Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Baby Wilson - 12/10/13

Escarpment from Baby Wilson

Baby Wilson Peak

Hiking Out to the Escarpment
 It was Super Tuesday with a Super Hike! Fourteen hikers came out in the very cold morning for the first official hike up to Baby Wilson Peak; a small peak situated on the face of the Mt. Wilson cliff. Mt. Wilson is the highest peak in the Red Rock Canyon NCA escarpment and its monstrous cliff face holds many small peaks. Baby Wilson is, perhaps, the easiest peak to get to. Easy?

First Small Break

Gaining Elevation

Funneling into the Wash
 We parked on the side of Highway 159 between the trailheads for Oak Creek and First Creek. We dipped under the wildlife fence and began a fairly long trek across the desert toward the escarpment. Before long, we were shedding layers and feeling a lot warmer. As we gained altitude, we began circling around to the left side of Baby Wilson where we funneled into a steep wash. There were many rocks to perch on and climb up and hold on to. There were also many rocks that offered a very quick way down if you stepped on them. Caution was the name of the game.

Indecision Peak from Our Crack Climb

Looking Down the Crack

Saddle View of Escarpment
It was only when we reached the top of the wash that the writer realized where she came out. We were on a saddle that was perpendicular to Mt. Wilson's cliff face. From the saddle, the view of the escarpment looking north was a sight to behold! It made the climb worth while. After taking a few photos, we turned right to climb up to the top of Baby Wilson which required just a little more scrambling over icy rocks and balancing across an exposed sandstone slab.

Only Exposure on Hike

Fourteen AtBF Hikers on Baby Wilson Peak

Mt. Wilson Above Baby Wilson Peak
 The northern view from the small peak could be named "Potato Knoll Overlook." Just below us was the small hill that is also known as Wilson's Pimple. To the west was Mt. Wilson as seen in the photo to the right. To the south, we saw Indecision Peak and the east was wide open until the North Blue Diamond Hills. Baby Wilson had an extended peak of exposed boulders that three hikers found irresistible. Laszlo, Richard and Jerry fearlessly climbed out as far as they could. This is from where Richard took the summit photo of the group as seen above. Photos from every direction were taken while we took our long break.

Northern View from Baby Wilson Peak
Hikers on Top

Down Climbing
Richard scouted out the northern side of the saddle area before he decided that there was too much ice and snow covering the normal descent loop portion of the route. Therefore, we made our descent in the same wash that we came up. Going down was easier than going up this time as you can imagine as you study the photo to the left! (Everyone stopped for a moment as the writer took that photo. Thanks, guys!)

Wall of Mt. Wilson

Steve in Action

Descending Baby Wilson
 We climbed down over the rocks and through the brush and found the cairned trail that we came up. It was a relief to our legs when the route began leveling off. All that was left of the hike was a long trek back over the desert to our cars. The hike was a little over 4 miles with somewhere around 1500 feet of total elevation gain. We returned to our cars after 3.25 hours ... safe and sound for another day of hiking.

Returning to Reasonable Terrain

Calico Hills in Distance

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