After Tuesday's very strenuous hike to Willow Peak, Chris had these words at the beginning of his weekly email:
Today marks a certain point of distinction for the Around the Bend Friends. A dozen club hikers made the summit of Willow Peak on the north end of the Spring Mountains, a really unusual feat. Willow Peak lies on the same ridge as and directly to the north of Bonanza Peak, accessible from the north trail head of the Bonanza Trail out of Cold Creek. The route to Willow Peak involves nearly two miles of some of the roughest terrain you are likely to see around Las Vegas. It took us nearly 5 hours to cover the 5 miles getting to the top because of this terrain. What is unusual is that this was four times the size of any other group to arrive at the summit since the current sign-in book was placed there a decade ago. In fact, during the three year period from 2004 to 2006 only thirteen individuals signed in at the top. While a few people have discovered this peak in recent years, the maximum I saw from any given year was ten. I think it speaks well for the club that it can offer such diverse hiking opportunities from easy/moderate to very strenuous and do so nearly six days a week.
Larry offered these words about the hike through another email in which he also sent the photo above and the map below:
It was a really tough one. Here’s a summit photo. A GPS track on topo is attached. Note that we came down directly from the summit across the face of Willow Peak instead of backtracking along the approach route. We were all so tired, at the top, that we opted for a “shortcut” down. As Brian notes, below, it was a shortcut, but…. We wound up at Cold Creek village. Ed, who was not feeling tip-top and who bailed early with radio in hand, drove my car back from the Camp Bonanza trailhead to the village to pick us up.
Further, Brian gives us the GPS information below:
Info from my GPS after computer analysis reveals:
. Length 7.9 miles
. Gross ascent = 2,894 ft, net ascent = 2,550 ft in 5.14 miles and 4h 40 min
. Gross descent = 3,935 ft, net descent = 3,483 ft in 2.75 miles and 2h 35 min
. Max elevation 9,974 ft
. Total start to finish time = 7h 46 min giving an overall average speed of 1 mph. Our moving average was 1.5 mph.
So interestingly, while our short cut down really was shorter in time and distance, we actually came down about 1000 ft more than we went up.
The writer has one thing to say to the twelve hikers who accomplished this feat, "YOU ROCK!!!"