Mountain Logo
Ascender Title
June 2008
Volume 14, Issue 6


Steven with the spectacular view


The gang chillin' around camp


Climbing through the dense undergrowth along the trail


Steven and Frank stop to catch their breath during the steep ascent


Joel posing at the overlook


We were suddenly in a winter wonderland!


Looking toward Signal Peak from Further Water meadow


Frank and Steven emerging from the snow-covered slope leading to Signal Peak



President: Nadia von Magdenko
Vice President/Training Director: Xavier Wasiak
Secretary: Alda Behie
Treasurer: Jim Albamont
Newsletter Editor: Joel Brewster
Outings Director:
Annalisa Helm
Membership Director: Chris Ransel
Website Director: Amy Brewster
Public Relations/Marketing Director: Kim Owen
Club Gear Director: Chris Ransel

Social Directors:
Dawna Herndon
& Valentina Fields
Safety Director: Mary Beth Pierce
Assistant Director: Richard Baugh
Assistant Director: John "Snafu" Mueller
Assistant Director: Doug Olson
Assistant Director: Nathan Petrosian

Assistant Director: Cristina Rodriguez
Assistant Director: Harlan Stockman
Past President: Howard Herndon

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 140.
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. July 10th is the deadline for the next issue.

Joel Brewster
Phone: 456-8520



Please contact the membership director if you have questions about your membership.

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 the following members, please note that your membership will expire this month:

Othneil Uter
Ron Abate

To All Members:
Please send any address, phone number and e-mail changes to Chris Ransel.

Chris Ransel
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 Chris Ransel.


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 prepaid and sent by e-mail or submitted on CD. Please make checks payable to Las Vegas Mountaineers Club.


June 7-8, 2008
Report by Steven Newell, Photos by Joel Brewster

At 10,365 feet, Signal Peak is the highest peak in the Pine Valley Mountains and is one of the best hikes in southern Utah. Joel, his wife, Amy, and their two children (Toby and Sierra) hosted the trip. They were joined by Frank Simpson, a new LVMC member, and Steven Newell. The group carpooled and left Las Vegas around midday on June 7 and carpooled to a campground called Oak Grove and spent the night. Oak Grove campground is located near the small towns of Silver Reef and Leeds, which are near the interstate between St. George and Cedar City. The campground was surrounded by trees and lush vegetation due to snow melt from the nearby Pine Valley Mountains. Each of our three parties spent a fairly chilly night in a tent. The trail to Signal Peak approaches Signal Peak from south and the trailhead was conveniently located in the campground.

Joel, Frank and Steven got up the next day before 6:00 am to start the ascent. It was a very steep hike to the summit of the mountain plateau, but the views of southeastern Utah were indescribable. Following the trail, we went from desert plants to aspen, spruce, firs, junipers, and pines. There was quite an abundance of wildflowers. With his two-way radio, Joel kept in contact with Amy and the kids back at “base camp.” It took about three hours to reach the top of the ridge after many switchbacks. Going nowhere but up, it was definitely a workout. From the rim of the plateau, overlooking Oak Grove campground, we could clearly see and distinguish the western aspects of buttes and spires of Zion National Park, the large arch in Kolob Canyon, parts of Cedar Breaks, the Virgin River Gorge (I-15 runs through it), and, in the distance, the rising northern plateau of the Grand Canyon North Rim.

Amy and Sierra enjoying camp

Evidently, there had been more than the usual precipitation in Utah this past winter. When we got to the plateau, at about 9,000 feet, we found the area was about half covered in thick patches of snow. Although the snow was melting, there was enough left to obscure much of the Summit Trail. The Summit Trail goes from the high point above the campground to the base of Signal Peak. Unfazed and determined, Joel was able to lead us to our destination. Luckily, both Joel and Frank had fairly good maps and were able to decide which way to go. None of us had snow shoes. There was lots of slipping, sliding and sinking into the snow, which many times was several feet deep. Frank improvised by using a tree branch as a walking stick to prevent falling or sliding. The snow made the trek slow and very tiring. However, the hard work was a small price to pay for the solitude and silence of this high-altitude oasis in the southern Utah desert. Even though we were hiking during the weekend, we did not see anyone else on the trail.

Along the Summit Trail there were two notable features, Deer Flat and Further Water. These are two green, narrow meadows, surrounded by pines and filled with thick hummus. During our hike, Further Water had water running in the stream. At the end of Further Water were several peaks, including Signal Peak. The Summit Trail did not lead us up Signal Peak, and we had to leave the trail to get to the top. This was a steep, entirely uphill trip of about ¼ mile in which we gained just over 400'. Due to it being almost entirely snow-covered, it seemed like more 4000'! Finding the true summit took a bit of searching, but Signal Peak afforded another good view, despite it being partly obscured by trees. This viewpoint included Snow Canyon and the town of Pine Valley.

Steven and Frank pose along the trail

Coming back seemed easier, and we were able to find Summit Trail for the entire hike across the plateau. Round trip, the hike took about 10 ½ hours with far more time needed to ascend. All of us were very tired and could have taken a nap of the spot. After a quick snack, we left that evening for the short drive back to Las Vegas.



The Las Vegas Mountaineers monthly meeting this month
is on Tuesday, June 24th at

Clark County
Library (in the Jewel Box Theater),
1401 E. Flamingo Rd., just east of Maryland Pkwy.

Meeting time is 7:00 p.m.


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Wind River Range with Gannett Peak

Richard Baugh


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Mount Rainier

Chris Ransel

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Dedicated to the preservation and enjoyment of the mountains.
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