Potosi Mountain, Mount Stirling


By: Ann Perkins


Eight climbers (Michael Gosnell, Virgil Popescu, Anne Rolls, Bob Hoeven, Diane Dunbar, Helmut Hafner, and leaders Dave and Ann Perkins) met at Roadhead A for Potosi on Friday night in time to enjoy a campfire (courtesy of Bob's wood).

We started out at 7:00 the next morning, ascending the ridge as described in the guide, over points 2224 and 2431. From the deep saddle .5 miles west of the peak, it is best to follow the directions in the guide, heading SE to the summit. We had continued straight up the ridge and had to drop down a steep short slope and then over to the correct route. The microwave towers and other installations somewhat detracted from the summit experience, but there were good views of the surrounding peaks and of Las Vegas.

On the way down we contoured low around point 2431, which in retrospect was no easier than climbing over the hill - we ended up in some rather brushy and rocky terrain. On the descent we chose the Route A variation, which went well (better for downhill than uphill).

By this time there were strong, gusty winds so were glad to reach the cars about 4:00. Bob and Anne had already climbed Stirling, so they left our group and the six of us drove the two hours or so through Pahrump (a vast urban sprawl), and camped a short distance in on the dirt road to Stirling. We enjoyed the usual fine potluck, and in the morning Diane and Helmut had sore knees and decided not to join us for the Stirling climb. It was Helmut's first DPS trip, and hopefully he will join us again!

Our dwindling party of four continued to the Stirling roadhead. The route as described in the guide is quite straightforward; the only surprise was the snow that began falling about halfway up the ridge. By the time we were close to the summit, the ground was covered in snow and the clouds had rolled in. We had decided there would be no summit views, but suddenly at the top the clouds parted and we had fine views of nearby snow-covered peaks and the town of Pahrump, but did miss seeing the petroglyphs.

As we came down the ridge, the snow started up again. We got back to the cars in the early afternoon, and driving back along highway 95, we could see the mountain ranges to the west completely covered in dark clouds - we were glad to have beaten the worst of the storm.

Detailed information for visiting one or more peaks mentioned in this article can be found in the
Desert Peak Section Road and Peak Guides

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