Warm VABM, Cameo VABM


By: Barbara Lilley


On a beautiful clear mild fall day, 11 "explorers" met at Tea Kettle Junction (real teakettles) 8 miles north of the Racetrack in Death Valley National Monument at midday on Sat. and drove to Ubehebe Mine to start an easy 4-mile backpack to camp in a sheltered wash 2 miles east of the peak, after descending the wash below the mine for 11/2 mile, heading NW up a tributary wash and crossing over a low ridge. Thanks to the short backpack, not only was an overabundance of water carried but an abundance of other appropriate beverages as well, kept cool wrapped in sleeping bags. Super-leader Gordon MacLeod even supplied Martinis complete with olives for the late afternoon cocktail hour (who said desert backpacks had to be asture). As the camp was outside the Monument, a social campfire was enjoyed; the evening was mild but temperatures dipped to 35 by Sunday morning.

Sunday, heading SW from camp across an alluvial plain, 10 first climbed Cameo (5064'), then, after descending to a saddle, followed a ridge (easy Class 3 at times) north to Warm (6196'), arriving by 10:45 AM. Backtracking about 1/8 mile, they then descended a steep ridge to the alluvial plain and headed back to camp, stopping for lunch en route. All had backpacked out to the cars by 2:30 PM to start the long drive home, two high clearance vehicles via the Hunter Mountain road. Altho the principal peak itself is not exceptional, its remoteness and views from the summit make this peak worthwhile to be climbed (perhaps on a 3-day weekend combined with Tin and Dry) even if it is not considered for the "list".

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