Manly Peak, Needle Peak


By: Ron Jones


We lost an assistant leader (Dr. Marlin Clark, who was acting as team physician for the Trona football team in the CIF semi-finals) so there were seven people who met at the Ashford Mill Ruins Sat. morning for the long caravan into Butte Valley. No problems were encountered enroute and we were parked just beyond Willow Springs by 10:30 that morning. Duane McRuer's fine route description of November '75 (Sage #130) was followed and six of us made a routine ascent of Needle Peak. Three people: Carol Goldberg, Hirsh Koip and Tom Watts made their first climb of a desert peak.

Upon our return to the cars we decided to drive out to Anvil Springs near Manly Peak. Adrienne Knute's VW bug made it out past Willow Springs with a minimum of team pushing, but Joe and Betty McCosker's GMC pickup settled into the sand up to its rear axle. We gave up on moving when darkness set in and camped in the sandy wash. Betty and Adrienne put together green salad, turkey soup, cheese fondue, meat balls and spaghetti for dinner while Tom and Ron furnished wine, and Hirsh built the campfire.

Sunday morning we built enough road and pushed hard enough to finally extricate Joe. We drove on to Anvil Springs and left Betty painting an oil of Striped Butte while six of us climbed Manley directly from the Springs. Manley Peak has a very nice eight foot move of third class difficulty leading to the summit which is 20 feet above the register. A short rope or piece of webbing is recommended for this move. While eating lunch on top we found a few snowflakes falling about us. Following a swift descent down long sand slopes to the cars we had an uneventful drive to Tecopa Hot Springs.

A word of caution: When climbing Needle Peak I suggest that autos and pickups park at the large area obviously suitable for parking just before dropping down into the wash at Willow Springs. --Ron Jones

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