LVMC CHRISTMAS PARTY - FRIDAY, DECEMBER 15th
Bring a side dish and your holiday cheer! The Club will provide ham and turkey and soft drinks, but you may bring your drink of choice. The party is at 6:30 pm at the Brewsters' house.
Be there or be square!
SOUTH McCULLOUGH MOUNTAIN
LVMC SELF-RESCUE CLINIC
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.
SOUTH McCULLOUGH MOUNTAIN
Most scientists find current evidence regarding Bigfoot unpersuasive. However, a small number of prominent experts hold sympathetic opinions regarding the existence of the Sasquatch. One such expert is Joel Brewster of Las Vegas, Nevada. Brewster argues that a relict population of Gigantopithecus blacki is the most likely candidate to explain countless sightings.
In response to a recent surge in Bigfoot sightings within South McCullough Wilderness Area, he recently mounted a research expedition to South McCullough Mountain, thanks to a generous grant from the Las Vegas Mountaineering Club.
At 7026 feet, South McCullough Mountain is the highest point in the McCullough Range and is 138th on Nevada's most prominent peaks list. Brewster explained that the rugged terrain and multiple springs in the area provided an ideal habitat for a small Sasquatch population. The McCullough Range is actually made of two distinct ranges. The northern range is volcanic in origin, while the southern range consists primarily of older metamorphic rock.
South McCullough can be reached off Nelson Road, which can be accessed either from Highway 95 at Searchlight or from Interstate 15, just past Primm. From there, you turn off Nelson Road and make your way to a powerline road, then take a road requiring either a Subaru or a high clearance vehicle, and arrive at the trailhead just before Pipe Spring. There is an excellent description of the route and directions to the trailhead at www.birdandhike.com.
Michael and Walter descending
Well, enough joking around, we unfortunately found no Sasquatch, and actually went there just to bag a peak. The route to the peak requires tackling a series of ridges and washes and can pose quite a navigation challenge. We got off course twice, once on the way up, where we ascended a minor summit to the south of McCullough. Also on the way back down we followed one ridge in the wrong direction but quickly got back on course. The view up top was great and we spent some time identifying peaks and other landmarks.
One noteworthy find was an intact deer skeleton ,entirely devoured save a few scraps of skin on the extremities. It still had an odor to it, so it couldn't have been too old. We joked it was the Sasquatch, but a better guess would be a rather large kitty cat. We saw no other hikers and according to the register at the peak, it had been a few months since the last visit. It was a pleasant, secluded hike.
Our group of nine was composed of the four Brewsters (Joel, Amy, Toby and Sierra), Chris & Kristi Meyer, Chris' co-worker, Roy, Bob Grozenski, and a new member, Carole, who was on her first LVMC trip. Although Kristi was the official leader, we all added some navigational help as Chris, Bob, and I had all been to Hamblin before.
It was cool, cloudy day and got quite windy once we reached the elusive ridgeline. For those not familiar with this hike, the route-finding is quite difficult and requires choosing washes to ascend as there are many forks. The route we chose followed a pleasant and scenic wash until it peetered out. At this point there was some steep climbing to get out of the wash.
Since Sierra was hungryand Kristi was pregnant, Amy, Sierra, and Kristi decided to wait for the rest of the group here. Therefore, I got to shed the baby backpack and went on to the summit carrying only water and snacks (which Bob generously offered to transport for me). Toby, being the trooper that he is, insisted upon heading for the summit with us.
The next section of the hike involved lots of steep climbing on loose pebbles (like walking on marbles) and Toby and I helped each other finally reach the ridgeline. From there, there was a decent trail to follow to the peak. Toby was happy and proud when he reached the summit, as were we all. Toby enjoyed his peanut butter sandwich and signing the summit register.
On the way down, we took a slightly different route, but managed to find the correct wash where we had left Kristi, Amy, and Sierra. We rejoined them and had a leisurely hike out to the cars. The entire hike took just under 5.5 hours. On the drive back home we were treated to great views of the Nellis Air Show.
CHECK OUT OUR NEW LVMC FLEECE JACKETS, AVAILABLE IN ASSORTED COLORS AND SIZES, ON SALE FOR $40 AT OUR MONTHLY MEETINGS
Click on the link above for a paid column by Nathan Petrosian
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Mountaineers hold their monthly meetings at the Sahara West Library,