Spectre Point, Palen Mountains
By: Gene Gail
After a caravan from Yucca Valley on the road toward Vidal Junction to a point at the no. end of the Cockcombs(or Coxcombs) marked by two junked cars on the left of the highway, we spun our wheels up a sandy road to the base of the mountain. Twenty eager climbers scrambled up an easy wash to shortly meet the longer eastern approach route. The last hour before the peak was reached we were on snow as much as rock and, a lively snowball war was waged at one point. All 20 signed the Spectre register before retiring to a windless warm spot for lunch.
Nine of the group decided to add Diadic to their "Conquered list", and with a bit of coaxing, Leader Ernie Spiehler got everyone up his favorite route. We just barely made it back to the main road by dark, and then headed on for Palen Mtn.
There was a bit of wind at the campsite, so at 5:30 AM we arose, shook the sand out of our ears, and struck out across the desert toward our faraway mountain. The hot trudge up the peak was somewhat relieved by the 60 mph, 32 degree wind most of the way but it was calm on top and the air was so very clear. We could identify at least twelve familiar peaks against the magnificent horizon. Howland Bailey won his Emblem with this climb and received heartiest congratulations from his eight companions. Due to our having found a very neat route, we were back at the cars by 1:15 PM and had time for a leisurely drive home.
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