Hayford Peak, Mummy Mountain
By: John Vitz
"The beauty of an area is inversely proportional to the number of people who turn out for a Vitz - Haven trip".
The above theorem has not yet been proven for all cases but a trend is certainly developing. In November our Navajo Mtn - Rainbow Bridge trip was enthusiastically ignored by everyone. But Las Vegas is only five hours from LA - not eleven. We were therefore surprised - not to mention relieved of responsibility that is - when a raucous gathering of zero people met us at the Corn Creek Station in the Desert Game Range.
After piling the entire party of three into the only vehicle and leaving the others behind we set off over the 25 miles of dirt road to the mouth of Hidden Forest Canyon. The road is gated at this point and the area has been permanently closed to vehicles. The Sheep Range appears from distance to be a rather dry and lifeless desert ridge. It is in fact a mountain area of beauty and grandeur. The range is cut by a number of dramatic limestone canyons containing Joshua trees and junipers near their mouths phasing into limber and ponderosa pines - many well over 100 feet tall and finally into bristlecone on the high ridges. There is a spring at Hidden Forest and for this reason the immediate area abounds with wildlife. Over 1000 bighorn make their homes in this range.
Since the gate adds about ten miles of road and jeep trail hiking to the climb, Hayford is not the easy sprint it might appear to be on the map. In general walking roads to the bases of mountains ranks on our list of things we like to due very near milking rattlesnakes, but this is a pleasant hike through a scenic canyon. The weather was superb and all of southern Nevada was on display. The third party member stayed at Hidden Forest so only the leaders made the summit. Strangely enough once before a trip had been led by Frede Jensen and Pat Donegan on which the entire section had stayed home.
All three (an increase of fifty percent) made the summit of Mummy the next day. There was still plenty of snow on Charleston and some on our route. We climbed it by what appears to be the standard west ridge route. It too is a beautiful peak, being almost completely surrounded by sheer cliffs. Everyone in the party congratulated the leaders for the success of the trip and all but one person said that the trip had been well led. We left him in Baker.
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