Pinto Mountain, East Ord Mountain
By: Joe McCosker
Twelve climbers met at 0730 Saturday at the intersection of I-10 and the road to Mecca, about 22 miles east of Dillon Road freeway offramp in Indio. We were scheduled to climb Orocopia. We encountered two sets of' road closed signs and were wondering how far we could proceed when a sheriff's car came by and told us that the rains had undermined the road to Mecca but he didn't know the condition of the roads heading towards Orocopia Peak. We went about a mile south on the dirt road and reached a place that was too rough for two wheel vehicles, we tried an alternate route that led to a big drop-off which would have been impossible for passenger cars, and then gave up on Orocopia. We could have climbed it from the cars but that would have added 5 miles to the trip so we looked for something easier.
Host of the party had climbed Eagle #1 and only three had done Pinto so we drove to Pinto, starting the climb at 1000 a.m. Everyone made the peak, including three who got their first desert peak: Kurt Vander Horst, Jean Vander Horst, and Diane Don (excuse me if I misspelled any names). Because of the late start we got down just at dusk.
We caravaned to East Ord, stopping in Yucca Valley to eat at Arturo's, a good Mexican restaurant located on state highway 62 a little east of the junction with state highway 247. Actually, it's a little south of the road on highway 62 so watch for it or Inquire locally. Arturo does not have a liquor license but he permits you to bring your own bottle or can to the table.
Full of tortillas and beans and beer, we followed state route 247 towards East Ord, using Bill Bradley's write-up in The Desert Sage number 165. (Note that Harrod Road has now become Camp Rock Road.) The wind blew all night so we didn't have a campfire.
Next morning we arrived at the roadhead at about 0500. We went up the major wash between the north and south summits and came down the ridge just north of that wash. Two dropped out and the others all made the peak and were down about noon in time for an early start home.
It was good to see long-time DPSer Bob Michael on the trip. Bob is now living in Santa Barbara after an absence in Colorado for about 10 years. Also Jon and Betsy Lutz, Steve Powell, Mary Ellen Dunlap, and Carl Brodene. Thanks to Harry Brumer for assisting, who was ably assisted by Karen Brumer.
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