Granite Mountain #2, Spectre Point
By: Ron Jones
Sixteen DPSers and friends met Saturday morning for a scheduled climb of Granite #2 at the turnoff shown on the AAA Riverside Auto Club map at a point 11 miles west of Highway 117 on Highway 62. Six of the 16, including the leader and assistant Blauvelt, were repeaters of this peak although Art didn't remember his earlier climb of 1979 until Adrienne Knute swore that Art was in her summit photo. The sand and dirt roadhead required trail maintenance and lots of shoving at three points but, with a group, is passable for nearly any car all the way in to the gravel pit shown on the AAA map (Iron Mts USGS Quadrangle). It was a one and one-half hour caravan from the highway.
With six repeat climbers everyone concurred in starting up the wrong canyon. From the gravel pit we walked in and out of deep washes for nearly two miles and entered the canyon shown on the Palen Mtn topo just south of high point 3089 ft. We proceeded up to 3l4~00 feet when four party members felt they should turn back. Art Blauvelt graciously (he was now convinced of his prior ascent) led a former trip leader and two others back to the cars. A few yards further on we found several fine cairns which marked the Class 2 route along the ridge to the summit.
Actually, the proper canyon to enter is the one just south of point 2652 on the topo and then gaining the easy south ridge near point 2711. At any rate, 12 of 16 made the peak; Gene Clinger climbing his sixth desert peak for Section membership. (Incidentally, this peak can also be climbed from the south, near Palen Pass off the sand road leading to Packard Well.
The proper forms and ceremonies were attended to at the jovial campfire held near our roadhead at the MWD aquaduct crossing. Mr. Clinger attempted to liven his celebratory peak with tapes of bawdy songs.
Spectre Peak, high point of the Coxcomb Range, was climbed Sunday using the excellent map and route description of Wes Shelberg's in a late 1979 Sage. This roadhead is located seven miles west of Highway 177 on Highway 62 going toward Twentyninie Palms, at BM 1217 on the Cadiz Valley Quad. This road is best shown on the AAA San Bernardino Co. map and is followed l.4 miles south to the SW turnoff and then only about 1.9 miles along this turnoff when the road becomes sandy--at a point near the middle of Section 31 shown on the Cadiz Valley Quadrangle.
Twelve climbers made the ascent from this roadhead joining Jerry Keating and two additional climbers who came in from an alternate northern roadhead 5.2 miles west of the one we used. They were able to drive to 2200 feet with ease versus our 1800 feet and their climb was shorter. However, the route described by Wes and the one we followed leads along several beautiful canyons, a waterfall and a lovely boulder-filled wash. Additional climbs of Tensor or Diadic were foregone in favor of a fine Italian dinner at Dinos in Yucca Valley. My thanks to Art Blauvelt and Jon Lutz for serving as superb assistants on this trip. --Ron Jones
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