Mountain Logo
Ascender Title
January 2006
Volume 12, Issue 1


A large rock arch along ridgeline to White Rock Hills Peak


Mike traversing a ledge


Mike descending one of many class 3 chutes



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: Chris Ransel
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. February 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:

Bruce Weinberger
Britta Rottsdry
John "SNAFU" Mueller
Kristi & Chris Meyer
Kahmien LaRusch
Andrea Kenney

Brian Kapp
Milo Hendricks
Paul Francis
Andrea Carreon
Mark Beauchamp
Thomas Atherton

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.



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! Click HERE for the contest rules. Please submit photos via e-mail to Joel Brewster and happy shooting!
(Remember, photos must be taken during an LVMC outing.)



January 17, 2006
Report and photos by Joel Brewster

On Tuesday, January 17th, Mike Shackleford and I set out to climb White Rock Hills Peak from the Willow Springs parking lot. Mike had never summitted this peak, and I had only done it from the other side (White Rocks turnoff).

We left the car about 9:15 continuing about a quarter of a mile up Rocky Gap Road, before turning right and heading up the steep sandstone ledges towards our target. After reading Brandon's complex description of the route in Hiking Las Vegas, we were not very confident that we could follow the route to this difficult peak. Also, since we got a late start, we had only so many hours of daylight to make our attempt.

Soon after we began heading up the sparsely cairned route to the top of the ridge, Mike and I began discussing probabilities (as we often do). I assessed our probability of successfully summitting as about 65%, and Mike thought our chances were not so good. Since we didn't want to wager money on an event so easily influenced ("Oops I think I just turned my ankle and we have to go back to the car"), we wagered push-ups to be done by the loser. So we settled on betting Mike's 20 push-ups to my 35 (since Mike was getting odds).

Mike emerging from "secret passage"

Just before we reached the ridgeline, we encountered the highlight of the day, a narrow chute that led to a passage with an opening just big enough to squeeze through. Mike and I had chosen different paths at this point - I was on the ridgeline and Mike was about 100 feet below, paralleling a cliff band and searching for a chute to ascend to join me. I walked out to the edge of the cliff to try to help him find the best route up, but could see nothing that looked reasonable from my vantage point.

Mike descending chute from "secret passage"
(You can just make out the light from the hole at the top)

Then Mike said he was going to try to climb what appeared to me to be a narrow, very steep crack. I yelled down to him that it didn't look promising to me, but as he began climb, he disappeared from my view. He seemed confident, but I had no idea where he was going. About a minute later, he emerged from a "rabbithole" somewhat hidden by brush, about 12 feet from the edge of the cliff. It was so amazing to see Mike appear from nowhere, I convinced Mike that we should descend this way through the hole so I could go through it. The route was slightly more difficult, but descending through the very narrow passage (backpacks must be taken off to fit through) was well worth it.

Thick ice encountered in wash just below peak

Although our route was significantly different than Brandon's we managed to reach the top of the ridgeline about 11:30, despite backtracking on several occasions. However, since we had set a turnaround time of 1:00, our chances of summiting seemed slim as we still had a way to go to reach the peak. Fortunately, the route-finding became much easier from this point, as cairns became much more frequent. We blindly followed the ever-present cairns (route-finding for dummies) as they led us up a wash in which there were patches of three or four-inch deep ice! We finally hoisted ourselves up onto the final summit block at 12:59, one minute before our turnaround time.

Mike doing push-ups on the summit with Las Vegas and Calico Hills in the background

I took pictures as Mike did his 20 push-ups right on the summit. The 360-degree view was tremendous as we ate a quick lunch before heading down. The descent was much quicker (2.25 hours) than I expected as we only had to backtrack briefly one time. We returned to the car about 3:45 and headed over to the restaurant at Bonnie Springs for a terrific dinner before heading home.


Come join us Thursday evenings at the rock gym (now called Red Rock Climbing Gym), located at Charleston and Cimarron.
No experience required. We're there 6-8 pm.
Shoes are available to rent at the gym and some harnesses are available.
Contact Bruce Lacroix.



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, January 24, 2006
Annapurna Circuit
Matt Wenthie


Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Pacific Crest Trail
Nathan Young

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Dedicated to the preservation and enjoyment of the mountains.
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