Sunday, March 2, 2008

East Peak - Another Gem in South Red Rock Canyon


East Peak is the eastern most peak of the Monument massif. Although not a particular high peak, the route to the summit is challenging. On Saturday twelve of us scrambled to the summit of East Peak among gusts of wind that made for interesting climbs. East Peak is located in south Red Rock, which is home to several peaks. The hike starts at the Black Velvet trailhead. Unfortunately, the normal road to the trailhead is temporarily closed. The alternative roads take two to three times longer to drive. The road is closed for paving a parking lot and building a bathroom. It's schedule to reopen in April, but don't hold your breath.

It had been years since the last time I hiked to the summit of East Peak. About halfway up this became evident as I got off route. We quickly retraced our steps and saw a cairn that put us back on route. The summit offers good views of peaks to the north including Mt. Wilson, Rainbow Peak, and Bridge Mountain.

The route is in good shape now. We placed additional cairns and cleaned the route. The summit is a different story. It needs a new book, container and pen. I first found this route back in 2002 with Eva. Although I do not do it often, it's one of the better, short scrambling routes in Red Rock.