Wednesday, November 12, 2008

New Hike Published and Plans for this Winter

I just published Pinnacle 2 - Castle Peaks, CA. This is a wild route and in my opinion better than its sister peak Dove Benchmark, the most climbed of the pinnacles. With all the pinnacles in this area beware of loose rock. Since both routes are short, you can do both pinnacles in one day. Dove Benchmark is also available for download in the Member's Only section of this web site.

Both routes have some scary and difficult moves on them. You should be very comfortable with class 4 climbing, extreme exposure and loose rock. What a great combination! The good news is you only need a high clearance vehicle to reach the trailhead. You can access this area from I-15 or Highway 93. I have driving directions for both (Dove BM: I-15; Pinnacle 2: Highway 93). Both share the same unmarked trailhead.

Since most states have a Castle Peak, I am calling these Castle Peak, CA. I will be publishing another Castle Peak (later this week) in Nevada. This can become confusing. I am hoping by using the state abbreviations will help eliminate the confusion. Ironically, both peaks are in the same proximity, though it would take a long day to hike both. There's some slow driving to each trailhead.

This winter I plan to focus on desert summits. There are hundreds and many are not very good. I will cherry pick and only publish what I consider the best.
Here's my criteria:
1. Good routes with a minimal of loose rock (this is not easy to find).
2. Close to Las Vegas. No three plus hour drive to the trailhead
3. Try to avoid 4-wheel drive roads. High clearance will be a must for reaching most trailheads.
4. Relatively short approaches. No nine mile hike for a 20 minute scramble to the summit.

Last winter I focused on hikes out of Calico Basin. We found some great scrambling routes that I am sure hikers will enjoy this winter. Have fun out there!