Thursday, February 5, 2015

Anniversary Narrows Peak CCW - 2/5/15

View from Anniversary Narrows Peak Summit

View Back to Lovell Ridge from Anniversary Narrows Top End

Target Crack from Wash Approach

 Thirteen strong hikers tackled Anniversary Narrows Peak located on Lovell Ridge above Anniversary Narrows today. The loop hike was done in a counter-clockwise direction; a new feat for most of the hikers today. We drove out Northshore Road to the mile marker 16 and turned onto the dirt road leading away from the lake. Shortly, we crossed Callville Road wash and parked.

Climbing Out of Wash for Crack Climb
 The hike starts out in a small wash that leads to the right. Not long after that, the hikers climbed up to the terrain above the wash on the left side.

Pondering the Crack Climb

 We hiked out while paralleling a deep wash that emanates from the area between the two ridges in view. On the right of the wash is Murphy Peak. And, on the left of the wash is a black mountain ridge that contained our target crack climb. This crack can be seen from very soon into the hike. We eventually dropped down into the deep wash and continued up while keeping our eye on the crack.

Anniversary Narrows Peak seen through the Redstone
 When we reached the crack, the strong group of hikers kind of took a deep breath! The climb is steep but the rock is very sharp and "sticky." Everyone started up.

Taking in the View at the Monolith
 At the top, before we passed the wall of redstone, we turned to our right to follow along a slight trail that leads to the upper level of the South Bowl of Fire. It was here that it became clear that a few trails that this hike uses would likely be difficult to see. It had been a year since the last time we walked the trails that had been rained on quite a bit lately.

South Bowl of Fire

 We did a little touring among the redstone but, basically, we tried to stay near the right side of the area. This brought us to a monolith and a "bowl-like" formation on the right side of the route. Next, we found the trail that leads to the entrance of a small canyon wash that we began to climb. There are very few cairns left from a year ago. So, we felt our way up through the rocks. The two dry falls are negotiated by using a route on the left side.

Sylvie in the Wash Climb
 The wash climb is steep and continues for around two thirds of the climb up to the peak here. Finally, when we were at the top of the wash, we started the remaining steep slope that was left.

Arrving at the Peak

 With all thirteen hikers on top, we sat for our break and signed into the log book. The views from our perch were tremendous! The North and South Bowls of Fire laid out before us. Lake Mead was in the distance with fog dancing on its surface. Lava Butte could even be seen when we looked far in the direction of the Narrows and Rainbow Ridge.

Finally a Rest
 The peak is very narrow and there is exposure on both sides of it. There are big "sticky" rocks everywhere and we knew we needed to be careful not to trip on the sharp rock edges. It might be our last trip!

Fog Covered Lake Mead
 After the break, we began the descent off of the peak by carefully negotiating the narrow rocky ridge on the other end. Our concentration was palpable!

Precarious Peak Descent

 When all of us were down on the ridge saddle, we began the rest of the descent which travels down an approach ridge. Now the trail was good. It seems that most hikers choose to stay on this side of the peak for an out and back summit. We followed the ridge trail down the complete length of the ridge. Near the end, we dropped down to our left and found an easy drop into the small wash ahead of us.

Descending the Ridge Trail
 The trip down this small wash seems long. There is constant negotiation of rocks and brush. We wasted no time as we skipped along. By the way, the many cairns that used to live in this wash were absent!

Small Wash Between Ridge and Narrows

 Finally, the small wash emptied into a very wide wash. Continuing downstream, we washed into the Narrows after a short break. There were a few hikers in our group who had not been in Anniversary Narrows before. They were impressed, of course. This quarter mile is one of the top five, or so, in Las Vegas area natural scenery.

Hiking Through the Narrows
 Around a quarter mile down from where we exited the Narrows, there is an exit wash that climbs up to the left. We turned here and began the last big climb of the day.

Starting Up the Exit Wash
 On tired legs, this wash climb is a bugger! However, it is a pretty and somewhat colorful wash and tries to distract all who enter with a few interesting obstacles and formations.

Lela and Scott doing it the Hard Way!

 To exit the wash at the top, there are three choices. The best is the most obvious. The other two ways are an adventure! From the saddle, we dropped down to a large area that has been graded by the mining company nearby. Next, we noted the landmark sharp peak ahead. We would make as straight a line as possible past the peak on the right by using a wash and a ridge all the way back to the cars. Good hard hike!

7.5 miles; 1800 feet elevation gain; 4.5 hours

Following Another Wash

Ridge Hike with cars in View

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