven Kim, Jean Kim, Donna Alley and Luba Leef on a hike to Coyote Butte on October 24, 2005



President: Chris Ransel
Vice President/Training Director: Chris Meyer
Secretary: Kristi Meyer
Treasurer: Jim Albamont
Newsletter Editor: Joel Brewster
Outings Director: Josh Owen
Membership Director: Dawna Herndon
Website Director: Amy Brewster
Public Relations Director: Gretchen Huie
Club Gear Director: Kim Friedman
Assistant Director: Bruce Lacroix
Assistant Director: Richard Baugh
Assistant Director: Howard Herndon
Assistant Director: Alan Andrunas

Past President: Xavier Wasiak

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 150.
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. There will be no December newsletter due to the hoildays. January 5th is the deadline for the next issue.

Joel Brewster
Phone: 456-8520


To the following members, please note that your membership will expire this month or has already expired:

Vince Battaglia
Chris Baugh
David Bert
John Bickel
Timothy & Jennifer Burns
Kevin Cannon
Brett Crowley
Janet Curry
Randy Czaplicki
Mike Deal
Larry DeAngelo
Tina Donnell
Larry & Clare Dunn

Patrick Durkin
Henry & Anna Dziegiel
Faith Forrester
Bob Grozenski
Farrah Habibian
Lori Halton
Axel Harres
Howard Herndon
Mike Harris & Juliana Harrington
Mike Hill

Bill Inglehart
Michael Jacobs

Chris Jeffreys
Ralph Johnson
Jacquie Kaner
Raoul Kennedy
Alex & Luba Leef
Jeffrey Liu
Susan Malcher
Sean & Dyan McCarthy
Merri McKee
Jack Meiner
Donna Metcalf
Gary Metternich
Michael Mullin

Patricia Norman
Colin Okada
Ian Palast
Victor Priebe
Valentina Proskourina
Chris Ransel
Steve Salyer
Adrien Strasser
Brandon Wilson
Troy & Andrea Wirth
Debbie Zois

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 notification of your Ascender password.

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

Dawna Herndon
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 Kim Friedman.


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.


November 5, 2005
Report by Joel Brewster, Photos by Peggy Rescheske and Joel Brewster

It was another perfect day in paradise as our group of seven (Ali, Peggy, Kahmien, Mike Ryan, Mike Shackleford, and Paul Kuroda) headed up a dirt road to Damsel and West Damsel Peak. About five minutes up the road, Al Hastings called my cell phone saying that he was running late, but would be at our meeting spot in about ten minutes. We decided to head back to pick him up. So our group of eight now headed up the six miles of dirt roads to our trailhead.

I had warned the group that the drive in could be the most challenging part of our hike, but it actually was fairly straight-forward except for one spot in which we had to back up down a narrow wash and turn around. After the long, but scenic drive, we began our hike at about 8:30. The plan was to climb a major wash to the obvious saddle between Damsel and West Damsel, but on the way up the group separated as we found various routes to the saddle.

At the saddle, we were impressed with the sheer drop on the other side (south) of the ridgeline. From there we decided to do Damsel Peak first, which is lower in elevation, but more challenging. The last 100 yards or so up to the summit required some class 3 moves, and Peggy elected to wait for us (and snap some photos of us on the summit). We admired the dramatic view, had a quick snack, and headed back to rejoin Peggy below.

From there, we walked along the ridge to the top of West Damsel Peak (or Pincushion Peak according to some), with plenty of breathtaking drop-offs on the left side. We carefully chose a route a safe distance from left edge of the ridge, except for Kahmien ("Special K") who scrambled up a somewhat exposed chute and beat the rest of the group to the summit. Along the way, Ali pointed out the pincushion-shaped plants growing on the rocks... hence, Pincushion Peak.

We all summitted about 1:00 and enjoyed the views and company as we chatted, told jokes, took pictures, and ate lunch on the peak. Even at 6977', it was a perfect temperature - about 70 degrees without a breath of wind. We decided to descend the northwest ridge, which proved to be slightly easier, but a little longer than if we had descended the same wash we climbed up. We wound up getting back to the cars at about 3:00, for a leisurely six and half hour trip.

Everyone was tired, but cheerful as we piled into the cars for the journey home. Fortunately, we found a better dirt road back to where we parked at Cheyenne & 215. It was an enjoyable hike with a good crowd.


October 18, 2005
Report and Photos by Chris Meyer

I had the opportunity to experience firsthand the flooding and subsequent closing of Red Rock during the big storm that hit the valley on October 18. Thanks to being a tour guide with Pink Jeep Tours I was able to experience it all while getting paid to do so and while driving a company vehicle. The vehicle is a large pink Chevy Suburban with high-clearance, 4-wheel drive, and deep tread all-terrain tires.

This trip happened to be the day my boss decided to ride along with me to conduct a review of my performance. We only had three guests (maximum for a tour is six) for a morning tour of Red Rock. The route I took was to follow Hwy 160 to Hwy 159 approaching Red Rock from the south. The views were amazing, but the storm clouds were foreboding. The limestone peaks were completely covered by the storm clouds. The sandstone cliffs were still in view, but obscured a little due to the rainfall. In the vicinity of the First Creek area we saw a number of waterfalls flowing from the sandstone cliffs. It was an interesting and pretty sight, but as you know it is often an ominous sign of imminent flooding. We continued to the park entrance wondering if the loop was still open. Surprisingly it was.

We made a short stop at the visitor center while the rain stopped for a little while. The views of Calico Hills were wonderful. There were a lot of low-lying clouds with some sparse sunshine protruding from behind Calico Hills, providing a nice contrast with the glowing red sandstone from the rainfall. While driving along the loop, we saw over two dozen waterfalls flowing down the sandstone formations throughout the area. Before arriving at the Sandstone Quarry turnoff, we encountered several vehicles driving the wrong way on the one-way loop, providing yet another sign of trouble ahead of us. While traveling near the high point of the loop, we encountered small patches of snow along the sides of the road; yet another unexpected sight considering the temperature was 47 degrees.

We turned into the Willow Springs area and saw a torrent coming over the Lost Creek waterfall. There were cascading waterfalls flowing from North Peak all across the sandstone cliffs. There were also several waterfalls flowing down White Hills. While leaving the Willow Springs area, we were stopped by a park employee warning us the road ahead was blocked by debris and that we needed to turn around. I told him we’d simply drive up to the debris to take a look and then we’d turn around. He was fine with that as long as we promised not to cross the debris.

Soon after passing the parking area for Ice Box Canyon, we encountered a large debris field of rocks and two-foot wide boulders blocking the road with floodwaters still flowing across the road. We all exited the vehicle to admire the power of nature while I kept a watchful eye in case more floodwaters were approaching. We admired the area pondering the depth of the flood necessary to move rocks that big. It had probably occurred less than 30 minutes earlier.

We finished taking pictures, then turned around driving the wrong way on the one-way road, which I had never done before. On the way, I stopped several other vehicles letting them know the road ahead was blocked. After passing the White Rock turnoff, I encountered more floodwaters that had not been there a few minutes earlier. The water was only a few inches deep so I drove through without any concern.

Upon leaving the park along Hwy 159 east, just before reaching the large stone designating the border of Red Rock, I encountered another much larger flood flowing across the road. The water was flowing quickly at a depth of over 8 inches deep for over 100 feet along the road. We pondered our path and then decided we were in good shape considering our vehicle. My boss, who was sitting in the back of the vehicle, turned on the video portion of his digital camera to tape the crossing of the floodwaters. I drove through carefully as the rushing water distorted my spatial perspective. When I stopped focusing on the road on the other side for a couple seconds, it seemed as though I was moving with the river, but we were in fact continuing on a straight course. That sure was an interesting experience!

I dropped off my guests who were extremely happy with the trip and the unexpected experience, and subsequently gave me a really good tip. My boss and I proceeded to check out the anticipated flooding behind the Imperial Palace. The floodwaters were flowing though the garage into the washbasin. A large amount of trash was covering the grate leading to the washbasin. A bulldozer and a street sweeper were clearing out the debris ensuring that the floodwaters flowed properly.

I consider that trip to be the best Red Rock tour I have had as a guide, and I received an "A" on my evaluation from my boss. It was quite a unique experience! The loop remained closed for that afternoon and the following morning until a bulldozer was able to clear the debris from the road. The loop reopened by noon the next day.


Rain-soaked Calico Hills with Turtlehead in background



Send in your best photos from LVMC outings for the First Annual LVMC Photo Contest. The contest will be open through November 2006 and prizes will be awarded at next year's Christmas Party! Please submit photos via e-mail to Joel Brewster and happy shooting!
(Remember, photos must be taken during an LVMC outing.)




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, November 22, 2005
Kurt Wedberg

Click for Kurt's Bio



There will be no Club meeting in December. December 9th we will have a Christmas Party at the Herndon's.

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