Sherman Peak (Nevada), Moho Mountain (Nevada)
23-May-98 (Private Trip)
By: Pete Yamagata
While neither of these west central Nevada peaks are on the Nevada Peaks Club (NPC) list, they were both of interest to myself. Sherman Peak, the highpoint of the Paradise Range, is also the highpoint of one of the 19 or so separate, contiguous segments of National Forest land in the State of Nevada--another "list" for me. Moho Mountain is the highpoint of the Excelsior Mountains, another smaller range. There are other peaks in both ranges almost as high, by a matter of only a few feet.
Driving east on U.S. 50 enroute to the agreed-upon meeting place with Delores Holladay in Gabbs, NV, I noted that many of the NPC listed peaks, Mt. Augusta, Desatoya Peak, and to a lesser extent, Jobs Peak, were atypically quite solid in snow, down to about the 8,000 foot level. Arc Dome would have made a nice spring ski tour, as would a Toiyabe Crest ski traverse, with solid coverage.
After camping at Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park, from where we had toured Ione, a colorful, preserved mining town, and later the fossil site of what was said to be the largest animal (60 feet in length) that has ever existed, we drove west, Saturday morning, on the paved highway to the dirt road "107" that leads to the west side of the peak. Needing the exercise, we hiked the three miles of good dirt road to a low saddle, whereupon we headed cross-country east to the main ridge of the range. The route passes through largely brushy, pinyon-juniper covered terrain. At the saddle to the immediate north of the summit, there was a rock boundary line or low wall for about 40 feet. Knowing that primitive man had built traps to herd animals, we wondered if this could be any part of that.
We enjoyed the views, and found a 1991 register placed by Barbara Lilley and Gordon MacLeod. Only a few pages had been signed in, with the material in excellent condition, except that the non-spiral, poorly bound pages were pulling out.
Rain was on the horizon, so we quickly descended to the and hiked back to the cars.
I believed that we had seen a bald eagle feeding on roadkill, but the Ranger assured us that it was a golden. The day before, I speculated that an animal we had seen in the distance was a pronghorn, which didn't astound the Ranger either.
Driving south on NV 361, we found a dirt road that leads to "ruins" marked on my map, and camped at an open, flat spot with panoramic views of Soda Springs Valley, which encompasses the tiny towns of Luning and Mina along U.S. 95. The clouds and light were gorgeous, for me, being the photographer. We had a nice view of the next day's goal in the Excelsior Mountains.
Sunday, after a breakfast in Mina, we carpooled on the excellent dirt road to Marietta and turned off an overgrown side road that leads into a canyon on the southwest side of the peak. Parking at a turnaround about a few hundred yards into the canyon, we basically hiked on dirt roads that some would have driven, but again, we needed the exercise. Increasingly overgrown roads lead to a mine at about 8,000 feet elevation, from where short, cross country travel and a trail leads to the summit.
Again the BLGM placement was found, and the Zdons had been there a few weeks before. Only a few sign-ins were recorded. The views were nice, with Boundary Peak, the Yosemite Sierra Crest, and various and all equally nondescript ranges to the east. Teels Marsh, which sits below just to the southwest, didn't seem to have much water.
We completed the return in 2.5 hours, and drove out. We carpooled to see Candelaria, an historic site as well as a large mining operation, then went our own ways.
Our total hiking for the peaks was about 8 miles with 2,000' gain for Sherman, and 10 miles with 3,000' gain for Moho. There were some flowers blooming, with bright, red paintbrush being the most photogenic. Aside from a tick crawling up my hand on the summit of Moho, we were not bothered, at any time, by the appearance of any other ticks, mosquitoes, flies, or any other pests.
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