Saturday, May 12, 2012

Yoga Peak

It had been over six years since I stood at the summit of Yoga Peak. For years I was told there was a fifth class wall that stood between the summit of Yoga Peak and the Mescalito ridge. Recently I talked with Joseph and he said that was not true. Last week Kathy and I wanted to find out the real story.

Fern Creek

Knowing we had to gain the Mescalito ridge, I decided the Fern Creek route was fastest. We gained the ridge near the Windsock tree and headed west toward Yoga Peak. At first we did not see any cairns and were forced to stay off the crest of the ridge to the south. After an awkward class 4 climb we saw cairns off to the north. Obviously, the route jumped over to the north side, but we never saw the cairns that indicated this.

Cairns Abound

Now we started seeing well placed cairns and the route was fairly easy to follow without cairns. For the most part it stayed on the ridge with several easy, but exposed class 3 climbs. There was another awkward climb partially due to a well placed cactus. Well, maybe not so well placed.

Hit the Wall

The next 100 yards or so stayed on the ridge and offered great views ahead. Standing in front of us was an imposing fifth class wall. This is where the confusion rears it's ugly head. My old route meets up here and follows a very unlikely ledge that appears to fall off into oblivion. Just before the ledge gives away, there's a very steep, 40 foot, crack one must climb.

The Finish

The last 400 foot vertical climb to Yoga Peak is one of the best in Red Rock. It looks impossible without ropes, but most of it is class 3! This is a fun climb. Once at the top of the climb, Yoga Peak is really nothing but a bump on a ridge. Thanks to Mike R. there's an ammo box with a register in it. The cool feature at the peak is the sea of sandstone out to the west. It's really one of the most unique places in  Red Rock.