Monday, April 23, 2012

Black Velvet Peak - 4/23/12

                                 On Black Velvet Peak

Mike, Richard and Larry provided this report on today's hike to Black Velvet Peak in the Red Rock Canyon NCA escarpment; one peak north of Windy Peak. Thanks guys!

Monday hike, Tuesday pace.  Two minutes out of the car and the decibel level was at zero.  The steep terrain combined with the brisk pace inhibited all conversation.  It was the back door route to Black Velvet Peak, starting from just beyond the Mountain Springs Bar.

On a day when valley temperatures would reach the upper nineties, Richard Natale hosted a group of 11 rambunctious hikers.  The one-hour mark found us standing atop Mountain Springs Peak.  After the obligatory photo and sign-in, we began our steep descent to the Black Velvet approach.

                                Sandstone "Fun" on way to peak.

Sandstone at last!  Monday hike, Tuesday fun.  Ditching hiking poles and donning gloves, it was time for the crux of the hike, the steep third class scramble to the summit.  Five minutes later we came to an abrupt halt, as we all gazed down into the steep abyss.  Is this it?  Turnaround point?  Perish the thought.

Richard, a la Lewis Carroll, pulled a rabbit hole out of his hat and up we went single file.  Thirty minutes later, we all stood atop the summit.  An absolutely magnificent view of the southern portion of the Red Rock escarpment.

                                 After the hike at Mountain Springs Tavern

And where do 11 tired hikers adjourn to at the end of a tough day in the mountains, you might ask?  Why, the Mountain Springs Bar, of course.  Monday hike, Monday beer.

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