Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Indecision Peak - 4/4/12

                                Indecision Peak from back.

 Six hikers decided to forfeit the promising scheduled hike and set out on an adventure into the Rainbow Wilderness at the backside of the Red Rock Canyon NCA escarpment. The objective for the day was a double peak, six hour excursion to Indecision Peak; a peak that lies south of Wilson Peak and north of Sandstone Peak in the front line of the escarpment peaks. We drove out Lovell Canyon Road and turned right onto an approach road at mile marker 3. At the end of the road, we began our hike.

                                Turning right at cairn (wash to wash).

The first part of the hike took us up the old washed out road, up a very narrow wash then turned right into another wash whose entrance was obstructed by a fallen tree. We eventually exited this wash to the right and began a steep climb on a ridge up to the rim of the escarpment. This is when the early arrival of very strong winds hit us hard. The views of Rainbow and Wilson Peaks to the north were large and strong as they were the next peaks up the line. We continued along the rim to the south climbing higher.

                                Rainbow Peak from Escarpment Rim

                                Wilson Peak from Escarpment Rim

 The total elevation gain of the entire hike was somewhere around 2300 feet. This gain was spread out over several different steep climbs. Every time we got to the top of one peak, another peak came into view. The six of us stayed together pretty well ... or, at least, we could usually see each other from our different positions. Richard knew his trail very well and we followed in the wind with confidence.

                                Climbing Indecision Point

The second highest point of the hike was called Indecision Point. It is a pyramid shaped limestone peak that lies about 1.5 miles behind the sandstone Indecision Peak. We signed the log book as we tried to hold down the pages, took a few drinks of water then began a very steep descent only to climb another small peak before hitting the sandstone.

                 Red Knob at the Beginning of the Sandstone Portion of the Hike

 When we arrived at the sandstone, one hiker took off down the hill to the left to find a geocache. We continued by dropping down a slope with loose sandstone rock. Around a couple of ledges and down a crack then we began a small climb up to yet another small peak that wasn't the target peak. Up and over this peak and there was another peak in view. After losing count of all the small peaks, this writer believes that the next peak in front of us was Indecision Peak. Yea!

                             Hiking to Indecision Peak

 The hiker arrives at Indecision Peak by first rounding a large rock to its left through a thick stand of manzanita bushes. Climbing a few more feet on sandstone, he or she is faced with the wall of a large knob with a small ledge about halfway up. On top of this knob, there is a large cairn. The area on top of the knob is about 3 ft. by 10 ft. This is where the log book is located. With the wind as bad as it was, we decided to take our break behind the wall of the knob where we were sheltered. Nevertheless, the view from the peak was really something!

                                Indecision Peak Photos

 The geocacher reached the peak and we started our return trip. The wind was even worse, at this point, making the hike twice as tough. We climbed back up the sandstone to the limestone, climbed an endless number (maybe 3) steep hills, then began our descent on a different ridge. This ridge brought us down to the flat area and we hiked north to find the wash that we came in on. When we reached the cars, we were six tired hikers. But, definitely, this was a hike to remember.

                                Ridge Descent

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