To the following members, please note that your membership will expire 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.
ARIZONA HOT SPRINGS BY FULL MOON
Recipe for a Memorable and Unique Outing
1 coordinator (Kristi Meyer)
Gather the coordinator, mountaineers and newcomers at
the Sunset Station parking garage a couple hours before sunset. Load gear
and people into 2 SUVs and head south on US93. Patiently make your way
across the Hoover Dam along with the tourists heading out of sin city.
Arrive at the trailhead late and bust-a-hump through a down-sloping wash
for an hour to get to the Colorado River (2.5 miles away) before sunset.
Enjoy the multi-colored sky. Navigate a couple dry washes before descending
into the final wash and the approach to the springs. Climb the ladder
and find a dry spot to put your pack. Strip to your bathing suit and slip
in to the upper, hottest pool. After simmering for 15-20 minutes, move
to the middle, cooler pool for another 30-45 minutes of lounging. Take
tons of pictures here and bury Mike in rocks. Finally, stick your toe
in the lower, coldest pool and decide it is a bit too frigid. By now,
it is dark outside, and though the moon may not be visible from the canyon
you find yourself in, the stars should be plentiful. Once your skin prunes,
dry yourself off and put on some warm clothes, as it is time to hike out.
Before starting the 2.8 miles back, turn to your new Ukrainian friend
Oleh for a chunk of chocolate. Hike out with the aid of your headlamp
or simply by the glow of the full moon and stars. Return to the trailhead
5 hours after you left it, and fall asleep in the backseat while Bob makes
the drive back to Henderson.
After some indecision, we decided we would hike Indecision Peak on Thursday, February 9th. I was joined by Chris Meyer and Peppe for the trip on a perfect day - sunny and low 70's. I had never climbed this particular peak, but I figured that Peppe, being the experienced Red Rock hiker that he is, would have been up Indecision before. Upon greeting him in the Red Rock parking lot a little after 8:30, I casually asked if he had hiked Indecision Peak before. His response was, "I've never even heard of it before!" That was a little disconcerting, but we decided to attempt it anyway. Fortunately I had brought the hike description from Branch Whitney's Hiking Las Vegas.
We finally started out on the First Creek trail just before 9:00. The hike follows this trail for a mile before veering off to the left and heading across the desert to the base of the mountain. At this point, we passed near a burro, who was making his presence known with loud braying. The hike becomes quite strenuous from here as you head up a long boulder field before scrambling around a huge prominent rock on the ridgeline. From there, the route leads into wide, brushy wash. As we started up the wash, we were treated to a close encounter with four bighorn sheep. They were only 30 yards away as they leisurely strolled along a steep sandstone crag. As I tried to get even closer for a picture, instead of moving away, they seemed more curious than frightened. They stood and watched me as I inched up to no more than 15 yards from them! I got some great pictures, and then they watched as we made our way up the wash. I think I could have almost reached out and touched them if I had wanted to!
The wash was fairly brushy all the way up (making me second-guess my decision to wear shorts). By the time we scrambled to the top of this section, we were all pretty tired. (Peppe claimed to be tired, although we could not tell by his rapid pace.) After an extended strenuous incline, we were happy to see the peak only an easy quarter of a mile from here. We hauled ourselves up the final summit block at 11:40 and admired the spectacular view.
As we began our long descent, we carefully attempted to retrace our steps through the maze of sandstone. We took two minor detours on the way down, but overall, route-finding wasn't too difficult on this hike (thanks to Brandon's descripton). Although the descent was fairly long, going down the boulder field was the only really tedious part, as we had to be very careful of our footing because many of the small boulders were loose. Once past the boulder field, we half-ran the final mile back to the car. We arrived back at the car at 2:10, happy but tired. It was a good hike - 10 miles roundtrip and an elevation gain of about 3200'.
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