MT. CHARLESTON CLEANUP
BRIDGE MOUNTAIN AND NORTH PEAK
LVMC TOP ROPE
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In fine LVMC style, a group of 16 made their way to Veyo, UT to indulge in some sport climbing over the Memorial Day Weekend. The Crawdad Canyon Resort is located in Veyo, UT, about 20 minutes west of St. George. With over 180 bolted sport climbing routes ranging from a beginner 5.6 to “Five-dot-Steeeeeve” (translation: wow, that’s hard!), there was something for everyone!
The majority of the group met at Nadia’s house (our fearless leader for our weekend expedition) around 9 am on Saturday the 26th of May, and everyone converged on the Cracker Barrel in St. George for some group grub prior to heading west to Veyo. We all arrived at Crawdad Canyon around 1 pm local time and the climbers promptly hit the walls. It really was amazing to see the number of routes that are bolted into the walls at Crawdad Canyon: it’s like the climbing gym, only better! We had the leisure of belaying from benches, stairs to different routes, and were pleasantly surprised by the carhop (Nadia) who delivered soft-serve ice cream to us on our first afternoon on the rocks. I tell ya---you just can’t get that kind of service at the Red Rock Climbing Center! Around 6 pm, we all headed back to the campsite to pitch our tents and get some dinner going. Snafu manned the grill and cooked up some chicken for everyone, we stuffed ourselves silly on “Natural Cheetos” and other snacks, and made a relatively early night out of it in order to get an early start the next morning.
The breakfast table was the gathering point the next morning as we all emerged from our tents. We can see Erika here receiving her morning rations while soaking up some morning sun. Snafu, Mary Beth, and Paul headed out to do some four-wheeling exploration in the local area, and everyone else packed up to head out to climb. After some complaints were lodged with Nadia regarding the exhausting hike-ins to the climbs the day before (five minutes), we were punished with a most grueling two minute hike-in to the Flytrap area (located right behind the swimming pool at the resort). Whether folks were lead climbing or top-roping, everyone got plenty of time on the rocks on Sunday.
Valentina found a way to still be glamorous in the high 90-degree heat at the climbing crag and we marveled at some of the advanced climbers (Nadia, Steve K, Steve N., Xavier) successfully leading some routes into the 5.11+ range. Everyone was extremely generous when it came to teaching, sharing knowledge, trying new things, and making sure that everyone was safe at all times. Here, we can see Xavier demonstrating a “swinging belay” technique.
The second evening brought group dinner in the form of grilled Mahi Mahi fish tacos (Erika), some delicious grilled chicken (Cassondra), and veggies and sausages (Nathan and Valentina). Nadia could be heard encouraging people to relax following such a tough day and long walk to/from the crag, offering them the few remaining beers left in the trip leader’s cooler. Snafu, of course, manned the blender later on into the evening, and as we all drank around the watermelon seeds in his Snafu-fu drinks, we shared some crazy campfire stories. Regrettably, a recounting of those stories cannot be read in this trip report, as we decided as a group “What happens in Veyo STAYS in Veyo.” You’ll just have to come next year! Monday brought about a leisurely start to climbing, with yet another brutal (30 second) hike-in. We were all pretty tired from the previous 2 days of climbing, so after a few pitches, we called it and headed out of Veyo back to Las Vegas.
Special thanks to Nadia for coordinating and leading this trip, and for everyone who contributed their climbing knowledge, senses of humor, foodstuffs, beverages, and personalities. A highly successful trip: we started with 16 and ended with 16. Oh yay! For anyone who is interested in climbing on a weekly basis, the LVMC has discounted monthly rates at the Red Rock Climbing Center on Charleston. A group generally gathers around 6 pm each Thursday to climb some plastic, and all are welcome!
MT. CHARLESTON CLEANUP
With the white stuff melted, the snow play areas on Mt. Charleston were like an archeological site. Colorful, plastic pieces of sleds, water bottles and the occasional earring had emerged from the winter’s fun. It was the Las Vegas Mountaineers Club’s job to send it all to its rightful place – the dump!
On April 14, seven Mountaineers collected 587 pounds of trash. The crew included Dave Luttman, Paul Schollmeyer, Larry Dunn, John Oreschek, Kathy Nagy, Doug Olson and Cristina Rodriguez. The self-professed Mountain Trash Man, Brian Cicotti, said the group was one of the most productive ever.
Well… the total weight did include some metal from picnic tables. We did have a few heavy-duty items, too, most of which were obviously used for sledding, like the broken laundry baskets, the plastic mat that sits under an office chair and linoleum flooring. Nobody found a treasure, unless you count 25 cents, but crew members afterward said it was one of the most rewarding cleanups they’d done. We cleared out two visibly trashed slopes in about three hours.
Brian, who is paid to clean up the mountain full time by the Forest Service, spoke passionately about keeping the mountains clean. He volunteered for several years before picking up the Forest Service contract. On our cleanup day, he said his contract had just been renewed. He invited the Mountaineers Club to return. He did make things very easy for us, giving the team litter pickers and large trash bags, then reserving a table for us in the paid picnic area.
Everybody hung around for the post-cleanup feast. We had burgers and hot dogs and beer – mmm-mmm! – and good conversation among fellow Mountaineers.
BRIDGE MOUNTAIN AND NORTH PEAK
To begin this LVMC trip, we drove up Rocky Gap Road to Red Rock summit. The road was in good shape overall, but had a few rough spots. It definitely requires a high-clearance vehicle. We parked at about 6,471 feet.
The sign at the trailhead tells you that Bridge Mountain is 2.2 miles and North Peak is 1.3 miles. Bridge Mountain was actually about 3.1 miles and the peak they refer to as North Peak is apparently different than what hikers refer to as North Peak. North Peak is actually about 2.5 miles or so from Rocky Gap Road.
Dramatic view of Bridge Mountain as you begin to descend
We hiked along the trail up to a ridgeline about 7,180 feet. Then we started hiking down towards Bridge Mountain and slowly lost some elevation. Soon after you start to descend, there is a great lookout into Pine Canyon and Mescalito just to the right of the trail.
Many cairns mark the route along the way. When first looking up at Bridge and at the crack you have to scramble up, it looks impossible. Once you get up to it though it looks manageable. Our LVMC group stopped and ate just before ascending the crack at about 6,350 feet.
The crack you have to ascend is short but intimidating; it starts at 6,440 feet and the top of the crack is at about 6,550 feet. At this point you have to curve around to the left and then ascend a second short crack. Once you reach the top of this crack, you will be right under the bridge. From here it is smooth sailing to the summit.
The summit of Bridge Mountain provided excellent views of Red Rock Canyon, Las Vegas, and the snow covered Spring Mountains to the NW. Our group enjoyed lunch and the photo opportunities.
Bridge Point and Las Vegas in the background From Bridge Mountain
The descent was interesting. One of the members of our group lost a GPS. As the hiker was going down an exposed ledge not far below the summit, it came loose and rolled with great velocity down the mountain and off into an open area known as the Hidden Forest. One of the members of the group was nice enough to go down and search for the GPS for a good fifteen minutes, but had no luck. The club member that lost his GPS was in good spirits though and said he now had a reason to get a newer, better GPS.
The majority of the LVMC group decided to do a side trip to North Peak. The BLM sign said it was only 0.3 miles from the Bridge Mountain Trail. It was unclear whether they just had the wrong distance or whether they were referring to a different peak than the sandstone North Peak, but we all agreed that it was more like 1.3 miles than 0.3. There were a lot of short ups and downs on the way to North Peak. The views were well worth the trek to North Peak though. Las Vegas looked stunning as the sun reflected off the strip. North Peak also provides some great views of Bridge Mountain. We then hiked back to Rocky Gap Road and drove back down to the visitor center where people had left their vehicles. The sun was just setting as we were on our return drive down Rocky Gap Road. It was a great day getting in two peaks and about nine miles of hiking.
LVMC TOP ROPE
It was a beautiful warm sunny Saturday for the LVMC Top Rope event at the Red Rock Canyon NCA. Unexpectedly, there was maintenance at the first Calico Hills turnoff, so we were unable to make it up to the Panty Wall. Instead, we went up to the Magic Bus at the second Calico Hills parking area.
After a short hike we made it up to the Magic Bus. We were a sizable group, but there were multiple routes on the wall so everyone got to climb as much as they wanted to. There was a lot of good climbing instruction and thrilling climbing all day long.
Making it Count
One of LVMC’s very own will be undertaking some high peaks this year, and for a good cause!
Erika Napoletano will be attempting both Mt. Whitney, the highest peak in the contiguous 48 (14,505 ft.), and Mt. Rainier (14,410 ft) this year. Her Mt. Whitney summit attempt will be over the weekend of June 30th with a private group of climbers, and her Mt. Rainier climb has been arranged through Alpine Ascents via the Emmons Glacier Route for August 4-8. Erika has committed that, beginning in 2007, all of her major climbs will be fundraisers for various non-profit organizations.
As a large contributor of both her time and finances to local charities since her move here in 2005, Erika Napoletano was awarded the Sin City Chamber of Commerce’s Social Activism Award for 2006. She is also serving her second term as Vice Chairman of the Advisory Council for the Sin City Chamber this year. She has partnered with the Sin City Chamber to market and promote her climbing efforts and help raise funds to benefit the non-profit members of the Chamber 100%, with no administrative fees to be deducted from any contributions.
The Chamber has over 15 non-profit members currently, 4 of which directly benefit children in the local Las Vegas area.
If you would like to make a donation to Erika’s climbs (for a good cause!) please ask any LVMC board member how to do so, or contact Erika Napoletano directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Her goal is to raise $2500 by August 1st for the benefit of our local Las Vegas non-profit organizations.
The LVMC Board has voted to donate $50 for each of Erika’s climbs (and she is extremely grateful for this unexpected gesture from the Board!).
All contributions are tax-deductible. Receipts will be available following the conclusion of her Mt. Rainier climb in August and will be distributed no later than September 1st.
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