Stewart Point, Brown Mountain
By: Steve Smith
It was a great weekend of climbing thanks in large part to the perfect weather and good visibility from the summits. A group of 12 people were at the traditional meeting point for Stewart on SR-178 Saturday morning with most of them having camped in the small cleared area adjacent to the highway. Jerry Boggs (a prosective DPS'er from Ridgecrest who now has 4 DPS peaks) and I started after work from Ridgecrest on Friday to scout the current condition of the Deadman Pass Road. The road went fine from the west but as it was slow going and getting late, we ended up camping there Friday night where the sandy stretch starts 2 miles before reaching SR-127. Getting an early start Saturday morning, it did enable us to stop at the Shoshone cafe for breakfast before heading to the meeting point.
We rendezvoused with the group and everyone was ready to leave at the 0830 starting time. Scheduled co-leader- Ron Jones was double committed for two trips and went instead for his first climb of new HPS peak Skinner. So Jerry filled in as the assist and did a great job both days working with rise to assure no one strayed.
With the perfect weather and congenial group, we took our time and all 12 starters stayed together and leisurely reached the summit of Stewart. Included in the group were 2 members from the Kolob Chapter of SW Utah - Chapter President Judy Orr and Jim Smith (also a DPS member). Jim and Judy discussed a new proposed climbing section for the Kolob Chapter which would be modeled after the DPS and have a peak list for that part of the country. With long time DPS'er Bill Banks presenting a continuing dialogue of desert adventure climb stories along the way, we followed the regular wash and spur ridge route to the summit. We were able to allocate a full hour for relaxing on the summit and admiring the great vista offered on a clear day. Everyone was back to the cars before 4:00 p.m. with four of the group satisfied with the one peak and opting to head home via a stop at Tecopa Hot Springs.
The remaining 8 resupplied at the Shoshone general store and decided to use the western approach to avoid the sand on the east side. We drove up Greenwater Valley and over to Deadman Pass using the DPS guidebook directions with all five of our groups' vehicles getting to the pass. I let the lowest clearance vehicle head in first on the Deadman Pass Road and surprisingly, Dave Halterman was able to get it across numerous, but generally shallow dips to the pass. With Dave leading, two others with 2-WD vehicles figured they could do it too so along the our remaining two 4-WD's, everyone made the nice flat camp site at Deadman Pass.
Having done Brown from the east in 1981, I liked the idea of using the A route as shown in the guide. We followed it will no difficulty to the summit and I did enjoy the extended ridge walking with about .5 mile of sidehill traversing when coming in from the west. It was another good-weather-day so we again took it leisurely. One person turned back early on and the remaining seven made the summit. For the return, we followed the "B" route back out and it definitely seemed both easier and more direct. This route avoids the .5 mile of side-hilling and some extra loss/gain but it was nice using 2 route variations. Everyone was back to the vehicles before 4:00 p.m. so several of us opted to drive on up the valley to see the Greenwater Canyon petroylyph site. We spent an hour looking at the various petroglyphis at the head of time canyon which was a nice ending to the weekend.
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