Pyramid Peak, Eagle Mountain #2
By: Ed Stork
Sixteen people, including a baby that was being carried in a harness upon the back of its father, began the climb of multi-colored Pyramid Pk at 9:00 a.m. It was quite windy as we headed NE from the cars parked alongside Calif. State Hwy 190 about 11.7 miles W from the town of Death Valley Junction.
After a pleasant hike of 2 miles over flat terrain, we reached the base of a ridge that was followed in a NW direction to the top. The short scramble required to cross to the E side broke the monotony of hiking atop that friendly ridge, and afforded an opportunity to test our climbing techniques, which we would be using on Eagle Mtn #2 on Sunday.
The last of the lucky thirteen that signed the register was on top at 12:15 p.m. and a pleasant hour was spent eating lunch and enjoying a view that was dimmed somewhat by distant sand storms. The long, 3700 ft descent was started after water supplies were replenished with snow taken from the N slopes.
The Saturday night camp was made near the W bank of the Amargosa River alongside a dirt, road 0.3 miles N from Calif. State Hwy 127 and about 1.3 miles directly W from the summit of Eagle. Old tires were the main fuel of a late, late bonfire circled by a very congenial group of desert peakers that had swelled to 25.
Included in the 24 7:30 am starters for the 1800 ft. climb of Eagle were the Keating and Wester babies that were carried by Jerry and Art. 7-year old Grant De Goede, David and Jimmy Keating, who are nine and eleven years old; fourteen year old Debbie Kazlowski, and a teen aged boy from Victorville, making it one of the youngest groups to participate in a DPS climb. All but the babies made the summit, and they were carried to a point just below the top, where some third class climbing was encountered.
Our route was directly E from the campsite, across the water-filled Amargosa River, to a prominent chute to the N of, the high point of the mountain as seen from the cars. We climbed up the heavy rib where it was necessary to do some zig-zagging for the best route. This seemed to favor the N side of the rib near the main dry waterfall, and at times dropped into it. Above the waterfall our route leveled out somewhat, and went to the S and then E to the summit. The rock was very sharp and had good friction. It was also very abrasive to the hands.
A strong wind that began about 10:00 a.m. caused sandstorms that obliterated the view. Consequently our stay on the summit, was a short one, and everyone was back at the cars by noon, ending a very pleasant weekend of desert peaking. Some of the participants stopped for a dip in the Tecopa- Hot Springs on their way home.
Thanks go to Art de Goede, who filled in a co-leader Sunday for Bill Banks, unable to attend because of a leg injury.
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