Monday, December 21, 2009

Hiking Round Up For the Week of Dec. 21

On Sunday (12-20), 15 hikers made their way to the Twin Tanks and Gray Cap Peak in Northern Calico Hills in Red Rock Canyon, just 20 minutes from Las Vegas, NV. The route is entirely snow and ice free. The tanks had water in them, but they were not iced over as in the past. When iced over, the tanks make for some great photos.

From the tanks we hiked to the summit of Gray Cap Peak. The book had plenty of pages left for other groups to sign in. We then descended the south face back to the wash. There's a shortcut I follow across to the south side which is much faster than hiking back through the wash. If you are looking for a short scrambling hike when there's snow on the higher routes, this hike is a sure bet. See a short video clip below.

A few hikers did the Double Slot route to Turtlehead Junior also on Sunday. The slot is snow free! This is another short scrambling hike, perfect for this time of the year.

Shin wrote about the North Loop Trail in Mt. Charleston: The snow on the trail is about 3 - 5 inches deep and well packed. Since 20+ hikers broke the trail almost to Raintree (we made a turn to the Fletcher Peak) , the trail is well packed and able to hike with boots.(Still, I recommend to bring snowshoes. Its easier to hike up steep slopes.) The trail does not follow the official North Loop Trail; it travels a more direct ascent route over the ridge line, thus it's a bit steep. Nobody had broken a trail all the way to Raintree, but it's only 450 yards from where we left the trail. Anyone who knows the trail can break the rest of the trail.