Kingston Peak, Avawatz Mountains
By: Maris Valkass
The events on this trip again proved that one shouldn't be too cocky and know-it-all. The leader "knew" precisely where the roadhead for Kingston Peak was and therefore did not check the mileage after leaving the highway. It is noted that the topo does not match the AAA map. Proceeding from the wrong roadhead up a canyon to a ridge, the party found itself ready for the ascent of the North peak. The real Kingston was on the other side of a major canyon. It was decided that the group would split up, with two persons returning to the cars. Others would go for the peak the hard way. Except for the two, all climbed the peak. My apologies to the two. After the unexpected bonus distance and gain, the hot baths at Tecopa Hot Springs were wonderful. The baths are free of charge and open 24 hours. (Kingston Peak needs a register and a container).
Saturday night was a perfect desert night, no wind and warm. Many songs were sung at the superb accompaniment of Sue Wyman's guitar. Before retiring the traditional tire burning took place, and Ron Jones administered the dreaded Desert Rat Test to Vic Henney and the leader. The leader failed.
The dirt road to Avawatz is located 19.1 miles North of Baker along Hwy 127. There is a white hwy. milepost at 19 miles. This road runs almost parallel to the one shown on the topo, and they both end up at Mormon Springs. However, the 19.1 mi. road is passable for most passenger vehicles up to Mormon Springs (approx. 4.5 ml.). Hike along the road into the canyon. In about 2 miles there Is a fork in the road, stay to the right. (Also marked by a gray rock out-cropping on the right side with some faint red paint on it). Continue up the road another mile where the road makes a hairpin turn to the right, and starts going up a ridge. Leave the road here by ascending to a ridge on the left. On top of the ridge you will find a light use trail which can be followed along the ridgelines all the way to the peak. Six persons reached the summit. One person decided to spend a relaxing day at the roadhead. The hike started at 9 am and ended at 4 pm. Participants were: Carl Brodene, Vic Henney, Ron Jones, Adrienne Knute, Anna Leong, Sue Wyman, and Maris Valkass.
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