North Castle Butte, Dove Peak


By: Dick Banner


(Private trip)

After leaving the Avawatz-Kingston North DPS trip led by Gene Gail on Jan 28-29, Y's Hikers Max Tucker and Jack Gibbons and I drove to the Castle Peaks area near the Calif.-Nevada border (15' topo Crescent Peak, Calif-Nev). We camped near Indian Spring (no water) at the end of a labeled jeep road that most high-clearance, low-geared or auto-trans vehicles could negotiate, with care. We climbed an easy 3rd class route on the W side of North Castle Butte and found the first ascent of record on the peak to be that of Arkel Erb, Ed Lane, and others on 18 April 1964 during a DPS Mummy Peak trip. Most recent was Feb 12, 1971, by Abe and Helen Siemens. After going over and bagging the point on the SE we hiked over to and then climbed an easy class 4 route on Dove Peak (5829'). First ascent of record on the peak was a Y's Hikers trip (!!!) led by Wally Henry on April 1, 1969. Most recent was Jon Pettijean's on Nov 25, 1977. We were fascinated by a small green-moss lined fumarole near the summit. We skirted the next high point to the SW and continued to the southern butte, which appeared to be the most difficult to climb. Circling it's base, it looked like it would have to go 5th class. It's climb was not completed due to the late hour, but a ledge sloping up from right to left on the NE face was explored to the arete connecting a point on the SE with the main structure - a possible route. Climbing was hazardous on the loose volcanic breccia. Rain ended climbing in that area before we had a chance to, explore Hart Peak (5543'), a prominence only a few miles to the SE of the Castle Peaks. None of these appear on Gordon MacLeod's list of interesting unlisted peaks, but it seems to me that they qualify for that category. Maybe we should start a list of unlisted peaks that are not on a list.

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