Pyramid Peak, Corkscrew Peak
By: Bill T. Russell
Fourteen sturdy climbers met Saturday at 0730 on Hwy 190 about 12.2 mi west of Death Valley Junction. We went north on a dirt road for about .3 mi where we parked and started the hike. Dick and I climbed the peak in 1972 in a trip led by Phil Bruce and we more or less followed the same, "standard"?, route that Phil used.
We hiked across the desert and passed to the west of the small hill shown on the topo immediately north of Section corner 3661. We continued north up the wash and then up the hillside to the ridge that leads to Pt 5100. From here we went up the SE ridge to the summit. We descended via the ridge that goes west from 5100 and then down the draw that lies under the Township line on the topo, past the east side of the hill near 3661 and then back to the cars.
The top six hundred feet of the Peak was in blowing clouds and when I say blowing, I mean really blowing--hard enough to blow one down if not careful. It was also raining somewhat and the temperature was cool to cold.
Saturday night most of us camped at the Furnace Creek campground and we enjoyed a good cheer time in Tom Scott's van with refreshments furnished by him and Dale Van Dalsem.
On Sunday we climbed Corkscrew via the "standard" route. We started from Hwy 58 about .9 ml north of Hells Gate and hiked up the broad wash NW and directly toward the Peak. In the north part of Section 8 we came to two dry waterfalls of about 10 ft each that were easy to climb. We continued on up the draw and passed what looks from below to be a cave, but is actually a natural bridge. We climbed on up the hill above the natural bridge and emerged into a small, relatively shallow gulley at about 5000 ft. We walked up this, heading north and then went up the hillside heading northwest and west to reach the summit area SE of the summit. We had a good homogeneous group and made the summit in 2-1/2 hours. We descended by the same route.. The weather started out to be beautiful and ended that way but we did have a cloud over the peak that let down a slight snow and a wind that kept us quite cool. Navigation on this trip requires three topos and Bullfrog, the NE one has 40 ft contours.
It was a good trip. Participants on both days were:
On Saturday we also had:
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