Sheephole Mountains, Pinto Mountain
By: Lew Hill
The main group met 20 miles east of 29 Palms on Sat AM for the caravan to the start of the climb. There we met those who tried to head 'em off at the pass. Our route led, up an arroyo to near the summit, which included some scrambling to the top. I was almost eliminated, on the way down, due to faulty hearing, but luckily the buzzing rattlesnake concerned was comfortable and well-fed! Sunday dawned bright and clear but was marred by many reluctant peak baggers at the 4:30 AM signal.
Pinto Pk, as approached from Pinto Basin, is one long foot slog from desert floor, up a canyon, then a ridge, and finally a summit. Due to advance planning, adequate shade was provided on both the uphill and downhill grades. Among the many wildflower displays admired, the many cacti took most of the glory. We all arrived back at the cars safely and in good shape. Much thanks go to Sam Fink for his wonderful scouting of routes and summits. He has climbed both of these before, Thanks again, Sam.
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