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Ascender Title
January 2009
Volume 15, Issue 1


The rugged group hiking across the desert


Taking a break at the "football field"


Climbing up the slabs


Lori sharing her pickles with the group


Taking in the magnificent scenery


Doug making a point


Bighorn sheep crossing our path



The route travels west over an old mining road


Heading up the first slot


The last slot on top, with a view to the last chute


View down the last class 3+ chute


Summit photo


Kim negotiates the last slot


Kim and Harlan on the summit, picture taken by the very patient Chris M.


Coming down the ledges on the ridge



Congratulations to the winners of LVMC’s annual awards, handed out at the Club’s Christmas Party on December 5th.

Most Improved: Annalisa Helm – over the last year, Annalisa has made great strides on the rock. Her peers have recognized her for safely pushing herself and growing noticeably as a climber. Well done, Annalisa!

50 Peaks: Ali Haghi & Harlan Stockman – some of them are straightforward and tame and others are remote and treacherous. Congrats to Ali and Harlan, who both successfully conquered them all!

Service: Amy Brewster – she’s just one of those people you can always count on. Amy keeps our website up and running and leads some great trips each year. This is not the first time she has won this award, and she always deserves it. Thanks for all your hard work, Amy!

Training: Chris Ransel – we are so fortunate to have someone as willing to share his knowledge and skills in the outdoors. Every year he comes through with some great training classes. We truly appreciate you, Chris!

Lee Stout: John "SNAFU" Mueller – the Lee Stout is the club’s most prestigious award. It is presented to the person who exhibits continued leadership and strength in the outdoors and embodies the spirit of the club. Snafu does all that and more. We are so fortunate to have him in our club. Snafu, you rock!!!


"Snafu" Claus


Chris Ransel receiving his training award


Harlan is outstanding


Ali is also outstanding


We recognize Chris


Snafu getting his Lee Stout award


Enjoying the grub and holiday cheer


Photos courtesy of Chris Meyer and Paul Des Roches



President: Nadia von Magdenko
Vice President/Training Director: Richard Baugh
Secretary: Xavier Wasiak
Treasurer: Beth Ransel
Newsletter Editor: Joel Brewster
Outings Director: Annalisa Helm
Membership Director: Chris Ransel
Website Director: Amy Brewster
Public Relations/Marketing Director: John "Snafu" Mueller
Club Gear Director: Chris Ransel
Social Director: Kristi Meyer
Assistant Director: Grant Brownback
Assistant Director: Paul Des Roches
Assistant Director: Kim Owen

Assistant Director: Harlan Stockman

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 120.
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. February 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 or expired last month:

Henry & Anna Dziegiel
Alfio Irenze
Robert Grozenski
Kathya Delaguila
Patrick Grant
Steve Mallory
Dave Myhre
Marlie Gaddie
Alexander Leef
Chris & Kristi Meyer
Ed Plana
John "SNAFU" Mueller
Michael Biel

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.



November 1, 2008
Report by Richard Baugh, Photos by Harlan Stockman and Chris Meyer

On November 1, 2008, nine LVMC members climbed Windy Peak. The peak is located at the southern end of the Red Rock Canyons, and the trailhead is accessed via a string of dirt roads off State Route 160. It is a sandstone peak similar to other Red Rock peaks, and is bordered by Windy Canyon to the south and Mud Springs Canyon to the north. The summit elevation is just over 6000’.

Our group of nine included Richard Baugh, Doug Foust, Harlan Stockman, Joel Brewster, Chris Meyer, Stan Shebs, Doug Hladky, Lori Curry, and Tomaz Woloszyn. We met at the new BLM parking lot (where the mountain bikers park) off 160, piled into several of the high clearance 4wd vehicles, and drove to the trailhead.

There is a faint trail across the desert leading into Windy Canyon, and we did a good job of staying on that trail. The first obstacle was crossing the main drainage through the dense bushes and other growth fed by the natural spring nearby. We found the crossing easily and headed up switchbacks to the area known as the "football field". The group took a short break there, and then we headed up to the sandstone slabs. Throughout most of this section, we could all see the magnificent cliffs of the south side of Windy Peak. This is the home to several classic long rock climbs first ascended in the 1970's: Jubilant Song, Hot Fudge Thursday, Saint Stephen, and Windy Corner. We brought a rock climbing guidebook, and were able to identify the lines of these routes.

The sandstone slabs follow the south face closely, and we soon arrived at a small saddle where the route meanders around the southwest side of the peak, occasionally dropping away from the steep walls. Soon, we were ascending more sandstone to the summit. We had a long break on the summit in great weather, and descended our ascent route where we encountered several bighorn sheep. Chris Meyer’s GPS record of the trip showed that the ascent was about 2000’ and the trip was about 4 miles and 4.5 hours.

Descending the steep sandstone



November 15, 2008
Report by Harlan Stockman, Photos by Harlan Stockman and Chris Meyer

At 7:10 am on November 15, 2008, seven humans and two dogs met at Silverton Casino in Henderson, with the goal of exploring one of the many Mojave surprises – The New York Mountains. It took us a mere 1.5 hours to caravan down, mostly on good roads, to the “trailhead” at 5300’ in Keystone Canyon. We fumbled around for a few minutes, noting that the temperature was in the 50's, and that the forecast for wind was pretty accurate.

The hike starts easily enough, then throws out successively harder challenges. The first miles are over a decrepit, but mainly pleasant old mine road (sometimes indistinguishable from a stream bed), till the first abandoned copper mine. From there the route becomes a class 2 scramble - first to another mine shaft, then to the saddle. Next one travels over a surprisingly rugged ridge, past the lumpy summit of “New York One,” to the real jewel – the craggy granite summit of New York Two.

View east from the ridge

The summit “block” (and that term doesn’t seem quite right) is just about 150’ higher than the ridgeline, and is probably just 10-15 minutes of climbing. But this is the real fun of the trip, and the prominence is high enough to provide some really good views. If you follow the most direct path, the climbing is tough class 3; the rock is very stable compared to Red Rock, but is disturbingly featureless in places, and is covered with a tough gray-green lichen in some of the steepest stretches. First one climbs a steep chute, and then traverses left to a narrow slot, and then climbs an impossibly steep-looking crack to the very top. The view south to the Providence Mountains is ethereal and rugged, over fantastically sculpted granite.

View SW to the route up the last vertical 150’

We had one slight complication; we had two dogs, Dazey and Banjo, brought by Josh and Kim. Even though Josh’s dog Dazey has conquered the likes of Muddy Peak, we thought the slick granite, with so many deep cracks, might not be to her liking. So we adopted a tag team approach. First Josh accompanied us to the peak top, to witness a strong, cold wind and great views. (Every trip that I’ve taken to this summit was cold and windy; yet at just 7533’, this hike must be Hades in July.) Then we returned to the dogs, Josh took over watch duty, and I showed Kim the route. She was gleeful at a chance to exercise skills that had lain dormant during 2.5 years of motherhood. Chris had waited on top, just to take our picture.

Panorama south from the summit

The descent was fun, even though I’m not usually fond of retracing my steps. By now the wind was dying down, so we actually took some time to eat lunch and enjoy the sun. Then we started again, and marveled with each tricky set of ledges; and the dogs would invariably negotiate each ledge several times, back and forth, at a run. Supposedly, we had to get back to the cars by 3 pm to keep evening appointments; but we were all awash in the lazy warm glow of a pleasant day and a goal attained. We finally descended back into the desert, and drove out over two miles of bumpy roads, then headed back north as the sun sank low in the sky.

Dazey the wonder dog, looking east


Hello all,

I am in the preliminary stages of planning a thru hike of the entire Spring Mountain Range from Mountain springs in the south to Mt. Schader or Point of Rocks in the North in the spring of 2010. I am looking for a few friends to share the trip with. Over the next year and a half I plan on hiking as much of the route as I can. I will be going on day hikes and one and two night backpack trips to scout the route. My objectives are as follows:

Have fun

Be safe

Keep the trip as far off the beaten path as is feasible

Do it the old fashioned way- No GPS

My hope is to have a few committed folks together so we can start planning scouting trips by February ‘09. My thought is that the scouting trips will be open to anyone, but the BIG trip should be no more than six or so. Because I am not yet a leader for the LVMC I would love it if someone who is a leader would sign on, so that I could co-lead a trip and get that out of the way. Even if you are not interested in going on the BIG trip, you can still help organize and come out with us on the scouting trips; we will need to meet up with some folks to re-supply at least twice on the BIG trip, perhaps more. If interested you will need:

A sense of humor

A positive attitude

A high level of fitness

Some backpacking experience

Some map and compass experience

*Ability to levitate over cliff bands and change untreated water to Newcastle a plus!

I hope to hear from you!

Frank Simpson (the guy with the straw cowboy hat)




The Las Vegas Mountaineers monthly meeting this month is on THURSDAY, (NOT Tuesday), January 29th at Sahara West Library, 9600 W. Sahara. Meeting time is 7:00 p.m.


Thursday, January 29, 2008
Sahara West Library

Toroweap and the Grand Canyon
Chris Meyer

"Have you ever wanted a view of the Grand Canyon that will blow your socks off? Toroweap is that view!"


Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Sahara West Library

Chris and Beth Ransel


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