Sheephole Mountains, Pinto Mountain
By: Roy Magnuson
A large group (for a DPS outing) of 53 people, many of them newcomers, showed up for the climb of Sheephole. The approach to the peak was made via the prominent canyon due east of the microwave relay tower in Sheephole Pass. This route offers more rock scrambling, but better footing, than the commonly used canyon slightly to the south. A leisurely pace was set which allowed everyone to reach the summit. The weather was clear and sunny with enough breeze to make for an enjoyable climb with fine views. The climb began about 9:30 and the last of the group returned to the cars by 4. After the climb of Sheephole, a group of four, led by Fran Smith, made an ascent of Marble.
On Sunday morning, 35 climbers reassembled for the car caravan to Mission Well in Joshua Tree National Monument. At this point the cars were pooled for the five mile drive over a rudimentary road going due west to a point northeast of Pinto. From this point we walked up an open wash that leads into a canyon. About a half mile up, the canyon splits and we took the left branch. The right branch was used for the return trip to provide a little variety. Once again the hike was leisurely with almost identical start and end times. The leader wishes to thank Harold Johnson, Mike Zatto, and Don Barnes for their able assistance.
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