BRIAN HEAD PEAK
To the following members, please note that your membership will expire this month or has already expired:
Please make your
check payable to the Las Vegas Mountaineers Club and mail to: P.O. Box
36026, Las Vegas, NV 89133-6026.
BRIAN HEAD PEAK
This was my first ascent of a peak in snow. This was an LVMC trip to Brian Head Ski area. I did some snowshoeing on Friday and skied on Saturday. I was going to ski again on Sunday but no one else was going to and some wanted to hike up to Brian Head Peak so I decided to save the cost of the lift ticket and join them.
We drove up to the Cedar Breaks parking area. The starting elevation was about 10,420 feet. Two people in our group snowshoed their way to the summit. I and another hiker hiked to the summit. We crossed the highway and followed the road (covered in snow) down to where the road turned to go up to the summit. This road is used by cross-country skiers and snowmobiles in the winter. It was about a half a mile to this point.
Ascending the ridgeline
Next we followed the road up along the SW side of the peak, and then up to the south ridge, where we left the road. The snow was mostly packed, but there were about half a dozen spots where I sunk knee-deep in the snow. Once we got close to the summit, it got very cold and windy. The windchill had to be below 0ºF. I went over and took some pictures of the Brian Head summit sign, and some of the views. I would have set up my tripod to get more photos but it was too cold. It was about a mile and a half to the summit.
Sacha with the peak in the background
On the route down I got some more photos. Once I got down past the second ridge I noticed a lot of smooth snow down to the road. I decided to slide down the mountain. I slid down about 100 yards or so. It was very fun. After we got back to the parking area, we waited for the other people in our group that went snowshoeing to return, and then we headed back to Las Vegas after an enjoyable weekend.
After eating a good breakfast at IHOP, I and a new member from Washington state, Dean Molen, started driving for Hayford Peak. We stopped at Corn Creek Field Station to sign into the register, which helps the Wildlife Refuge get funding. We then started heading north on Alamo Road.
On the drive along Alamo Road, we enjoyed the views of the snow-topped Spring Mountains to the west. Just after the turnoff for Joe May Canyon, the first turnoff along Alamo Road, we hit a little bump. Be sure to drive slow over this section. We continued on past Cow Camp Road, the next turnoff about 10 miles up the way. Just as we passed Cow Camp Road we noticed the sun was getting ready to rise. We stopped and watched the sun rise over Sheep Peak.
Continuing on, the road was in great shape. We then came to our turnoff, Hidden Forest Road. We turned right and headed for the end of the road. This is where we parked. We then got ready and started hiking into Deadman Canyon. The elevation at the trailhead was about 5,850 feet. We parked at 36° 37.739 N and 115° 17.285 W. We hiked down past the gate sign for Deadman Canyon. From here there is about 50 feet elevation loss to the bigger gate a little way down. The hike along the old road to the cabin was filled with many rocks and gravel. About 1.4 miles into the hike we ran into a little snow. This was at about 6,340 feet. Again after 3.1 miles at 7,200 feet, we ran into more snow along the road/trail. It was never more than ankle-deep along here though. We saw some footprints and dogprints. We even saw one that looked like it could have been the footprint of a mountain lion.
Snow was scattered all the way to the cabin. At 3.7 miles, 7,442 feet,
we saw a big huge dead tree that had fallen along the road. We ducked
under it and continued to the cabin. We finally reached the Hidden Forest
cabin after 4.7 miles. (36° 37.883 N, 115° 12.471 W). We refueled
ourselves with some food and checked out the cabin. The cabin had a
bunk to sleep, a fireplace, cooking utensils, a flashlight, and more.
The views of Sheep Peak, and the Spring Mountains were gorgeous. It was partly cloudy the whole time; I hardly needed to put on my sunglasses. We continued following the ridge north. Many cairns mark the route. We got to the top of a ridge just before going down a little bit to the saddle below Hayford. Our coordinates at the top of this ridge was 36° 39.101N, 115° 12.575W. The elevation here was about 9,200 feet. There is also a cairn here. Then about 50 feet down the ridge, two more cairns mark the path down the ridge. Hiking down to the saddle we ran into calf-deep snow. At the saddle we were down to 9,087 feet. (36° 39.216 N, 115° 12.406W)
Now it was time to start the final ascent up to Hayford Peak. We could
see a rocky outcrop halfway up the ridge. We hiked up towards this staying
on the right of the outcrop. We hit some areas here where we got into
knee-deep snow, but it was only for a short distance. We then continued
our way up to the summit.
We then took numerous photos and refueled. The benchmark was nowhere to be seen as there was a mound of 4-5 feet of snow on the true summit. The summit register was at the edge of this snowdrift luckily. We were the first ones to summit Hayford Peak this year. It was last summited on November 25, 2006. It was starting to get chilly. We then put on our gloves as we started to descend.
It was nice coming down, as the hard part was all over. We retraced our steps and followed the cairns back to Deadman Canyon by the Hidden Forest Cabin. We then hiked the rest of the way back to Hidden Forest Road. It was great to return and take off my shoes after all the hiking on rocks and gravel along the way from the cabin back to the vehicle. It was a full day.
CLICK HERE FOR LVMC EVENT SCHEDULE
The Las Vegas
Mountaineers hold their monthly meetings at the Sahara West Library,