McCullough Mountain, Mount Tipton
By: Roy Magnuson
Twenty-four DPS'ers assembled at the junction of 1-15 and Nipton Road from which we caravaned to the road head at Pine Spring. The road into Pine Spring is rough for the last three miles but passable to American type passenger cars. After carefully studying Gordon MacCleod's write-up of his McCullough trip we proceeded to ignore his advice and made the same mistakes he did. This is easy to do since the terrain to the peak consists of a number of low ridges and the tendency is to follow the washes to avoid unnecessary elevation gain. As a result we ended up on the ridge well to the south of the peak with several intervening bumps and notches. Probably the best approach to the peak is to follow a direct compass bearing from the springs to the peak, traversing the east side of Peak 6425. This was the route we followed on our return to the cars and proved very satisfactory. Saturday evening we reassembled at the intersection of Arizona U.S. 93 and the road to Dolan Springs, drove in about a mile, and proceeded right, along 5th Street, until we found a suitable place to camp on the outskirts of the town.
On Sunday morning, under threatening skies, we caravaned to the end of 5th Street, turned left and then right through a gate, and up to Lower Indian Springs where all altimeters were reading several hundred feet high (another message we promptly ignored). Even then we would probably have hesitated if Paul Nelson hadn't said with great confidence that the weather wasn't going to do anything. Our weather prophet had hardly finished his forecast when the rains came. We decided to press on regardless. Roy Ward ferried the group another 400 feet up the road in his 4WD truck. From that point we walked up to the notch at the base of the northwest ridge of Mt. Tipton (see new topo of that name) at which time the rain had turned to snow accompanied by a howling wind. The peak disappeared in a white out. At this point a council was held. A survey of the soggy group revealed approximately one-half without adequate rain protection. (Who needs it on a desert peak?) A suggestion was made to continue the climb and permit the LTC members of the group to practice hypothermia first aid. The leaders thought that was a good idea, but not on their trip, and called the climb off. By the time we reached the cars everyone was thoroughly wet and cold and no complaints about turning back were heard.
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