Spectre Point, Granite Mountains #1


By: Fran Smith


Twenty-four climbers met on an exhilarating Saturday morning forty miles east of Twentynine Palms. Objective - the summit of Spectre Peak. The drive to the roadhead consisted of three slightly sandy miles to a junction followed by .8 miles left to a parking area. Good road makes it easy for all cars. Upon leaving the cars we headed east in a wide, sandy wash for a half mile where the wash bottom becomes rocky. After another half mile a low pass is crossed and then by swinging slightly south and crossing several gullies you will enter a large canyon coming down from the southwest. This beautifully clean canyon is followed for about a mile into a small flat area surrounded by the three peaks at the north end of the Coxcombs. Spectre was climbed by continuing southwest and climbing the steep east face. The other two peaks in the area are Tensor on the north and Dyadic on the east.

After the routine of signing the register, consuming lunch, and viewing the surrounding ranges, our group split. Eleven with Art de Goede in charge accepted an invitation from the Riverside Mountaineers to join them in an ascent of fourth class Dyadic. Our remaining thirteen returned to the flats and split again. Harry Melts and four others retraced our steps back to the cars while the leader and seven others climbed to the summit of first class Tensor. We continued down the north side of Tensor to the cars via a steep but more direct route. All twenty-four had returned by four and we then caravaned 23.5 miles east on the, highway and then 6 miles south on a very good desert road to a gravel quarry. This roomy area was excellent for car camping. Jon Inskeep was to lead the Granite climb and a blast from his horn had everyone awake at 6 and hiking at 7. (Editors' note: Jon is really a nut about making people get out of the sack at a ridiculously early hour.) Our approach was two miles up an alluvial fan into the eastern stream bed. After 1.5 miles of canyon, we had a straight ahead, short, steep climb to an obvious saddle. From this point the summit is to the left and rock scrambling up and up is the necessary ingredient for reaching the top. All twenty-one starters reached their goal. Thanks for this route was due Paul Lipsohn who had used it a couple of weeks before. The approach to the roadhead used previously from the west is over questionable sandy roads. While on top Jay Wiley was presented his emblem by the Section Secretary. Jay remarked that his easiest peak had been Marble (surprising no one) and that the hardest had been Montgomery. All climbers had returned to the cars by 3 and a short time later everyone was headed back to LA. Only Harry and Siina Melts remained behind, planning to cook dinner and come in after the traffic had subsided.

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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