Old Dad Mountain, Clark Mountains and Telescope Peak
By: Steve Smith
Friday nite in Baker saw a group of DPSers ready to meet the challenges of the Devils Playground and Old Dad Mtn. Leaving early Sat AM we slowly wound our way thru a maze of washed out sand covered dirt roads. After some 40 miles of road building, car pushing, and Bill Banks dirt we finally reached an old mine about 3 miles NE of Old Dad's summit. Over 20 people were eager to make the ascent so we followed Bill up a new route, which he had devised through careful topo sheet scrutiny. We hiked up a dry wash, the up to the ridge of the range via a little nick-point and quickly across the ridge to the summit.
The view was exceptional, since the huge dunes of the Devil's Playground loomed in the west and the Kelso volcanic field rose in the east. One certainly feels remote from civilization atop this summit! We all surmised what DPS landmarks were about us-Granite, Providence, New York, Clark, Kingston-others might have been Avawatz and even Telescope to the north. The return trip out was much faster back to Baker since we had beaten our trail. Sat nite was spent near Clark Mtn. after having stopped in Baker for refreshments and chatter. Sun AM 20 climbers tackled Clark, which had more to offer than the previous day, since the trailhead drive was much easier and a little rockwork near the last mile of climbing added thrills. Grouping at the old Copper Works mine, we all explored the colorful blue and green mineral dumps.
Banks led us the main ridge from the mine, reaching first what appeared to be the high point. From this spot, actually south of the true summit, it is necessary to traverse for an hour across a ridge to the true height of Clark Mtn. The VABM could be seen from a distance, still standing despite the winds. Everyone enjoyed the scenery and serenity-all happy to have logged another DPS component. We followed our upward steps back to the cars and reached home at a reasonable hour for a change. (map follows) Telescope Peak Sat Nov 11 -Dick Sykes About 43 intrepid and potential "North Wall of the Eiger" climbers assembled at Mahogany Flat and left at 8:20 on a pleasant Encampment morning, Barbara Sykes being at the tail end and husband Dick at some other end, we started for Old Telescope. I noticed a preponderance of good looking females...to that Gene Gail added, "All females are good looking."
The view of that minor ranges that some other Section of the Angeles Chapter seem to get excited about (called the Sierra, I believe), was magnificent! Oh yes, in the other direction the view was great too - some sort of valley appeared to be somewhat low in elevation. Those of us who admitted to having made an occasional foray to that minor range seemed to get quite excited about pointing out those peaks that we could identify.
After many rest stops and much talk, we saw some of the extremely dangerous wild burros of the Panamints. We were terrified of the possibility of a charge from one of the bull burros, since as you know, are noted for there viciousness. However the three we saw, in spite of their sex, whatever is was, had the good sense to continue grazing on the grass, cactus, rocks, and other items of their diet.
About noon, "Chicken Dick" reached the summit, pursued by almost a dozen of the fast tigers. The smart group meandered in about and hour later. It was windy, naturally, with a lukewarm fifty degrees on the summit. We returned to the cars in small groups, the last getting back about 4:30 PM.
It is my opinion that it is fine idea to do Telescope yearly in conjuction with the Death Valley Encampment. I noticed some "old time types" along for the scenery, a good indication of a fine peak.
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