Friday, November 3, 2023

White Rock Springs Peak O&B - 11/2/23

View of Sandstone Bluffs from North to South

Morning sun on White Rock Springs Peak

Nine club members on the Hike

White Rock Mountain Road
Nine club members gathered at the bottom of White Rock Mountain Road near mile marker 6 of the Red Rock Canyon NCA Scenic Loop. So good to see friends coming together. We hiked up the half mile road to the upper trailhead just in time to see a small herd of mule deer (maybe around eight in number) make their way past the trailhead fence and down to the riparian spring below. We watched in awe as they meandered back up the hill a little after their drink. Again, very happy to see the wildlife are still around. Since the pandemic, they have found new places to hide. So many people enjoying the outdoors. Perhaps the temporary closure of the mountain trails will help repopulate that area with wildlife.

A herd of mule deer passing through the White Rock Springs Trailhead

White Rock Hills Peak

Turtlehead Peak seen to the East

Mike leads the group up the Scramble Ridge
Not too far up the trail (maybe 30 feet) we turned to the left and began our scramble. Mike knows this ridge pretty well but the route is sometimes confusing. A simple rule would be, if you cannot progress one way, then try another! Sometimes the trail is on the right of center and sometimes the trail is on the left. But when Jerry and Cheryl took over the lead later on, up the center was the way they went! In the back of the line, we diverged at times while we found easier ways to deal with the huge scrambles. (A few of us can't do what Jerry and Cheryl can do! ... But, we tried.) Anyway, there are a few different ways to skin this cat! Mike started with a fast pace and Jerry quickened the pace. The sweepers kept up until they couldn't.

Ralyn follow the group up the Slabs

A Jumble of Boulders to Conquer

Rita climbs up Behind Me

Mike leads the group to the first false Peak
There are two or three false peaks on this climb. The fast pace drained me by the approach to the second one. The rest of the group waited patiently as the sweepers pushed themselves up. Finally, we found the top where the ridge generously levels off just before the pile of rocks we courteously call the secondary peak. After photos and a little breathing, we decided who was going on out to the high point and who was going to stay. Five hikers took off down the ridge where there is a significant dip and climb to get to the peak. They promised it wouldn't take long and, in actuality, it took about 30 minutes. The three hikers that stayed back enjoyed the view and the rest along with the slight cool breeze.

Ralyn, Rita and I do the Sweep Detail

From the Scramble Ridge to the Sandstone Bluffs

Mike hangs back with the Sweepers

White Rock Springs Peak from Ridge Scramble
When the five hikers returned to the secondary peak, we made the decision to return down the ridge the same way we had come up avoiding the questionable damage that recent rains might have done to the steep north side descent. You would think that returning on the same route we came up would be easy ... au contraire! At one point, we were all over that ridge right and left looking for a route that suited us individually. After that point, which was a considerable chunk of the ridge, we were missing three hikers. Whoa! There they were! Wayyy down on the south side. How did that happen? Anyway, two of the hikers came back up to the top of the ridge and the other hiker continued down toward the trailhead. (He doesn't suggest to repeat this route!)

Photo Time (We're actually just breathing!)

Ralyn, Jerry and Cheryl seen scrambling to the High Point

Five Hikers approaching the High Point

Summit Photo on White Rock Springs Peak
So, we all got down to the trailhead and started down the dirt road to our cars. When we looked at our GPSs and our watches, we couldn't believe that it had taken almost 5 hours to do 3.5 miles!! We do know how to stretch out a great hike! Y'all be careful out there!

Stats: 3.5 to 4 miles; ~1400' gain; 4.75 hours

Rita stands below Secondary Peak

One more photo of the High Point

Long Day!

Google Map does not show accurately the Elevation Differences

1 comment:

Kay Blackwell said...

We were discussing elevations up top yesterday. The southern peak is indeed higher, but not by much, 7000’ vs. 6980’.


I like the ID shot. Adds a little personal touch to the blog. Nicely done.