Dry Mountain, Tin Mountain
By: Maris Valkass
This was a tough trip. My muscles ached for two days.
Sixteen people met at the Mesquite Springs campground. After signing in, getting the waivers, and even getting a few letters written to Senator Seymour we were ready to start our hike at 7:40.
For our approach to Dry we went up the canyon just South of the standard route as marked in the guide. There was no particular reason except that I thought that this was the way. Following the canyon as it turns North, you come out on the same plateau as you would if climbing the standard route. However, this is more gradual, but longer.
The 500 foot loss was demoralizing. But, we plunged on down, and before we realized we were on the summit at 1:00 pm. The view was magnificent. We could see the Eureka Dunes, Saline Valley, the snow covered Sierras and Inyos/Whites blending together. When I last climbed the peak, about 8 years ago, we did it from Saline Valley. But the weather was cloudy and foggy, and we could not see much. This time it was clear, but windy and cold with patches of snow.
We returned via the standard route, descending the steep canyon. All of us were pretty tired as we returned to the cars by 6 pm. Fourteen of the sixteen reached the summit.
We camped on the Big Pine road, 8 miles from Ubehebe Crater. This is just outside of the Monument, and one of the first flat spots. We had a nice campfire for the evening.
Sunday morning we started at 7:30. This time only ten came and eventually nine finished the peak. We parked the same place as for Dry, and followed the prominent wash coming down the fan. We then ascended a ridge which could have led us to the summit, but we picked the wrong peak and wandered on several ridges before gaining the real peak. Along the way we discovered a beautiful specimen of a bighorn skull, some of the other bones were scattered nearby. We reached the summit at 12:00 noon. 4.5 hrs. We descended the same way in 2.5 hrs.
We had two firsts: Mark Adrian and Paul Pridanony were the first time on a DPS trip. They both did extremely well. Paula Peterson climbed her sixth peak, but she would not give me the $10.
Other participants were: Anna Valkass, Suzanne Mamedalin, Igor Mamedalin, Dick Agnos, Charlie Knapke, Bill Tryon, Bob Sumner, Bob Wyka, Gill Faulkner, George Pfeiffer, Terry Sutor, Monica Parker. My thanks to Suzanne and Igor for assisting, and Charlie Knapke for some navigation aid.
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