Smith Mountain


By: John Robinson


On Jan 17, fifteen Desert Peakers and guests assembled in the quaint desert town of Shoshone early in the morning intent upon scaling Smith Mtn., overlooking the southern end of Death Valley. The weather was clear and balmy as the party rambled over poor but passable desert roads up to a low pass in the Black Range and down into the heart of and empty, forsaken Gold Valley.

While Esther Herten guarded the cars, 14 hikers headed up along the gently-sloping southwest flank of Gold Valley toward nearby Smith Mtn. Thirteen made it up a steep ridge, around a false summit, across a narrow saddle, and on to the top of the peak. The panorama from the summit made the climb worthwile: Glimmering under snowy winter mantles were majestic Telescope Peak a few miles to the northwest and Mt. Charleston on the eastern horizon, just across the Nevada state line. Directly below lay the sweltering, arid floor of America's lowest point - well-named Death Valley. From our lofty vantage point, with nothing but miles of apparent emptiness below us, it was difficult to realize we were looking down upon America's most populous state!

Those making the summit were Bud & Bep Bingham, Dave Seruggs, Ben Romero, Miriam Myhre, Janis Hawley, Lorraine Pearson, Ralph Merten, Frede Jensen, Bob Van Allen, and son Jim, and leaders John Robinson and Frank Sanborn.

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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