By: Harry Melts
On Sat morning just 28 miles south of Mexicali in the village of La Puerta, a pleasantly surprised cafe owner saw ten people(DPSers) making a real dent in the liquid department in anticipation of a hot weekend.
After driving on a woodcutter's road a few miles north of the village, we hiked to a point in the southern part of the Cucapas Range. After a warm ascent the group enjoyed an inspiring view of the Gulf to the south and Gringolandia to the north. We also saw our Sunday objective, the high point of the range. This spot lies at the north end and proved to be a long and steep climb. The exact location of the high summit can be easily distinguished as one stands on the desert floor by looking from the eastern side. One of the northerly peaks has a high vertical rock slab resembling a cairn on top. Well, the true peak is about 3/4 of a mile north.
In a smoke tree wash, a pleasant Saturday evening was spent around a campfire with this ideally-sized group. The session lasting long into the night, was spurred on by balmy weather and the celebration of Arkel's and Ruth's second wedding anniversary.
We heralded a hot Sunday-January in the mid-80's. Four durable individuals started out; Siina and I, Arkel & Frede Jensen. The hike produced many surprises. We placed the register and noted a 4,000' gain. The round trip is 15 miles!
The denuded eastern slopes give a deceptively looking barrenness to the whole range, a product of woodcutters gutting the desert floor of its wood for the tortilla ovens of Mexicali! But upon entering the inner canyons within the northeastern steep slopes, one finds a drastic change! There are huge boulders, hundreds of large elephant trees, lush Sonoran type foliage, high dry waterfalls, and we saw two desert bighorn. The surrounding rocks are steep and smooth involving a good amount of class 2 scrambles.
Shortly before dark, the party arrived back at the cars, and all agreed that this peak deserves Qualifying Peak status, since I judge it to be in the upper 33 1/3% of the class.
I hereby propose it for addition to our list subject to the acceptance vote at the next meeting, according to the By-Laws.
An enjoyable weekend in an interesting range......
|DPS Archives Index | Desert Peaks Section|