Sheephead Mountain, Smith Mountain
By: Trudie Hunt
10 hardy DPSers braved sub-freezing temperatures and driving sands storms to enjoy the varied beauty of the southeast end of Death Valley.
Saturday afternoon was spent climbing Sheephead Peak, which is only a couple of hours round trip, but the peak drops sharply to the east with an unobstructed view, and is so colorful with red, orange, white strata, and an appearance of being difficult, that it was enjoyed as an afternoon conditioner. The wind was so piercingly cold, and wood so non-existent, that campfire was abandoned for the hopeful warmth of steeping bags at Bradbury Wells.
With typical desert contrasts we were often hot next day climbing Smith Mountain. It was a good six hour round trip climb, with a third class auto access route. Our route was interesting, if not the most direct, each summit eliciting the hopeful chorus "you can see the peak from here." We were aided greatly by the bighorns who frequent this area, who made nice trails contouring around the more useless of the peaks. The view of Death Valley, the Panamints, with a 6000 foot straight drop to the valley floor, reinforced our conviction that this too, should be added to the DPS List as a mountain well worth climbing.
Leaders were Walt Wheelock and Trudie Hunt.
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