Clark Mountains, New York Mountains
By: Bill Bradley
Saturday morning was cool and overcast at the Mountain Pass off-ramp on I-15 35 miles east of Baker. Fifteen DPS'ers caravaned through a gate near the Mountain Pass Mine and then generally northeastward past an electrical sub-station and finally parked at a pleasant BLM campground (unmarked but with some picnic benches). Leaving RANDY McFARLAND (unintentionally) at the cars, the group headed to the left of the summit, which resembles a ship's prow, and up a prominent gully (not the central gully which has a fifty foot waterfall). Crossing over a prominent band of limestone, some of the group asked for rope assistance. An easier route would have been up the ridge to the left of the gully we took, but apparently there is class 3 climbing anywhere you cross the limestone. We were on the summit by 11, by which time the weather started clearing. RANDY was waiting for us there, having ascended via the ridge to the right of the central gully and then through a notch in the limestone. This was the route of our descent. On the way down we encountered an old airplane wreck, one which had really disintegrated on impact.
From Mountain Pass, the route to Caruthers Canyon is as follows: Five miles north on I-15 to the Nipton off-ramp; then 3.5 mi. on Nipton Rd. to Ivanpah Rd.; south on Ivanpah Rd. 9.3 mi. to Ivanpah. The pavement ends just after Ivanpah. Stay on Ivanpah Rd. (well graded dirt) for 14.6 mi. and turn right on New York Mtn. Rd. (there is a ranch here as well as a road marker). Drive west for. 5.4 mi. and turn right, continuing for about 11/2 mi. or until you find some good car camp spots. These roads are fine for all passenger cars.
Saturday night around the campfire we had a sing-along with ELDEN HUGHES skillfully handling the guitar. The wind gusted during the night, scattering equipment over the canyon floor, including two MSR stoves which were located the next morning.
By morning the wind had died and we headed up the road to the Giant Ledge Mine which we explored and agreed it was probably copper. From there we headed up a prominent gully to the west and on up to an un-named mine (gold?). Then heading northwest we gained the ridge and passed one prominent outcrop on our right before spotting the summit block to the left. DENNIS BAKER led the class 3 climb to the top where we enjoyed the desert panorama spread before us. BILL HAYES, WILSON HARVEY, and the leader celebrated their first climb together in 10 years. Fourteen made the summit.
Back to the cars by one, we waited for SAMUEL L0CASCIO (from Paris) who had taken a different route down. When he showed up at camp we reluctantly packed up to leave this very beautiful New York Mtn. area.
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