Kino Peak


By: Bill T Russell


We met at 0730 an the Bates Well Road just north of the OPNM boundary and drove to Bates Well. The new Road and Peak Guide is correct, the road has some spots of severe water damage which are a challenge for small street autos. I had gone to the OPNM Visitor Center on Wed to arrange for a group campsite and I told them that we would pay the $3 entrance fee for each auto on Fri evening and that we would park at Bates Well while we climbed Kino.

We hiked south In accord with the Guide and reached the saddle at 1600' that is directly east of Klno. From here, my bearing to the 'prominent pinnacle' mentioned In the Guide was 296', not 308'. We hiked up past this feature and then up to cliffs on the apparent "skyline ridge" where we turned left and then lost, time trying to follow the Guide as we crossed over chutes. It turns out that one should ascend upward beyond the skyline to nearly the crest of the summit ridge and then turn left (south). One then comes to the 'deep chute' of the Guide; it looks something like a steep hillside that is the beginning of a sizeable canyon. There Is a steep but easy ledge that goes down into this chute but It takes a little searching to find it. The route crosses the chute/hillside and then, as described in the guide, It crosses another one and goes to the main notch north of Kino peak proper. It then goes up the well ducked north face where there are a few easy 3rd class moves.

Devra Wasserman led us to the summit to achieve her gualifying peak for DPS membership. My altimeter, and several others, showed that the summit was perhaps 300' higher than the 3197' on the topo. A storm was coming in and the barometric pressure was probably falling but nevertheless I suspect that the summit elevation on the togo may be low. We returned to the saddle at 1800' where we split the party into a fast group of 14 led by Barbara Cohen and George Toby who got to Bates Well just before dark and a group of 5, who got there at 1800, 30 min after dark, It was a good trip with good people, Most of the participants had the memorable experience of a cholla ball on the leg or hand but no one seems to have sat on a cactus.

After the climb we drove back to Ajo where most of us had dinner at Dago Joe's again. After dinner we drove to OPNM where we had reserved a group campsite. On the way south, we had a light rain so Pat and I put up our tent; It did rain lightly most of the night. We had planned to climb Ajo Mtn on Sat as a DPS trip and to do Pinacate on Sun as a private trip. But on Sat morn there was some drizzle, the clouds were lower than the nearby hills, the OPNM office said that more of the same was predicted and that there was a little snow on Ajo Mtn. Sp we decided to scrub. Pat and I then viewed the Ajo copper mine, one of the biggest open pit mines in the world. It is owned by Phelps Dodge and stopped operating In 1983. We also looked around the ex-company town of Ajo which is becoming a retirement community. Very inexpensive company houses are for sale. We had off and on rain until we reached Blythe on the way home.

Kino has a two inch pipe for a register container and some rolled up sheets of paper as a book. Participants were: Bill T Russell, Dick Agnos, Carol Breyde, Barbara Cohen, Pat Russell, Doug Hatfield, Bob Sumner, Dan Richter, George Pfeiffer, George Toby, Devra Wasserman, Jon Lutz, Bob Wyka, Rose Stein, Barbara Reber, Betsy Lutz, Fred Smith, Bil1 Faulkner and Patty Kline.

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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