Thursday, December 6, 2018

7-Up! ~ (A CW tour of seven mesas in the Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada) - 12/4/18

 Tuesday's epic hike in the Valley of Fire State Park found five club members scrambling up and over seven mesas. Laszlo took some photos as seen and Brian offers the narative below:

Perhaps it was the forecast temperature or holiday season or the rated difficulty, but only five hikers showed up for the clockwise circuit of the seven southern mesas at the Valley of Fire.  Consequently, the pace was steady and we did the 5.5 miles and 2050 feet gross gain in just under four hours.  Going clockwise means a two mile warm up hike before getting to the sandstone ramp at the bottom of Mesa #1.  Then #2 is just a few short yards away.  Numbers 3, 4 and 5 come fairly steadily thereafter.  Since the wind was a little chilly up on these mesas we took our break in a sheltered spot between #4 and #5, foregoing the brand new (plastic) picnic table (with padlocked coolers) on #5.  While #5 and #6 are close, there’s a deep chasm in between, requiring a steep descent and ascent.  Getting off #6 involves some steep sloping sandstone slickrock.  After another short break near the Rainbow Vista parking area, we decided to all go ahead and do the last and toughest mesa.  Ascending from the north, clockwise isn’t too difficult, but we soon found that descending to the south to be a fair bit more difficult than going in the other direction…choosing to get the webbing out at one spot.  On return to the Mouse’s Tank parking area we all agreed that we had done a hike! ~ Brian Dodd

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