Potosi Mountain, Clark Mountains
By: John Vitz
Some people go to great lengths to avoid my trips (not that I blame them - I'd like to avoid some myself), but when your assistant leader gets married to avoid one, it might be time to re-evaluate. However, about fifteen others, apparently with nothing better to do, met at the Pahrump Road south of Vegas for the start of the Potosi - Clark weekend. This was a sizable turnout considering that we outdrew the trip in Death Valley and that one of the peaks (heaven forbid!) was out of state. Again after only one group U turn we were off through the pinyon to the north face of Potosi. Paul Lipsohn had figured that we might be pushing the DPS season a little. He was right except that we were pushing it from the wrong side. The sky was overcast and the wind cold and fast as we ascended a gully on the north wail and traversed along the ridge to the summit.
It was 32 and snowing slightly on the summit as we ate lunch and wished we were at Haven's wedding. After the descent, down a looser, steeper, more brushy, and longer route (what leadership), we headed back down the road to where the group split, half going to debauch in Vegas while the pure at heart moved to the newly constructed campground on the southeast of Clark.
This is reached by a graded road which leads northwest from the Mountain Pass Mine and is a fine area for camping (although the trash content is greater now than in the past). It was cold, windy and dry as we started dinner. It was cold, windy and wet when we finished, After unsuccessfully ignoring the blizzard that was dumping two inches of wet snow on us in an hour, we decided to get out while we still could. The leader was so cold and wet that he felt no responsibility for the evil people who had gone to Vegas, and so he dismissed the troops.
Paul Lipsohn and Betty Dessert said that they would stay and tell the others that the trip had been cancelled. So after a cursory look for our charges and being attacked by a malicious helicopter, we split for Baker. About to the Cima Road we roared past Paul and Betty. It was still snowing hard and so the leader's conscience was not bugging him. By the time we got to Baker it was clear and warm - so in light of this the leader regained his feeling of leadership and responsibility. We camped on the Kel-Baker Road and went back the next morning to meet the sinners. Almost all the snow was gone and the peak was climbed without difficulty. Everyone was up the east route and back to the cars by one o'clock. For those of you that went home when I chickened out and are now angry to find that we really climbed Clark anyway, I offer these words of wisdom. Next time when given a choice go with Fran and Roy if you want good leadership.
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