Carsons Benchmark, Mopah Point
By: Jon Petitjean
18 people showed up Saturday morning at the Turtle Mtn. Road & Hwy. 95 for the caravan to Carsons V.A.B.M. We followed Turtle Mtn. Road to the end of the graded portion where we encountered a fork. We took the left fork for 1.1 miles to a fork on the left and traveled this for another 1.1 miles to another fork. Went left again and in about 1/2 mile passed by an old shack. Now the road got rough. Up and down the road meandered and then it finally took a steep drop into a wash. About another 2 miles got us to another bad spot, so we parked. Little did we know that this was the last bad spot. We hiked to the end of this road (about 2-1/4 miles) and then the small trail to Coffin Spring. (However, the spring water was stagnant). The canyon we were in was quite scenic. Miniature "Lost Arrows" were seen on several of the nearby ridges. From Coffin Spring we proceeded up the same gully to a small saddle at 3,300'. From here contouring around the east side of the main ridge was necessary and at the same time allowed us to bypass the false summit. After a couple of hours of hiking our group of 17 reached the summit. The trip down was uneventful except when the group split up. Everyone got out okay, including the cars, with some time to burn before nightfall. Some left for Turtle or Clipper Mtn., some for Pisa V.A.B.M. and most for just driving into the road for Mopah where we made camp. The Pisa group joined us later on in the evening. Pat Lavengood celebrated her birthday with 2 birthday cakes, which most of the group participated in. Sunday morning we gained more participants for Mopah. We drove in on a wash a ways to cut off some hiking distance. The climb was short but involved one hour of belaying up and one hour belaying down. 20 made the summit, 3 for the second time and the leaders for a 4th time. 13 of us ate dinner together in Coachella to top off a fun trip.
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