Wednesday, March 9, 2016

7-Up (Valley of Fire) - 3/8/16

Mesa #7 from the Trailhead

Climbing Up

Going Down

Baby Bighorn met an Early Demise
 This Tuesday's hike stood up to its expectations as hikers converged in the Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada, and completed another new hike by Brian called 7-Up. This route started from the Mouse's Tank Trailhead, climbed seven different mesas starting with #7, then returned to the trailhead via a reverse loop from the Five Mesas hike done last month. Laszlo sent these photos with captions referring to the hike's strategy of up, up some more then down a bit and repeat! ... with a bighorn watching from the rock above "scrutinizing our every advancing move!"

Some Ups were Trickier than Others
Along with Brian's donated GPS track came a narrative by Mike OC as follows:

Finally Our First Mesa (Mesa #7)
 Motoring up I-15 toward Apex, the smog of the Las Vegas Valley was in our rear view mirror. Nothing but blue skies ahead. Destination: Mouse’s Tank in the Valley of Fire.

Then Down Again

And Up Again
 A fortnight earlier, Brian Dodd debuted his Five-mesa hike. Today’s plan was to add a couple flattops to that figure. Brian labeled it, “7 Up.” Emphasis on the “Up.” This would be another new hike for ABF, as Brian & Chuck had been scouting a route that would include all seven mesas. No easy task.

As a warm, late winter sun shone down upon us in the parking lot, layer shedding began in earnest.

Following the Leader Down Some More
 Starting in reverse order, mesas seven & six would prove to be the toughest climbs of the day. Good planning to knock these guys off early in the relative cool of the morning and then move on to the final five.

Another Mesa in View
 Atop mesa number five, some thoughtful soul had choppered in a picnic table just for us. Looked like a grand spot for lunch.

Mesa #4 - The Largest

    From there it was more roller coaster terrain as we attacked mesas four through one. Upon reaching the elusive number one, we still had a two-mile overland jaunt back to the trailhead. “All downhill from here,” Brian assured us. He lied. We know why he didn’t dub the hike, “7 Down.”

Showcasing the ethnic makeup of our club, we had six countries duly represented: Germany (Karl), France (Anne), Hungary (László), Japan (Setsuko), Russia (Luba) and representing the UK was Sir Brian. Plus two gents from California. A veritable League of Nations!

Vitals: 17 hikers, 6 miles, 2100 vertical, 4 1/2 hours.

Down Some More

Traverse from Mesa #2 to Mesa #1

Descending Back to the Trailhead

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