Spectre Point, Pinto Mountain


By: George Hubbard


Quite a few climbers met somewhere on, the highway between 29 Palms and Rice. That "somewhere" was the traditional meeting place for the climb of Spectre. Down the road, back toward 29 Palms about 50 yards, is a dirt road that takes off to the left. There are several little 5purs, but once you find the main track it is easy to follow. The major problem this year is that it was very soft and sandy. So Elliott Snyder ferried the climbers, van full by van full, to the end of the road. We had lunch on the summit of Spectre and then went over and climbed Dyadic, a nice little class 3 ditty. E1iott then ferried us, van full by van full, back to the cars. We decided to camp there for the night.

The events of the rest of the evening are worthy of exposition.

As it was close to Christmas, we sat around drinking Wassail and singing Christmas Carols.

Then there was dancing around the campfire. Finally when the main body of the group moved out to their bags for a long winter's sleep, one lonely body lay motionless face down on the ground. His bag was opened and he was turned over and into the bag. A Cherubic expression on the innocent's face told us he had likely been drinking when he should have been singing.

The next day we caravaned to Joshua Tree National Monument for a climb of Pinto. We entered the Monument and parked our cars at a designated place off the Pinto basin road, the road that connects the main headquarters in 29 Palms with the Cottonwood Springs Station down near Interstate 10. The Rangers insists that all automobiles be parked at this area and that no vehicles be driven off the paved road. (There are old roads that take off from the pavement to and about the mountains but these roads must not be used. So to keep the Rangers from having nervous breakdowns, we should obey them. Our future cooperation will make them mellow.

The climb of Pinto was uneventful and straight forward. It was low key, unstructured and enjoyable to all. In fact that last sentence can be used to describe the whole weekend.

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