Thursday, March 13, 2014

Hollow Rock Peak - 3/13/14

View of Mountain Spring Peak from Hollow Rock Peak

Limestone Meets Sandstone

Heartbreak Hill
Hollow Rock Peak is a standard club hike located near the southern terminus of the Red Rock Canyon NCA escarpment. Although many of us have done this hike several times, it never seems to disappoint. And, today, was no different for sixteen club hikers. We made our way up Highway 160 to the Mountain Springs community and turned off the road into a trailhead parking area at the top of the hill. The beginning of the hike is the famous ... or infamous ... "heartbreak hill." One mile in distance and 600 feet in elevation gain took us past the relay station tower and up to the saddle. The group separated into a few different speeds on the way up but we always wait to regroup at the saddle.

Snow-Capped Griffith Peak

Windy Peak from Saddle

Ridge to Hollow Rock Peak
We turned right at the saddle and began the second portion of today's route. A small trail led us up to the high point then over the hill revealing a ridgeline that would ultimately bring us to Hollow Rock Peak. The trail is small and sometimes disappears. Many times there is more than one trail that will get you where you want to go. Basically, the trail will either lead the hiker up and over the confronting peak or around to the south side. Only at the end of the limestone, will there be a trail leading on the north side of the peak. This trail will end at a primitive campsite that sits on the limestone / sandstone line on the ridge.

Climbing to the Sandstone

Las Vegas from Sandstone Ridge in the Escarpment

Colorful Sandstone
We were a little like bulls in a china shop today as we tested our strength on heartbreak hill and bolted our way straight over the top of each peak on the ridge. Things didn't change much when we reached the colorful sandstone. Although we followed the trail on the ridge pretty well, we missed the drop down to the south at the proper time. No, it doesn't really matter. It's just that things didn't look familiar and confusion rang in our heads. Yep. Easily done. Anyway, the new hike was just as fun as the old one!

Hiking the Sandstone Toward Hollow Rock Peak

Mike Reaches the Bottom of the First Down Climb

The Group Approaches Hollow Rock Peak
The big down, big up, big down and big up near the peak still looked the same. Then, we rounded the corner and climbed on up to the rock peak. At least half of the group climbed the rock and took their break on top. The more sensible half stayed at the bottom and enjoyed the views around us. It was a beautiful day with clear air. No wind and cool. Perfect! Conversation was flowing. Soon, Larry slung his rope off of the rock and the class 3 descent off of the peak was made easier.

Scenery from Peak

Taking a Break at the Peak

Going Up is Easy ...
An attempt was made to stay on the trail for the trip back. For the most part, this small feat was accomplished. A trail ... any trail! There was a healing injury among our group so we decided early on to make this an out and back hike instead of the usual loop down through the sandstone wash. On the return, some hikers decided to go down the burned ridge instead of the trail past the relay station tower. At any rate, we all agreed it was a great hike!

6 miles; around 1800 feet in elevation gain; 3.25 hours

The Return Trip of Today's Out & Back

Juniper and Banana Yucca
 The following graphs and tracks are from a previously hiked loop ... not today's out & back!

1 comment:

Mark E Ting said...

Hollow rock peak is a great hike, not as strenuous as some, just gorgeous vistas!