Spectre Point, Granite Mountain #2


By: Roy Magnuson


On a beautiful Saturday morning forty miles east of 29 Palms, thirty climbers met. Their objective - summit of Spectre. A good desert road with the usual soft sandy spots goes south for three miles then a left turn and another mile to the parking area. Several of the last cars became stuck in loose sand about a block from the roadhead. This was caused my earlier cars plowing through an upgrade. Time from meeting point to roadhead was over an hour, hut fifteen minutes normally would have been sufficient. Even so, all starters (thirty) made the summit and returned before dark (barely).

Our leader, Roy Magnuson, led us 1-1/2 miles eastward up a big sandy stream bed, over a ridge, and contoured another mile slowly to the right which placed us in a clean rocky canyon. From here two miles to a small meadow is mostly the fun of rock hopping in the canyon. Spectre is leftward up a draw, then straight ahead witha steep climb to the summit. On top, the crowd, which was resting, lunching, and viewing, had traffic jams resembling the freeway system. Roy Magnuson left with half the group for additional climbs of Dyadic and Tensor enroute back. Sam Fink and six less eager climbers returned by way of Tensor. Don McLean volunteered to direct the remaining members hack via our earlier route, and Fran Smith was the sweeper. Return to the cars was uneventful. Driving out to the 29 Palms Highway, we regrouped and caravaned 22-1/2 miles east and 6 miles southwest to an ideal camping location at a gravel storage area. This was the roadhead from which 18 potential summit baggers started a cross-desert hike of Granite #2 at 7 AM Sunday morning. After three miles of desert southwestward and another two miles southward up a stream bed, we reached a saddle which we had been approaching and viewing for over an hour. Following a major rest break, the real climb started. Rugged, rocky, steep uphill was the order of the hour as we left the saddle to the left (southeast) and attained the ridge. Picking our way carefully at several different rates, and utilizing the ridge wherever possible, the summit was conquered. The leader, Fran Smith, was surprised to realize, upon opening the register, that no one had signed the register since he had signed it and left the summit one year ago. Lunch and peak identifications were completed, Fred Bode thanked the group for his having made another peak, Bob Herlihy helped finish up a few leftovers, Roy Ching started his bell atinkling, and the downhill bombout started. Two stops, saddle and end of streambed, were made enroute to allow the back and front to meet. Weather had once again been perfect and all 18 reached their summit objective. The pace both days seemed to be agreeable to all participants with a minimum of pressure on anyone to hurry beyond their capabilities. The Granite #2 climb was completed two hours before dark, which should dispel rumors it is a "back after dark" desert peak climb.

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