Thursday, November 3, 2011

Windy Peak - 11/3/11

Today's hike found ten hikers climbing up to Windy Peak, the second peak from the southern portion of the Red Rock Canyon NCA escarpment. The parking area for this hike is found to the right off of Highway 160 just before the driver makes it to the top of the mountain pass at Mountain Spring, Nevada. We exited the cars and began our hike up a dirt road that changes into a trail after passing a radio relay tower.

After only 1.6 miles, we had climbed 1000 feet to the high point ridge of the hike. The trail, then began a descent of 300 feet where the limestone gave way to yellow sandstone. Another climb of 150 feet brought us to the summit of Windy Peak where views of the Las Vegas Strip, Calico Hills, limestone / sandstone line, and Mt. Potosi were within sight. Below us, we could see the hills behind Blue Diamond which history tells us began as a rock slide down from the evolving escarpment.

The group of ten hikers spread out during the climb and it was interesting to interpret the trail rather than follow behind someone else that was interpreting the trail. The morning was cold but the exercise warmed us quickly as the hike progressed at a rapid rate. When we reached the sandstone, the worst of the exposure had to be negotiated and, from then on, the hike was somewhat of a small scramble.

Our fearless coordinator, John S. offers a few poetic words about the hike below.

This day (Nov. 3) began with a cool bright sun that promised of more warmth to come; just wanting to be enjoyed in the midst of wildernesses unbounded senses. "Just NeatO!", said the awakening Queen-for-a-day Kay from her dream-Prince Charming's last kiss. So She summoned her hiking knights: Chris and Don and Doyle and Ed and Hawk and Mark and Paul and Steve and finally Snail as the leader- for a jolly good little trek to the not- so- far away high peak called 'Windy'.

'Windy' you say?!
Nay- not true for but a gentle breeze did disturb these 10 trekkers into the pleasant and easy trail that led to their morning quest's destination.

Some did lead to scout while others followed to guard the pilgrimage of this small retinue.

Was but one minor obstacle-
a boulder crack, that marred their way to the final high expansive views.
Being of solid footing and armored with proper foot gear, the 10 went up without a fear of the bottom lurking devilish plunge.

At the summit stood a Heimdall- like guard- an ugly but photogenic tree limbed Orc; but- all too eager to maintain his pose forever for those admiring photo shooters.

After but a brief top rest for liquids, snacks and views, the group descended, mentally refreshed to continue their day into other chosen civil-tasks. And thus, a five mile r/t excursion did occur in the morning time that most people take to complete their stuffy brunch.

Windy Peak in the Red Rocks

As we retreated back to the cars (some down the road and others down the ridge), we bravely faced the fact that we would be re- entering reality! No more queens with hiking scepters, no more knights in shining footwear ... and, thankfully, no more cracks (plumbers or otherwise).

Elevation chart for out and back route up the road beside the radio relay tower.

Elevation chart for partial loop route.

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