Panamint Butte, Pinto Mountain


By: Gene Olsen


We met at the junction of the Big Four mine and Hiway 190 at 7:30. After waiting a little while for 3 who were driving up from LA in the morning we gave up and headed north. The derivable road ends where the road turns in an easterly direction. This adds about another 2 miles and another 1000 ft + to the trip. From the cars we headed up the road and then NE to a prominent ridge that meets with the summit ridge. We started out with 14 hikers. Within 2 miles 5 had turned back and the 3 late members had come into sight. 12 finally made the summit. The views from the top are very nice. This would end up being a nice backpack up Lemoigne canyon from the east. This was the lead of this peak since its addition to the list. We descended to the west down a ridge dropping into the main water course. This proved to be exciting since we ran into a number of good sized dry water falls. These were all successfully bypassed on the right due to the expert scouting of Lutz, Gibba and others. We reached the cars about 6:30 making this about a 10 hour trip. By popular vote the next days hike of Pinto was cancelled and a goodly number of the folk made the trip to Saline Hot where the aches of the day were soaked out. We headed out Sunday to Big Pine. The road is in good condition. 'As a matter of interest the BLM-has a new ruling of 14 days camping limit at Saline so all the trailers etc must be removed. This was effective May 1.

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