Spirit Mountain, Old Dad Mountain
By: Bill T. Russell
We spent a cold Friday night amidst snow patches at Christmas Tree Pass and formed our group at 0730 on Saturday. Our objective was to climb the peak and to give navigation instruction and practice and this we did. We climbed SPIRIT by what we believe is the 'standard' route. We turned off the Grapevine Canyon road at about 3780' elev. and drove a short distance NE on a dirt track where we parked. We hiked at about az 20° thru the shallow saddle at 4040' and then continued NE to the saddle behind the tower with two tiny closed contours shown on the topo map exactly on the line 'Reservation Area Boundary'. We descended a short distance, crossed the drainage shown as an intermittent stream and ascended the slope at about az 70° to almost the top of the ridge. This path leads thru the 'i' in 'Spirit' on the topo. Then we went roughly north for about 1/4 mi. to the summit.
We had planned to climb Clark on Sunday but because of the snow and the cold we opted for Old Dad instead. We camped Saturday night on the desert south of Baker and had a fine meal prepared by McRuer and Mantle. Our only map for Old Dad was the Auto Club San Bernardino County map which we used to get to the vicinity of the peak. From memory of past trips we climbed by a route which is probably 'standard'.
Upon returning to LA, I bought the new 1983 Provisional, 7 1/2 min. topo 'Old Dad Mtn' which has 10 meter contours and the UTM grid drawn on the map. (see the first page of the Peaks List for an explanation of UTM coordinates). For our route, we drove to the junction at 058825 and then north to the road end at about 057833. Here we left one regular auto and piled into Mac's 4wd and went up the wash, thru the pass at 055839 and parked at 052844. We hiked west to the canyon mouth at 047845 and elev 850 m. We climbed up the canyon to l000m where we came to a 4m wall with a nice hole leading up under some large rocks. We climbed thru the hole and then went more or less straight up the slope to the summit plateau just south of the summit point. It might also be good to continue up the gully to the plateau at its end north of the summit point. The climbing was class 2 with a little easy cl. 3.
It was a fine two days with fine people.
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