McCullough Mountain, Potosi Mountain


By: George Toby, Harry Brumer


The weather was great for both days, Cool, clear, and breezy. Participants were Ruth Armentrout, Walt and Carolina Kabler, Ron Grau, Evelyn Chadwell, John Canby, Delores Holladay, Charlie Knapke and the Leaders. We met Sat morn at the little town of Nipton and caravaned to the McCullough roadhead per the Desert Peaks Guide directions for route A. We followed the power line road 3.9 miles N and turned left (W) on a fair dirt road. Here the guide is a bit in error. It says to go 4.0 miles, bearing LEFT at all forks and park. The correction is - drive 1.5 miles to a fork and turn RIGHT. Then go 2.2 miles and park. (good camping spots in this area).If you go on to the old corral you will have gone too far to be in the right place to begin the hike. You cannot see the peak from the starting point. The navigational trick is to get into a big wash and follow it to a saddle just E of point 6425'. From there you can see the peak and the rest is easy. However we managed to get into a big "look alike" wash complete with (false) ducks that took us to another saddle about 1/4 mile W of point 6425. But from there we could see the peak and ran the ridge to the true saddle and on to the summit. Very pleasant on top, 7026'. No snow. So we decided we could do Potosi at 13514 the next day. Harry led, us back by the correct route which suddenly appeared very obvious. We wondered how we got off route going in. For excitement George managed to get his Dodge Dakota 2WD stuck in the sand. Five strong guys pushed to no avail. Then Evelyn Chadwell joined the pushers and with one mighty shove the Dakota just popped out of the sand, Take this gal along on every desert trip. You will never need Triple A.

We then drove back to Nipton and on to I-15·and followed the guide directions to Potosi Mtn. We pulled in just about dark to the spacious and pleasant Potosi Springs campsite. It is rather dirty but has a great little bubbling spring. We could see lots of snow on Potosi Mtn. We enjoyed a great happy hour and campfire. Then much to our surprise, and theirs, Vic Henney and Sue Wyman showed up. They joined us for campfire and on the Potosi climb on Sunday.

Sun morn we set out to do Potosi by the "A" Variation route which is more or less getting up on the ridge and following it with it's many bumps to the summit. A good route and nice climb. We picked up snow at about the 7000' level. (The peak is 8514 ) Then all snow climbing the last 1000' to the top. The contrast of the many dark pines and Juniper trees with the brilliant white snow made it a very pleasant climb. There were two places with some steep rocks, probably 3rd class with the snow on them. It was very cold and windy on top. Telescope and Charleston were easily visible with their coverings of snow. There was an old rusty can and no book. We left a new book in a zip lock bag, but a new container is much needed. Harry led a fast descent down to the cars by about 3:OO. Some went on to Tecopa Hot Springs while others headed for home. Ruth and I stopped at the Nevada Landing Casino along I-15 for their special all you can eat buffet dinner for only $3.79 plus tax, including coffee. Good food, a bargain. We exercised our will power and passed by all the slots. My thanks to Harry for a great assist and all the DPS people that made this such a fun trip.

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