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Ascender Title
April 2012
Volume 18, Issue 2

A TALE OF TWO SEASONS - MT. UNION & HARQUAHALA MOUNTAIN

Snowy summit of Mt. Union

Where we parked on Mt. Union

This was along the curvy, steep dirt road en route to Mt. Union. Someone has a good sense of humor.

Joel on summit of Mt. Union

Looking down at Anji from the lookout tower

A winter wonderland

Bart posing with a Saguaro on the trail to Harquahala Mountain

Climbing higher through the Saguaros

The Harquahala Mountain trail was well-maintained and very scenic.

A small tarantula near our camp

Sections of the trail weave through dense Saguaro forests.

April 14-15, 2012
Report and Photos by Joel Brewster

Watching the weather report for my upcoming trip to visit three Arizona county highpoints, I was a bit apprehensive about Saturday's weather. It looked good for Sunday, but Saturday was predicted to be cool, with rain in the lower elevations and snow in the higher, with a chance of thunderstorms. Saturday was the day I had slated to do Hualapai Peak and Mt. Union at elevations 8400' and 8000'.

Despite the dreary weather report we stubbornly left Las Vegas in the pre-dawn hours and made the two hour drive down to the Kingman area. It sprinkled a bit on us on the drive, but as we approached Kingman and it got light, we could see significant snow in the mountains. As we drove the curvy road to the trailhead for Hualapai, there were several signs posted saying winter storm warning... but we kept driving.

A couple of miles from the trailhead the road started getting snow-covered and slick. As we climbed a steep hill on the road, my tires lost traction a bit. We got up to where a side road leads about mile up to where the trail starts, only to find that it was not plowed and covered in a foot of snow!

We had pretty good cold weather gear, but decided tromping up a snowy trail to a class 3 summit block in a snowstorm would not be a great idea. So, I carefully turned the car around and slowly went back down the progressively more snow-covered road. We knew we had made the right decision, but were a bit disappointed nevertheless.

We discussed possibly changing the planned order of peaks, but decided on going with the original plan heading down to the Prescott area to do Mt. Union, which was to be a short hike anyway. The hike turned out to be a bit longer than expected because again the road got too snowy to continue.

Anji was a bit disheartened at first by the winter weather conditions, but once we got moving, it wasn't bad at all. It actually made a usually trivial hike into quite a fun adventure. We reached the summit and Bart and I climbed partway up the lookout tower. It snowed on us almost the entire hike.

Anji expressing her feelings about the cold

From there it was more driving to Harquahala Mtn. We were planning to carcamp at the trailhead and had visions of it being a soggy mess. As we drove southwest, it snowed on us, and then as we got lower, it turned to steady rain. We were all imagining a flooded campsite, but about 20 miles from our destination, the rain completely stopped. When we arrived at our intended campsite, not only was it not raining, but the ground was dry. As well as being dry, it was a great camping spot, complete with an outhouse, and surrounded by Saguaro cacti and beautiful flowering ocotillo.

Our camp at Harquahala trailhead

We made camp, enjoyed food, drink, the scenery and the company. We even taught Anji how to play Hearts (the card game), which she vowed would be the first and last time she would play! We took in a magnificent sunset, then turned in early.

A lovely Arizona sunset

We broke camp and were on the trail by 7:00 Sunday morning. In sharp contrast to the previous day, it was a beautiful, warm, cloudless day. We were all fresh and made good time up the well-maintained trail, stopping to take a few photos of the spectacular scenery and plentiful Saguaros. The summit was very nice despite the proliferation of equipment. There were several buildings, various weather equipment, solar panels, and even a nice BBQ pit.

Signing the summit log

We jetted down and got home by late afternoon, only making a brief lunch stop at a Subway in Parker, AZ. It was an amazing two-day trip: one day winter, one day summer! Thanks to Bart and Anji for joining me for this memorable trip.

Gas station in Seligman, AZ

Joel on Harquahala Mountain


LVMC MONTHLY BIO FEATURE
Collin Kamholz

 

Where were you born?
Stevens Point, Wisconsin

How long have you lived in Las Vegas?
9 months. I moved down here from Northern Nevada last July.

What is your occupation?
Marketing Analyst for Caesars Entertainment

How long have you been an LVMC member?
Since December 2011

What is your favorite hike/climb?
John Muir Trail thru-hike or Grand Canyon backpack trip to Phantom Ranch

What is the most challenging hike/climb you have done?
Day hike of Iztaccihuatl in Central Mexico. Mt. Ritter and Shasta climbs are close seconds.

How did you get into hiking/climbing?
My parents dragged me along on many hikes as a child despite my repeated resistance. Eventually, I started to miss the Western mountains & hiking when I moved out to St. Louis, MO for college. After graduation, I gradually started to do light hikes/backpacks around the Lake Tahoe area. Got really addicted to peakbagging once I discovered certain websites and met up with like-minded hiking partners. Recently, been getting more interested in snow mountaineering and class 3/4 climbing. Want to learn more technical rock skills & climb mountains such as Hood, Rainier, & Orizaba in the near future.

What are your hobbies other than hiking/climbing?
Traveling, Playing blackjack & analyzing casino games, watching classic movies with a special emphasis on Spaghetti Westerns.


 

LAS VEGAS MOUNTAINEERS CLUB
BOARD OF DIRECTORS


President: Jose Witt
Vice President/Training Director: Richard Baugh
Secretary: Sue Schager
Treasurer: Lynda Gallia
Newsletter Editor: Joel Brewster
Outings Director: Dan Young
Membership Director: Eric Kassan
Website Director: Amy Brewster
Public Relations/Marketing Directors:
Al Bennett
Club Gear Director: Dan Young
Social Director: Kristi Meyer
Assistant Directors: Heather Torrey, Chris Meyer, Barb McGibbon

The Ascender is the monthly online newsletter of the Las Vegas Mountaineers Club. All content is property of LVMC and may be used only by the original submitters. All others must obtain written consent from the Board of Directors.
All Club members are invited to submit trip reports, photos, trip listings, recipes, classified ads and other related information. May 15th is the deadline for the next issue.

SUBMIT ARTICLES TO:
Joel Brewster
E-mail: web@lvmc.org

Hikers

CLUB MEMBERSHIP

RENEW YOUR MEMBERSHIP ONLINE

Please send any address, phone number and e-mail changes to Eric Kassan, membership director. LVMC currently has approximately 130 paid members or families.


If you wish to send a check instead of using PayPal online, 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.

To the following members, please note that your membership will expire this month, unless you have recently renewed it:

Janice Barrow
Lori Curry
Lynda Gallia
Louis Gruber
Bill Percival
Rachel Piekarsky
Sue Schager

CLUB GEAR

This club gear is available at no charge to members (a refundable deposit of the gear's approximate value may be required):


4-season tent
Helmets
Bear Barrels
Alpine Axes*
Snowshoes
Strap-on Crampons*
Hiking Boots
Climbing Shoes
Carabiners
Quickdraw

Quantity
1
8
3
5
8
7
2
2
18
1


Grigris
Harnesses
Slings
Cordalette
Belay Devices

Belay Plate
Ice Tool
Ice Screws

Deadman Anchors
Quantity
4
5
15
1
4
1
3
8
4

*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 Dan Young.

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.

Gear

CLICK HERE FOR LVMC EVENT CALENDAR

GENERAL MEETINGS

The Las Vegas Mountaineers meet on the 4th WEDNESDAY of the month at 7 pm at REI in Summerlin.

 

APRIL

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Wind River Range
Richard Baugh

 

MAY

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

TBA
TBA


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