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Prominence HP Imperial County California Fish Creek Mtns HP

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  • baxbarnowl@att.net
    Bob Burd s report is excellent and I used it for this climb. From Highway 86 at SW corner of the Salton Sea go west about 16.3 miles of highway 78 to the small
    Message 1 of 13 , Apr 3, 2014
      Bob Burd's report is excellent and I used it for this climb.

      From Highway 86 at SW corner of the Salton Sea go west about 16.3 miles of highway 78 to the small town of Ocotillo Wells. This town has one of the more colorful saloons I've seen, but with minimal food offerings.  Another small restaurant is being built, with a sign stating it opens in 2015.  This area is frequented by off road vehicle affectionados at the Ocotillo Wells State vehicle Rec Area.   Turn left south on Split Mtn Rd and go about 6.2 miles.  You will pass through a corner of Anza Borrego State Park but there is no entrance fee.  There is a trailhead there for the Elephant Trees.  I was going to stop there on my way out but a sandstorm from hell prevented this. At 6.2 miles you will see the small gauge railroad and immediately before this turn left east on unsigned "Trestle Road" (according to Benchmark Maps). This road follows the tracks quite closely and is definitely 4 WD.  In fact, just before the trailhead you drive through a dry lake bed which has VERY soft dirt on the road.  I was frankly a little stressed in my Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Trail Edition.  Nearly got stuck.  The dirt was so thick I was swaying left and right and the dirt was THICK on my windshield.  I drove blind for about 30 seconds, the dirt being more than an inch thick on my windshield and with the wipers at full speed.  Not having a front right fender on my Jeep probably contributed to this.  I highly suggest you do like I did on my return, and drive a hundred yards or more further east in this area, which is very open territory and already has many tracks.  If you get stuck here it may be a long time before you get out.  I parked where Bob Burd did. Basically at sea level at about UTM 33.006N 115.991W

      I arrived late (1 pm) and tried to summit that day but quit after only 200 feet elevation gain. It was 87 degrees and I knew the next day's high was to be 10 degrees less.  I figured I'd get an early am start the next day (not to happen, started at 8:02 am.  (Lazy ass!)  I spent the rest of that day in my Jeep covering my travel pillow with salt crystals.
      The climb:
      You want to ascend that dark rock face just to your SW.  It is just right of a large wash which you want to head for first.  The left side of the face has gentler slopes.  You will see 3 faint wash/gullies on the right side of the large wash.  The trail that Bob Burd describes heads up the middle of those three.  You will probably but not necessarily see occasional remnants of that miner's trail, as well perhaps of a few ducks as you head to the middle gully.  Take heart, you will see the trail itself above you traversing right (NW) from the gully.  The trail is obvious.  As Bob Burd pointed out, the miner spent more time than one would think of its construction.Go up the gully and at 180' elevation the trail heads right or NW.  The trail is fairly easy to follow and will definitely save you time from otherwise more boulder hopping.

      At one hour I was at 1020", and at 1310' was at the top of that first ridge or slope.  Soon you will see hints of your goal ahead thru a saddle.  The next half mile or so you will cross many small ridges.  Follow the trail it will save you time, even when it switchbacks in the seemingly wrong direction.  Then you will come to the first and smaller of the two flat plain like areas.  Here on the way in I missed the trail turning right and going over a small saddle.  Bob Burd must have seen it though, as it goes by the mine prospect that he photographed. Rather, I continued south on a smaller path which passes right of knoll 1380'+ then left (E) of tiny knoll 1300'+.  Here you enter a sharp sided ravine where I traversed left east to avoid losing elevation, then over a small ridge, then down somewhat, then entered the bigger of the two plains.  This route, btw, is trailess but is more direct and not a bad option.  
      Now you really see the goal. Cross the plain and go up that north ridge which passes over a false summit.  The ridge is easy class 2 and does not involve a lot of decision making.
      The summit register is a glass jar in a rusting can containing a decaying notebook.  A good semaritan might consider replacing the notebook and can.  The views are great.  Salton Sea, Mexico, etc.
      (Interesting aside:)
      Turkey vultures are reported to have perhaps the keenest sense of smell of any animal.  They can smell nano-microns or some such of decaying flesh from like forever.  So on my ascent I kept seeing vultures circling me.  WHY, WHY I ask??!!! I know its hot as hell.  I know that there is NOBODY else stupid enough to be here in this admittedly "pushing the desert peakbagging limits" in nearly April.   I did, in fact, bring 4 liters of water and wished I brought more.  I know that I am utterly ALONE here.  Is this it?  Then on the summit I notice that I have the uneaten remnants of my lunch from Spectre Pk 2 days before, which includes rotting pieces of the BBQ chicken I bought in Fresno before my trip departure.  I threw them out on the summit, an noted that the vultures circled there on my descent, and bothered me no more! 
      The descent was uneventful.  You will see on your descent (and ascent) that a very high quality trail goes to the NW corner of the second larger flat plain.  My curiosity led me there, and I found an excellent trail built by the miner which will pass west of the tiny knoll 1300'+ and then sweep past the mining prospect described by Bod Burd, and then go over the small saddle and rejoin the trail I had come in on.
      Look for jewels etc in this area.  As it is illegal to harvest same from wilderness areas I will not describe what is there.  Others noted in the summit register similar events.

    • Adam Helman
      I enjoyed your detailed story below, Dan. Thanks for sharing it - and as I prepare for a string of 5 Mojave Desert prominences starting Saturday. Manly Peak
      Message 2 of 13 , Apr 3, 2014
        
           I enjoyed your detailed story below, Dan.  Thanks for sharing it - and as I prepare
        for a string of 5 Mojave Desert prominences starting Saturday. 
         
           Manly Peak is the final one April 9 - will be using your report from Jan. 6 plus Dennis P's posting
        at peakbagger. Am going with a partner for just that peak, ironically, the very mountain guide that Dennis
        recommended I contact for climbing Denali next year (Kurt Wedberg of Sierra Mountaineering International).
           I figure paying his guide fee for one day is worth "breaking the ice", and at a venue where
        a partner (although not necessarily a professional guide!) seems desirable anyway.
        He and I seek people to flesh-out the Denali team - on wherein the cost is sizable yet
        the rewards are worth it (at least in my view).
         
           Temperatures will be moderate since these peaks are in the 7,000 foot range and I
        plan to climb them at first light. Afternoons are reserved for driving. In fact, I estimate
        the 30s F when I arise Saturday since nearby Barstow is forecast to be 40 F and my trailhead
        will be 2,000 feet higher.  So no vultures for ME - and besides, I never throw out food 8-).
         
           I'd love to provide an itinerary on the odd chance that somebody might join me for the
        first 4 peaks done solo. However there's something "special" about being COMPLETELY ALONE
        wherein you absolutely must do everything right without fail, miles from a cell phone signal.
            I prefer exercising that mode of travel at least for the time being - and from the nature of your
        story I am CERTAIN you and others appreciate what I refer to: just me, the rock and the big desert sky.
         
                  Sincerely,
                                   Adam H.
         
        ----- Original Message -----
        Sent: Thursday, April 03, 2014 1:48 PM
        Subject: [prominence] Prominence HP Imperial County California Fish Creek Mtns HP

         

        Bob Burd's report is excellent and I used it for this climb.

        From Highway 86 at SW corner of the Salton Sea go west about 16.3 miles of highway 78 to the small town of Ocotillo Wells. This town has one of the more colorful saloons I've seen, but with minimal food offerings.  Another small restaurant is being built, with a sign stating it opens in 2015.  This area is frequented by off road vehicle affectionados at the Ocotillo Wells State vehicle Rec Area.   Turn left south on Split Mtn Rd and go about 6.2 miles.  You will pass through a corner of Anza Borrego State Park but there is no entrance fee.  There is a trailhead there for the Elephant Trees.  I was going to stop there on my way out but a sandstorm from hell prevented this. At 6.2 miles you will see the small gauge railroad and immediately before this turn left east on unsigned "Trestle Road" (according to Benchmark Maps). This road follows the tracks quite closely and is definitely 4 WD.  In fact, just before the trailhead you drive through a dry lake bed which has VERY soft dirt on the road.  I was frankly a little stressed in my Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Trail Edition.  Nearly got stuck.  The dirt was so thick I was swaying left and right and the dirt was THICK on my windshield.  I drove blind for about 30 seconds, the dirt being more than an inch thick on my windshield and with the wipers at full speed.  Not having a front right fender on my Jeep probably contributed to this.  I highly suggest you do like I did on my return, and drive a hundred yards or more further east in this area, which is very open territory and already has many tracks.  If you get stuck here it may be a long time before you get out.  I parked where Bob Burd did. Basically at sea level at about UTM 33.006N 115.991W

        I arrived late (1 pm) and tried to summit that day but quit after only 200 feet elevation gain. It was 87 degrees and I knew the next day's high was to be 10 degrees less.  I figured I'd get an early am start the next day (not to happen, started at 8:02 am.  (Lazy ass!)  I spent the rest of that day in my Jeep covering my travel pillow with salt crystals.
        The climb:
        You want to ascend that dark rock face just to your SW.  It is just right of a large wash which you want to head for first.  The left side of the face has gentler slopes.  You will see 3 faint wash/gullies on the right side of the large wash.  The trail that Bob Burd describes heads up the middle of those three.  You will probably but not necessarily see occasional remnants of that miner's trail, as well perhaps of a few ducks as you head to the middle gully.  Take heart, you will see the trail itself above you traversing right (NW) from the gully.  The trail is obvious.  As Bob Burd pointed out, the miner spent more time than one would think of its construction.Go up the gully and at 180' elevation the trail heads right or NW.  The trail is fairly easy to follow and will definitely save you time from otherwise more boulder hopping.

        At one hour I was at 1020", and at 1310' was at the top of that first ridge or slope.  Soon you will see hints of your goal ahead thru a saddle.  The next half mile or so you will cross many small ridges.  Follow the trail it will save you time, even when it switchbacks in the seemingly wrong direction.  Then you will come to the first and smaller of the two flat plain like areas.  Here on the way in I missed the trail turning right and going over a small saddle.  Bob Burd must have seen it though, as it goes by the mine prospect that he photographed. Rather, I continued south on a smaller path which passes right of knoll 1380'+ then left (E) of tiny knoll 1300'+.  Here you enter a sharp sided ravine where I traversed left east to avoid losing elevation, then over a small ridge, then down somewhat, then entered the bigger of the two plains.  This route, btw, is trailess but is more direct and not a bad option.  
        Now you really see the goal. Cross the plain and go up that north ridge which passes over a false summit.  The ridge is easy class 2 and does not involve a lot of decision making.
        The summit register is a glass jar in a rusting can containing a decaying notebook.  A good semaritan might consider replacing the notebook and can.  The views are great.  Salton Sea, Mexico, etc.
        (Interesting aside:)
        Turkey vultures are reported to have perhaps the keenest sense of smell of any animal.  They can smell nano-microns or some such of decaying flesh from like forever.  So on my ascent I kept seeing vultures circling me.  WHY, WHY I ask??!!! I know its hot as hell.  I know that there is NOBODY else stupid enough to be here in this admittedly "pushing the desert peakbagging limits" in nearly April.   I did, in fact, bring 4 liters of water and wished I brought more.  I know that I am utterly ALONE here.  Is this it?  Then on the summit I notice that I have the uneaten remnants of my lunch from Spectre Pk 2 days before, which includes rotting pieces of the BBQ chicken I bought in Fresno before my trip departure.  I threw them out on the summit, an noted that the vultures circled there on my descent, and bothered me no more! 
        The descent was uneventful.  You will see on your descent (and ascent) that a very high quality trail goes to the NW corner of the second larger flat plain.  My curiosity led me there, and I found an excellent trail built by the miner which will pass west of the tiny knoll 1300'+ and then sweep past the mining prospect described by Bod Burd, and then go over the small saddle and rejoin the trail I had come in on.
        Look for jewels etc in this area.  As it is illegal to harvest same from wilderness areas I will not describe what is there.  Others noted in the summit register similar events.

      • gordonmacleod98
        Message 3 of 13 , Apr 4, 2014
          ---- Adam Helman <helman@...> wrote:
          > I enjoyed your detailed story below, Dan. Thanks for sharing it - and as I prepare
          > for a string of 5 Mojave Desert prominences starting Saturday.
          >
          > Manly Peak is the final one April 9 - will be using your report from Jan. 6 plus Dennis P's posting
          > at peakbagger. Am going with a partner for just that peak, ironically, the very mountain guide that Dennis
          > recommended I contact for climbing Denali next year (Kurt Wedberg of Sierra Mountaineering International).
          > I figure paying his guide fee for one day is worth "breaking the ice", and at a venue where
          > a partner (although not necessarily a professional guide!) seems desirable anyway.
          > He and I seek people to flesh-out the Denali team - on wherein the cost is sizable yet
          > the rewards are worth it (at least in my view).
          >
          > Temperatures will be moderate since these peaks are in the 7,000 foot range and I
          > plan to climb them at first light. Afternoons are reserved for driving. In fact, I estimate
          > the 30s F when I arise Saturday since nearby Barstow is forecast to be 40 F and my trailhead
          > will be 2,000 feet higher. So no vultures for ME - and besides, I never throw out food 8-).
          >
          > I'd love to provide an itinerary on the odd chance that somebody might join me for the
          > first 4 peaks done solo. However there's something "special" about being COMPLETELY ALONE
          > wherein you absolutely must do everything right without fail, miles from a cell phone signal.
          > I prefer exercising that mode of travel at least for the time being - and from the nature of your
          > story I am CERTAIN you and others appreciate what I refer to: just me, the rock and the big desert sky.
          >
          > Sincerely,
          > Adam H.
          >
          > ----- Original Message -----
          > From: baxbarnowl@...
          > To: prominence@yahoogroups.com
          > Sent: Thursday, April 03, 2014 1:48 PM
          > Subject: [prominence] Prominence HP Imperial County California Fish Creek Mtns HP
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > Bob Burd's report is excellent and I used it for this climb.
          >
          >
          > From Highway 86 at SW corner of the Salton Sea go west about 16.3 miles of highway 78 to the small town of Ocotillo Wells. This town has one of the more colorful saloons I've seen, but with minimal food offerings. Another small restaurant is being built, with a sign stating it opens in 2015. This area is frequented by off road vehicle affectionados at the Ocotillo Wells State vehicle Rec Area. Turn left south on Split Mtn Rd and go about 6.2 miles. You will pass through a corner of Anza Borrego State Park but there is no entrance fee. There is a trailhead there for the Elephant Trees. I was going to stop there on my way out but a sandstorm from hell prevented this. At 6.2 miles you will see the small gauge railroad and immediately before this turn left east on unsigned "Trestle Road" (according to Benchmark Maps). This road follows the tracks quite closely and is definitely 4 WD. In fact, just before the trailhead you drive through a dry lake bed which has VERY soft dirt on the road. I was frankly a little stressed in my Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Trail Edition. Nearly got stuck. The dirt was so thick I was swaying left and right and the dirt was THICK on my windshield. I drove blind for about 30 seconds, the dirt being more than an inch thick on my windshield and with the wipers at full speed. Not having a front right fender on my Jeep probably contributed to this. I highly suggest you do like I did on my return, and drive a hundred yards or more further east in this area, which is very open territory and already has many tracks. If you get stuck here it may be a long time before you get out. I parked where Bob Burd did. Basically at sea level at about UTM 33.006N 115.991W
          >
          >
          > I arrived late (1 pm) and tried to summit that day but quit after only 200 feet elevation gain. It was 87 degrees and I knew the next day's high was to be 10 degrees less. I figured I'd get an early am start the next day (not to happen, started at 8:02 am. (Lazy ass!) I spent the rest of that day in my Jeep covering my travel pillow with salt crystals.
          > The climb:
          > You want to ascend that dark rock face just to your SW. It is just right of a large wash which you want to head for first. The left side of the face has gentler slopes. You will see 3 faint wash/gullies on the right side of the large wash. The trail that Bob Burd describes heads up the middle of those three. You will probably but not necessarily see occasional remnants of that miner's trail, as well perhaps of a few ducks as you head to the middle gully. Take heart, you will see the trail itself above you traversing right (NW) from the gully. The trail is obvious. As Bob Burd pointed out, the miner spent more time than one would think of its construction.Go up the gully and at 180' elevation the trail heads right or NW. The trail is fairly easy to follow and will definitely save you time from otherwise more boulder hopping.
          >
          >
          > At one hour I was at 1020", and at 1310' was at the top of that first ridge or slope. Soon you will see hints of your goal ahead thru a saddle. The next half mile or so you will cross many small ridges. Follow the trail it will save you time, even when it switchbacks in the seemingly wrong direction. Then you will come to the first and smaller of the two flat plain like areas. Here on the way in I missed the trail turning right and going over a small saddle. Bob Burd must have seen it though, as it goes by the mine prospect that he photographed. Rather, I continued south on a smaller path which passes right of knoll 1380'+ then left (E) of tiny knoll 1300'+. Here you enter a sharp sided ravine where I traversed left east to avoid losing elevation, then over a small ridge, then down somewhat, then entered the bigger of the two plains. This route, btw, is trailess but is more direct and not a bad option.
          > Now you really see the goal. Cross the plain and go up that north ridge which passes over a false summit. The ridge is easy class 2 and does not involve a lot of decision making.
          > The summit register is a glass jar in a rusting can containing a decaying notebook. A good semaritan might consider replacing the notebook and can. The views are great. Salton Sea, Mexico, etc.
          > (Interesting aside:)
          > Turkey vultures are reported to have perhaps the keenest sense of smell of any animal. They can smell nano-microns or some such of decaying flesh from like forever. So on my ascent I kept seeing vultures circling me. WHY, WHY I ask??!!! I know its hot as hell. I know that there is NOBODY else stupid enough to be here in this admittedly "pushing the desert peakbagging limits" in nearly April. I did, in fact, bring 4 liters of water and wished I brought more. I know that I am utterly ALONE here. Is this it? Then on the summit I notice that I have the uneaten remnants of my lunch from Spectre Pk 2 days before, which includes rotting pieces of the BBQ chicken I bought in Fresno before my trip departure. I threw them out on the summit, an noted that the vultures circled there on my descent, and bothered me no more!
          > The descent was uneventful. You will see on your descent (and ascent) that a very high quality trail goes to the NW corner of the second larger flat plain. My curiosity led me there, and I found an excellent trail built by the miner which will pass west of the tiny knoll 1300'+ and then sweep past the mining prospect described by Bod Burd, and then go over the small saddle and rejoin the trail I had come in on.
          > Look for jewels etc in this area. As it is illegal to harvest same from wilderness areas I will not describe what is there. Others noted in the summit register similar events.
          >
          >
          >
          >
        • gordonmacleod98
          Hello Adam, Manly Peak is, indeed, an interesting affair -- if indeed your Manly Peak is the same thing I climb back on 19 Jan 1964. Not only it is located
          Message 4 of 13 , Apr 4, 2014
            Hello Adam,

            Manly Peak is, indeed, an interesting affair -- if indeed your Manly Peak is the same thing I climb back on 19 Jan 1964. Not only it is located deep in Death Valley, but it entails [or did back in 1964, anyway) a changeling drive from either the east or west -- especially from the west. The peak itself is easy Class 3 [if I remember correctly], which you should have no problem of climbing it, but you should have someone with you in case you run into trouble.

            Gordon

            **********

            ---- Adam Helman <helman@...> wrote:
            > I enjoyed your detailed story below, Dan. Thanks for sharing it - and as I prepare
            > for a string of 5 Mojave Desert prominences starting Saturday.
            >
            > Manly Peak is the final one April 9 - will be using your report from Jan. 6 plus Dennis P's posting
            > at peakbagger. Am going with a partner for just that peak, ironically, the very mountain guide that Dennis
            > recommended I contact for climbing Denali next year (Kurt Wedberg of Sierra Mountaineering International).
            > I figure paying his guide fee for one day is worth "breaking the ice", and at a venue where
            > a partner (although not necessarily a professional guide!) seems desirable anyway.
            > He and I seek people to flesh-out the Denali team - on wherein the cost is sizable yet
            > the rewards are worth it (at least in my view).
            >
            > Temperatures will be moderate since these peaks are in the 7,000 foot range and I
            > plan to climb them at first light. Afternoons are reserved for driving. In fact, I estimate
            > the 30s F when I arise Saturday since nearby Barstow is forecast to be 40 F and my trailhead
            > will be 2,000 feet higher. So no vultures for ME - and besides, I never throw out food 8-).
            >
            > I'd love to provide an itinerary on the odd chance that somebody might join me for the
            > first 4 peaks done solo. However there's something "special" about being COMPLETELY ALONE
            > wherein you absolutely must do everything right without fail, miles from a cell phone signal.
            > I prefer exercising that mode of travel at least for the time being - and from the nature of your
            > story I am CERTAIN you and others appreciate what I refer to: just me, the rock and the big desert sky.
            >
            > Sincerely,
            > Adam H.
            >
            > ----- Original Message -----
            > From: baxbarnowl@...
            > To: prominence@yahoogroups.com
            > Sent: Thursday, April 03, 2014 1:48 PM
            > Subject: [prominence] Prominence HP Imperial County California Fish Creek Mtns HP
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > Bob Burd's report is excellent and I used it for this climb.
            >
            >
            > From Highway 86 at SW corner of the Salton Sea go west about 16.3 miles of highway 78 to the small town of Ocotillo Wells. This town has one of the more colorful saloons I've seen, but with minimal food offerings. Another small restaurant is being built, with a sign stating it opens in 2015. This area is frequented by off road vehicle affectionados at the Ocotillo Wells State vehicle Rec Area. Turn left south on Split Mtn Rd and go about 6.2 miles. You will pass through a corner of Anza Borrego State Park but there is no entrance fee. There is a trailhead there for the Elephant Trees. I was going to stop there on my way out but a sandstorm from hell prevented this. At 6.2 miles you will see the small gauge railroad and immediately before this turn left east on unsigned "Trestle Road" (according to Benchmark Maps). This road follows the tracks quite closely and is definitely 4 WD. In fact, just before the trailhead you drive through a dry lake bed which has VERY soft dirt on the road. I was frankly a little stressed in my Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Trail Edition. Nearly got stuck. The dirt was so thick I was swaying left and right and the dirt was THICK on my windshield. I drove blind for about 30 seconds, the dirt being more than an inch thick on my windshield and with the wipers at full speed. Not having a front right fender on my Jeep probably contributed to this. I highly suggest you do like I did on my return, and drive a hundred yards or more further east in this area, which is very open territory and already has many tracks. If you get stuck here it may be a long time before you get out. I parked where Bob Burd did. Basically at sea level at about UTM 33.006N 115.991W
            >
            >
            > I arrived late (1 pm) and tried to summit that day but quit after only 200 feet elevation gain. It was 87 degrees and I knew the next day's high was to be 10 degrees less. I figured I'd get an early am start the next day (not to happen, started at 8:02 am. (Lazy ass!) I spent the rest of that day in my Jeep covering my travel pillow with salt crystals.
            > The climb:
            > You want to ascend that dark rock face just to your SW. It is just right of a large wash which you want to head for first. The left side of the face has gentler slopes. You will see 3 faint wash/gullies on the right side of the large wash. The trail that Bob Burd describes heads up the middle of those three. You will probably but not necessarily see occasional remnants of that miner's trail, as well perhaps of a few ducks as you head to the middle gully. Take heart, you will see the trail itself above you traversing right (NW) from the gully. The trail is obvious. As Bob Burd pointed out, the miner spent more time than one would think of its construction.Go up the gully and at 180' elevation the trail heads right or NW. The trail is fairly easy to follow and will definitely save you time from otherwise more boulder hopping.
            >
            >
            > At one hour I was at 1020", and at 1310' was at the top of that first ridge or slope. Soon you will see hints of your goal ahead thru a saddle. The next half mile or so you will cross many small ridges. Follow the trail it will save you time, even when it switchbacks in the seemingly wrong direction. Then you will come to the first and smaller of the two flat plain like areas. Here on the way in I missed the trail turning right and going over a small saddle. Bob Burd must have seen it though, as it goes by the mine prospect that he photographed. Rather, I continued south on a smaller path which passes right of knoll 1380'+ then left (E) of tiny knoll 1300'+. Here you enter a sharp sided ravine where I traversed left east to avoid losing elevation, then over a small ridge, then down somewhat, then entered the bigger of the two plains. This route, btw, is trailess but is more direct and not a bad option.
            > Now you really see the goal. Cross the plain and go up that north ridge which passes over a false summit. The ridge is easy class 2 and does not involve a lot of decision making.
            > The summit register is a glass jar in a rusting can containing a decaying notebook. A good semaritan might consider replacing the notebook and can. The views are great. Salton Sea, Mexico, etc.
            > (Interesting aside:)
            > Turkey vultures are reported to have perhaps the keenest sense of smell of any animal. They can smell nano-microns or some such of decaying flesh from like forever. So on my ascent I kept seeing vultures circling me. WHY, WHY I ask??!!! I know its hot as hell. I know that there is NOBODY else stupid enough to be here in this admittedly "pushing the desert peakbagging limits" in nearly April. I did, in fact, bring 4 liters of water and wished I brought more. I know that I am utterly ALONE here. Is this it? Then on the summit I notice that I have the uneaten remnants of my lunch from Spectre Pk 2 days before, which includes rotting pieces of the BBQ chicken I bought in Fresno before my trip departure. I threw them out on the summit, an noted that the vultures circled there on my descent, and bothered me no more!
            > The descent was uneventful. You will see on your descent (and ascent) that a very high quality trail goes to the NW corner of the second larger flat plain. My curiosity led me there, and I found an excellent trail built by the miner which will pass west of the tiny knoll 1300'+ and then sweep past the mining prospect described by Bod Burd, and then go over the small saddle and rejoin the trail I had come in on.
            > Look for jewels etc in this area. As it is illegal to harvest same from wilderness areas I will not describe what is there. Others noted in the summit register similar events.
            >
            >
            >
            >
          • gordonmacleod98
            Message 5 of 13 , Apr 4, 2014
              ---- gjmacleod@... wrote:
              >
              > ---- Adam Helman <helman@...> wrote:
              > > I enjoyed your detailed story below, Dan. Thanks for sharing it - and as I prepare
              > > for a string of 5 Mojave Desert prominences starting Saturday.
              > >
              > > Manly Peak is the final one April 9 - will be using your report from Jan. 6 plus Dennis P's posting
              > > at peakbagger. Am going with a partner for just that peak, ironically, the very mountain guide that Dennis
              > > recommended I contact for climbing Denali next year (Kurt Wedberg of Sierra Mountaineering International).
              > > I figure paying his guide fee for one day is worth "breaking the ice", and at a venue where
              > > a partner (although not necessarily a professional guide!) seems desirable anyway.
              > > He and I seek people to flesh-out the Denali team - on wherein the cost is sizable yet
              > > the rewards are worth it (at least in my view).
              > >
              > > Temperatures will be moderate since these peaks are in the 7,000 foot range and I
              > > plan to climb them at first light. Afternoons are reserved for driving. In fact, I estimate
              > > the 30s F when I arise Saturday since nearby Barstow is forecast to be 40 F and my trailhead
              > > will be 2,000 feet higher. So no vultures for ME - and besides, I never throw out food 8-).
              > >
              > > I'd love to provide an itinerary on the odd chance that somebody might join me for the
              > > first 4 peaks done solo. However there's something "special" about being COMPLETELY ALONE
              > > wherein you absolutely must do everything right without fail, miles from a cell phone signal.
              > > I prefer exercising that mode of travel at least for the time being - and from the nature of your
              > > story I am CERTAIN you and others appreciate what I refer to: just me, the rock and the big desert sky.
              > >
              > > Sincerely,
              > > Adam H.
              > >
              > > ----- Original Message -----
              > > From: baxbarnowl@...
              > > To: prominence@yahoogroups.com
              > > Sent: Thursday, April 03, 2014 1:48 PM
              > > Subject: [prominence] Prominence HP Imperial County California Fish Creek Mtns HP
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > Bob Burd's report is excellent and I used it for this climb.
              > >
              > >
              > > From Highway 86 at SW corner of the Salton Sea go west about 16.3 miles of highway 78 to the small town of Ocotillo Wells. This town has one of the more colorful saloons I've seen, but with minimal food offerings. Another small restaurant is being built, with a sign stating it opens in 2015. This area is frequented by off road vehicle affectionados at the Ocotillo Wells State vehicle Rec Area. Turn left south on Split Mtn Rd and go about 6.2 miles. You will pass through a corner of Anza Borrego State Park but there is no entrance fee. There is a trailhead there for the Elephant Trees. I was going to stop there on my way out but a sandstorm from hell prevented this. At 6.2 miles you will see the small gauge railroad and immediately before this turn left east on unsigned "Trestle Road" (according to Benchmark Maps). This road follows the tracks quite closely and is definitely 4 WD. In fact, just before the trailhead you drive through a dry lake bed which has VERY soft dirt on the road. I was frankly a little stressed in my Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Trail Edition. Nearly got stuck. The dirt was so thick I was swaying left and right and the dirt was THICK on my windshield. I drove blind for about 30 seconds, the dirt being more than an inch thick on my windshield and with the wipers at full speed. Not having a front right fender on my Jeep probably contributed to this. I highly suggest you do like I did on my return, and drive a hundred yards or more further east in this area, which is very open territory and already has many tracks. If you get stuck here it may be a long time before you get out. I parked where Bob Burd did. Basically at sea level at about UTM 33.006N 115.991W
              > >
              > >
              > > I arrived late (1 pm) and tried to summit that day but quit after only 200 feet elevation gain. It was 87 degrees and I knew the next day's high was to be 10 degrees less. I figured I'd get an early am start the next day (not to happen, started at 8:02 am. (Lazy ass!) I spent the rest of that day in my Jeep covering my travel pillow with salt crystals.
              > > The climb:
              > > You want to ascend that dark rock face just to your SW. It is just right of a large wash which you want to head for first. The left side of the face has gentler slopes. You will see 3 faint wash/gullies on the right side of the large wash. The trail that Bob Burd describes heads up the middle of those three. You will probably but not necessarily see occasional remnants of that miner's trail, as well perhaps of a few ducks as you head to the middle gully. Take heart, you will see the trail itself above you traversing right (NW) from the gully. The trail is obvious. As Bob Burd pointed out, the miner spent more time than one would think of its construction.Go up the gully and at 180' elevation the trail heads right or NW. The trail is fairly easy to follow and will definitely save you time from otherwise more boulder hopping.
              > >
              > >
              > > At one hour I was at 1020", and at 1310' was at the top of that first ridge or slope. Soon you will see hints of your goal ahead thru a saddle. The next half mile or so you will cross many small ridges. Follow the trail it will save you time, even when it switchbacks in the seemingly wrong direction. Then you will come to the first and smaller of the two flat plain like areas. Here on the way in I missed the trail turning right and going over a small saddle. Bob Burd must have seen it though, as it goes by the mine prospect that he photographed. Rather, I continued south on a smaller path which passes right of knoll 1380'+ then left (E) of tiny knoll 1300'+. Here you enter a sharp sided ravine where I traversed left east to avoid losing elevation, then over a small ridge, then down somewhat, then entered the bigger of the two plains. This route, btw, is trailess but is more direct and not a bad option.
              > > Now you really see the goal. Cross the plain and go up that north ridge which passes over a false summit. The ridge is easy class 2 and does not involve a lot of decision making.
              > > The summit register is a glass jar in a rusting can containing a decaying notebook. A good semaritan might consider replacing the notebook and can. The views are great. Salton Sea, Mexico, etc.
              > > (Interesting aside:)
              > > Turkey vultures are reported to have perhaps the keenest sense of smell of any animal. They can smell nano-microns or some such of decaying flesh from like forever. So on my ascent I kept seeing vultures circling me. WHY, WHY I ask??!!! I know its hot as hell. I know that there is NOBODY else stupid enough to be here in this admittedly "pushing the desert peakbagging limits" in nearly April. I did, in fact, bring 4 liters of water and wished I brought more. I know that I am utterly ALONE here. Is this it? Then on the summit I notice that I have the uneaten remnants of my lunch from Spectre Pk 2 days before, which includes rotting pieces of the BBQ chicken I bought in Fresno before my trip departure. I threw them out on the summit, an noted that the vultures circled there on my descent, and bothered me no more!
              > > The descent was uneventful. You will see on your descent (and ascent) that a very high quality trail goes to the NW corner of the second larger flat plain. My curiosity led me there, and I found an excellent trail built by the miner which will pass west of the tiny knoll 1300'+ and then sweep past the mining prospect described by Bod Burd, and then go over the small saddle and rejoin the trail I had come in on.
              > > Look for jewels etc in this area. As it is illegal to harvest same from wilderness areas I will not describe what is there. Others noted in the summit register similar events.
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              >
              >
              >
              > ------------------------------------
              >
              > Yahoo Groups Links
              >
              >
              >
            • Adam Helman
              Hello Gordon, Manly was climbed yesterday as a 4 h 51 m round-trip from the standard trailhead near that hantavirus-infested old building at the end of 26
              Message 6 of 13 , Apr 10, 2014
                Hello Gordon,

                Manly was climbed yesterday as a 4 h 51 m round-trip from the standard
                trailhead near
                that hantavirus-infested old building at the end of 26 miles of thoroughly
                unenjoyable
                26 miles of dirt driving from Badwater Road. DPS peak status meant we
                followed obvious
                boot tracks in both directions.

                The summit boulder requires locating precise hand and footholds -
                definitely "low Class 5"
                in my humble opinion. I was glad to have a top-rope belay, and similarly
                for the descent.

                We climbed directly up the boulder's face rather than using the broad
                chimney shown here -

                http://www.snwburd.com/bob/trip_photos/manly_1/DSCF0681.html

                by using the crack on this image's LEFT side -

                http://www.snwburd.com/bob/trip_photos/manly_1/DSCF0682.html

                (More informative pictures will be supplied soon enough.)

                That's how *we* climbed it. However it IS possible to "Class 3" the crux
                section
                by simply free-climbing. Although I could have done that, afterwards I would
                not have liked
                DOWNclimbing without the psychological boost of being tied-into a rope with
                skilled belayer.

                The desert peak season has now ended - it was 100 F upon returning to
                Badwater Road at 1 p.m. That written, our effort featured perfect
                temperatures
                by having started at 6 a.m. before sunrise, and with a nice cloud cover on
                the ascent.

                *****************************************************

                My overall trip was 100% successful with 5 of 5 California P2Ks -
                and some interesting stories (such as a tourist's car fire!!) -
                all of which will be featured in my usual trip report.

                I await receipt followed by review of the second proof corrections to
                my manuscript on "Winning the West". So it will be several days, and likely
                next week, before I can post my overall trip report.

                Sincerely,
                Adam

                ----- Original Message -----
                From: <gjmacleod@...>
                To: <prominence@yahoogroups.com>
                Cc: "Adam Helman" <helman@...>
                Sent: Friday, April 04, 2014 12:26 PM
                Subject: Re: [prominence] Prominence HP Imperial County California Fish
                Creek Mtns HP


                Hello Adam,

                Manly Peak is, indeed, an interesting affair -- if indeed your Manly Peak is
                the same thing I climb back on 19 Jan 1964. Not only it is located deep in
                Death Valley, but it entails [or did back in 1964, anyway) a changeling
                drive from either the east or west -- especially from the west. The peak
                itself is easy Class 3 [if I remember correctly], which you should have no
                problem of climbing it, but you should have someone with you in case you run
                into trouble.

                Gordon

                **********
              • gordonmacleod98
                Hello Adam, ... again You words: However it IS possible to Class 3 the crux section by simply free-climbing. I guess that is indeed the route we used, but
                Message 7 of 13 , Apr 11, 2014
                  Hello Adam, ... again

                  You words: "However it IS possible to "Class 3" the crux section by simply free-climbing."

                  I guess that is indeed the route we used, but I don't remember using a rope. Barbara Lilley climb the peak in 1955, but also doesn't recall whether used a rope on that occasion, but she later recalls that in 1977 climbing the peak with Jerry Keating and one other that had indeed climb the affair with a rope. So I would recommend a rope be carried.

                  Gordon

                  **********
                  ---- Adam Helman <helman@...> wrote:
                  > Hello Gordon,
                  >
                  > Manly was climbed yesterday as a 4 h 51 m round-trip from the standard
                  > trailhead near
                  > that hantavirus-infested old building at the end of 26 miles of thoroughly
                  > unenjoyable
                  > 26 miles of dirt driving from Badwater Road. DPS peak status meant we
                  > followed obvious
                  > boot tracks in both directions.
                  >
                  > The summit boulder requires locating precise hand and footholds -
                  > definitely "low Class 5"
                  > in my humble opinion. I was glad to have a top-rope belay, and similarly
                  > for the descent.
                  >
                  > We climbed directly up the boulder's face rather than using the broad
                  > chimney shown here -
                  >
                  > http://www.snwburd.com/bob/trip_photos/manly_1/DSCF0681.html
                  >
                  > by using the crack on this image's LEFT side -
                  >
                  > http://www.snwburd.com/bob/trip_photos/manly_1/DSCF0682.html
                  >
                  > (More informative pictures will be supplied soon enough.)
                  >
                  > That's how *we* climbed it. However it IS possible to "Class 3" the crux
                  > section
                  > by simply free-climbing. Although I could have done that, afterwards I would
                  > not have liked
                  > DOWNclimbing without the psychological boost of being tied-into a rope with
                  > skilled belayer.
                  >
                  > The desert peak season has now ended - it was 100 F upon returning to
                  > Badwater Road at 1 p.m. That written, our effort featured perfect
                  > temperatures
                  > by having started at 6 a.m. before sunrise, and with a nice cloud cover on
                  > the ascent.
                  >
                  > *****************************************************
                  >
                  > My overall trip was 100% successful with 5 of 5 California P2Ks -
                  > and some interesting stories (such as a tourist's car fire!!) -
                  > all of which will be featured in my usual trip report.
                  >
                  > I await receipt followed by review of the second proof corrections to
                  > my manuscript on "Winning the West". So it will be several days, and likely
                  > next week, before I can post my overall trip report.
                  >
                  > Sincerely,
                  > Adam
                  >
                  > ----- Original Message -----
                  > From: <gjmacleod@...>
                  > To: <prominence@yahoogroups.com>
                  > Cc: "Adam Helman" <helman@...>
                  > Sent: Friday, April 04, 2014 12:26 PM
                  > Subject: Re: [prominence] Prominence HP Imperial County California Fish
                  > Creek Mtns HP
                  >
                  >
                  > Hello Adam,
                  >
                  > Manly Peak is, indeed, an interesting affair -- if indeed your Manly Peak is
                  > the same thing I climb back on 19 Jan 1964. Not only it is located deep in
                  > Death Valley, but it entails [or did back in 1964, anyway) a changeling
                  > drive from either the east or west -- especially from the west. The peak
                  > itself is easy Class 3 [if I remember correctly], which you should have no
                  > problem of climbing it, but you should have someone with you in case you run
                  > into trouble.
                  >
                  > Gordon
                  >
                  > **********
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > ------------------------------------
                  >
                  > Yahoo Groups Links
                  >
                  >
                  >
                • Adam Helman
                  Hello Gordon et al... In reference to Manly Peak I learned last week that the DPS (Desert Peaks Section) credits ascents for somebody who hikes JUST to the
                  Message 8 of 13 , Apr 11, 2014
                    
                      Hello Gordon et al...
                     
                          In reference to Manly Peak I learned last week that the DPS (Desert Peaks Section)
                    credits ascents for  somebody who hikes JUST to the summit boulder's base.
                     
                          Perhaps somebody reading this note is sufficiently familiar with their peaks such that
                    they can answer the guide's obvious response upon learning the above unfortunate situation -
                     
                          What other DPS peaks are credited in such a fashion, the hiker never having actually
                    done the only true challenge the mountain offers? 
                     
                    (I offer that 'remoteness' is another "challenge" in Manly Peak's case - yet that is NOT an
                     attribute of the mountain itself - only a result of limited road infrastructure.)
                     
                           That last point raises a more general issue subject to discussion:  is there ever a venue
                    where getting to the peak's base should be considered part of how difficult it's considered?
                     
                           Examples abound such as Vinson Massif and Pico Cristobal Colon in Colombia where the
                    CHIEF obstacle is indeed just "getting there" as distinct from any technical climbing issues.
                    Indeed, several of us would have climbed these giants were it not for difficult accessability.
                     
                           IF you say "never" then Bald Mountain in Nevada's Area 51 should be considered
                    an "easy" peak to place on one's list. Clearly it is NOT!
                     
                           Access / remoteness / technical climbing  - all these variables (and not just one of them)
                    must be in your abilities to successfully address. Andy Martin allows "waivers" for year-round
                    access denial but not for technical climbing. Clearly we expect to hear from Andy....and
                    perhaps also from Mark Adrian and other desert peakbaggers who are more familiar than I
                    with the complet DPS list.
                     
                                    Sincerely,
                                                   Adam H.
                     
                    ----- Original Message -----
                    Sent: Friday, April 11, 2014 4:32 PM
                    Subject: Re: [prominence] Manly Peak

                     

                    Hello Adam, ... again

                    You words: "However it IS possible to "Class 3" the crux section by simply free-climbing."

                    I guess that is indeed the route we used, but I don't remember using a rope. Barbara Lilley climb the peak in 1955, but also doesn't recall whether used a rope on that occasion, but she later recalls that in 1977 climbing the peak with Jerry Keating and one other that had indeed climb the affair with a rope. So I would recommend a rope be carried.

                    Gordon

                    **********

                  • Mark Adrian
                    Hey Adam, et. al. .. Well, in sports, games and athletics, you either cross the finish line, score the goal, tag the base or sink the put to make it
                    Message 9 of 13 , Apr 12, 2014
                      Hey Adam, et. al. ..





                      Well, in sports, games and athletics, you either cross the finish line, score the goal,
                      tag the base or sink the put to make it “count”.

                      Apply that to climbing as you see fit.

                      I believe Norman Clyde said it best : you shouldn’t count a summit unless you
                      stand and/or sit on it ...



                      I can recall several peaks where multiple attempts were needed to make
                      the final few feet to the actual summit (e.g. Clarence King, Thunderbolt, Eagletail HP).

                      The approach to these are significant, indeed, so those final few feet
                      percentage-wise are pretty, objectively, insignificant in the “big picture” gain.

                      But those final few feet are the most challenging (exposed/difficult).



                      I don’t know if there’s a metric that measures approach V summit “block” ratio.

                      Or as I call it : “complexity”.

                      Take Manly, a simple example, the approach/climb is 99% class 1 to 2, the final 1% is at least 3rd.

                      So, for example : (1*3) / (99 *2) = 3/198 is about 1.5% “complexity”.

                      Whereas a 5th class route/block would be 2.5% complexity.

                      A pure technical climb would be say (99*5) / (1*1) = 495% on the highest end of climbing complexity.

                      This idea, however, would be grossly distorted for LONG approaches with a really difficult technical end.

                      My prototype doesn’t account for distances.



                      You can craft a formula to include drive in, remoteness, stealth and other factors too.

                      My simple-minded formula just suggests “ease” of the actual (self-powered) climb
                      and offers a simple model to ponder as I know, Adam, you like to do!

                      This concept may not adapt to all types of peaks where the complexities
                      become complex unto themselves. That is, long approaches involving
                      days, or glacier travel, altitude, etc. I guess each day could be broken down, however.

                      My idea is meant to apply to summit day.

                      But I digress......



                      I’ve completed the DPS list and honorably reached the highest point of all those peaks.

                      So, to the point, how does one claim a summit?

                      Well, in the objective/digital paradigm, it’s a simple yes or no.

                      You either stand or sit on the highest point or not.

                      Others may be content with “close enough” and in the world
                      of peakbagging there’s really no penalty for this except one’s reputation.

                      Granted, some summit blocks are rocky points where you can’t stand and
                      sitting would be downright painful on the behind!

                      For those I guess you can just hug the block or slap the top with your hand.



                      And I harken back to my own admission on Rainier many years ago.

                      We got to the crater’s south rim when the weather collapsed.

                      Many of the RMI groups stop there anyway and consider success.

                      GPS said 0.25 more miles and perhaps 200’ gain to the highpoint, trivial.

                      High winds and clouds forced us then, to retreat, not getting to the true
                      highpoint despite that that “walk in the park” was simple compared to
                      the bulk of what lay below us. Insignificant in comparison to what we had already done.

                      But I do not consider this summiting for myself. Others may, I don’t.



                      At the end of the day/climb, however, it’s a personal choice
                      the climber has to live with.



                      Just my incredibly humble opinion, of course. :>



                      Cheers,

                      M



                      From: prominence@yahoogroups.com [mailto:prominence@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Adam Helman
                      Sent: Friday, April 11, 2014 5:41 PM
                      To: prominence@yahoogroups.com
                      Subject: [prominence] Manly Peak and 'remoteness'





                      

                      Hello Gordon et al...



                      In reference to Manly Peak I learned last week that the DPS (Desert Peaks Section)

                      credits ascents for somebody who hikes JUST to the summit boulder's base.



                      Perhaps somebody reading this note is sufficiently familiar with their peaks such that

                      they can answer the guide's obvious response upon learning the above unfortunate situation -



                      What other DPS peaks are credited in such a fashion, the hiker never having actually

                      done the only true challenge the mountain offers?



                      (I offer that 'remoteness' is another "challenge" in Manly Peak's case - yet that is NOT an

                      attribute of the mountain itself - only a result of limited road infrastructure.)



                      That last point raises a more general issue subject to discussion: is there ever a venue

                      where getting to the peak's base should be considered part of how difficult it's considered?



                      Examples abound such as Vinson Massif and Pico Cristobal Colon in Colombia where the

                      CHIEF obstacle is indeed just "getting there" as distinct from any technical climbing issues.

                      Indeed, several of us would have climbed these giants were it not for difficult accessability.



                      IF you say "never" then Bald Mountain in Nevada's Area 51 should be considered

                      an "easy" peak to place on one's list. Clearly it is NOT!



                      Access / remoteness / technical climbing - all these variables (and not just one of them)

                      must be in your abilities to successfully address. Andy Martin allows "waivers" for year-round

                      access denial but not for technical climbing. Clearly we expect to hear from Andy....and

                      perhaps also from Mark Adrian and other desert peakbaggers who are more familiar than I

                      with the complet DPS list.



                      Sincerely,

                      Adam H.



                      ----- Original Message -----

                      From: gjmacleod@...

                      To: prominence@yahoogroups.com

                      Cc: Adam Helman <mailto:helman@...>

                      Sent: Friday, April 11, 2014 4:32 PM

                      Subject: Re: [prominence] Manly Peak





                      Hello Adam, ... again

                      You words: "However it IS possible to "Class 3" the crux section by simply free-climbing."

                      I guess that is indeed the route we used, but I don't remember using a rope. Barbara Lilley climb the peak in 1955, but also doesn't recall whether used a rope on that occasion, but she later recalls that in 1977 climbing the peak with Jerry Keating and one other that had indeed climb the affair with a rope. So I would recommend a rope be carried.

                      Gordon

                      **********





                      ____________________________________________________________
                      <http://thirdpartyoffers.juno.com/TGL3156/?u=http://newsletter.adsonar.com/nwrss/iMapRedirector?placementId=1560786&plid=379054&pid=2070767&ps=36140222&rotation=4&type=2&pos=0&zw=500&zh=70&v=5&url=NA&uid=> Image removed by sender.



                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • Adam Helman
                      Hello Mark, Thanks for all of your comments. I add that for myself touching the tippy-top with some part of my body is sufficient. Standing is not required,
                      Message 10 of 13 , Apr 12, 2014
                        
                           Hello Mark,
                         
                                Thanks for all of your comments.  I add that for myself touching the "tippy-top"
                        with some part of my body is sufficient. Standing is not required, and would be in
                        some case ill-advised such as in a high wind with major exposure all-about.
                         
                                 I know some people who indeed consider it "good enough" to stop short
                        of a technically challenging final section and assign themselves credit nonetheless.
                        Such is not the case in either Andy Martin's assessment (for prominence FRL credit)
                        or for the county highpointers.
                         
                                     ***************************************************************************
                         
                                Here's a link to the guide's photographs from our Manly Peak adventure -
                         
                         
                                You'll find them to be overly abundant; and so I've selected just 9 of them
                        for inclusion in my trip report (currently in composition).
                         
                                Look in particular at the pictures of ourselves at Badwater (-282 feet)
                        and of myself using a crack to ascend the otherwise smooth summit boulder.
                         
                                 I am hoping that a Badwater picture will on some web page be featured alongside a Denali summit picture
                        taken 14 months later: the same two people at both North America's lowest and highest points -
                        and with a roughly 20,600 foot elevation difference between the two.
                         
                                      Adam
                         
                        ----- Original Message -----
                        Sent: Saturday, April 12, 2014 1:19 PM
                        Subject: RE: [prominence] Manly Peak and 'remoteness'

                         

                        Hey Adam, et. al. ..

                        Well, in sports, games and athletics, you either cross the finish line, score the goal,
                        tag the base or sink the put to make it “count”.

                        Apply that to climbing as you see fit.

                        I believe Norman Clyde said it best : you shouldn’t count a summit unless you
                        stand and/or sit on it ...

                        I can recall several peaks where multiple attempts were needed to make
                        the final few feet to the actual summit (e.g. Clarence King, Thunderbolt, Eagletail HP).

                        The approach to these are significant, indeed, so those final few feet
                        percentage-wise are pretty, objectively, insignificant in the “big picture” gain.

                        But those final few feet are the most challenging (exposed/difficult).

                        I don’t know if there’s a metric that measures approach V summit “block” ratio.

                        Or as I call it : “complexity”.

                        Take Manly, a simple example, the approach/climb is 99% class 1 to 2, the final 1% is at least 3rd.

                        So, for example : (1*3) / (99 *2) = 3/198 is about 1.5% “complexity”.

                        Whereas a 5th class route/block would be 2.5% complexity.

                        A pure technical climb would be say (99*5) / (1*1) = 495% on the highest end of climbing complexity.

                        This idea, however, would be grossly distorted for LONG approaches with a really difficult technical end.

                        My prototype doesn’t account for distances.

                        You can craft a formula to include drive in, remoteness, stealth and other factors too.

                        My simple-minded formula just suggests “ease” of the actual (self-powered) climb
                        and offers a simple model to ponder as I know, Adam, you like to do!

                        This concept may not adapt to all types of peaks where the complexities
                        become complex unto themselves. That is, long approaches involving
                        days, or glacier travel, altitude, etc. I guess each day could be broken down, however.

                        My idea is meant to apply to summit day.

                        But I digress......

                        I’ve completed the DPS list and honorably reached the highest point of all those peaks.

                        So, to the point, how does one claim a summit?

                        Well, in the objective/digital paradigm, it’s a simple yes or no.

                        You either stand or sit on the highest point or not.

                        Others may be content with “close enough” and in the world
                        of peakbagging there’s really no penalty for this except one’s reputation.

                        Granted, some summit blocks are rocky points where you can’t stand and
                        sitting would be downright painful on the behind!

                        For those I guess you can just hug the block or slap the top with your hand.

                        And I harken back to my own admission on Rainier many years ago.

                        We got to the crater’s south rim when the weather collapsed.

                        Many of the RMI groups stop there anyway and consider success.

                        GPS said 0.25 more miles and perhaps 200’ gain to the highpoint, trivial.

                        High winds and clouds forced us then, to retreat, not getting to the true
                        highpoint despite that that “walk in the park” was simple compared to
                        the bulk of what lay below us. Insignificant in comparison to what we had already done.

                        But I do not consider this summiting for myself. Others may, I don’t.

                        At the end of the day/climb, however, it’s a personal choice
                        the climber has to live with.

                        Just my incredibly humble opinion, of course. :>

                        Cheers,

                        M

                      • Baxter Daniel R
                        I recently joined DPS for an ascent of Spectre (Coxcomb Mtn s HP)and was quite surprised when one member told me that I was the first member he had ever heard
                        Message 11 of 13 , Apr 14, 2014
                          I recently joined DPS for an ascent of Spectre (Coxcomb Mtn's HP)and was quite surprised when one member told me that I was the first member he had ever heard of that summited Manly’s summit block!  Even the leader of the Spectre outing, an accomplished climber both Sierra and desert, who was working on her THIRD completion of the DPS list couldn’t be sure but she may have climbed the summit block on her first ascent of Manly.

                          The DPS register is indeed below Manly’s summit block and is filled with entries from people whom I suspect reached that point only.

                          I summited this year with Dennis Poulin, who on a previous attempt reached the summit block but (wisely) decided not to attempt the block on a solo climb.  It took us just under 3 hours to reach the summit block, but then another 1 1/2 hrs to figure out a way to touch the top.  (No, we did not stand on the HP).

                          I disagree, BTW, with Adam Helman’s comment about the approach to Manly as  "26 miles of thoroughly 
                          unenjoyable 26 miles of dirt driving from Badwater Road”.  I found that area quite fascinating.  Dennis Poulin and I had a chance to explore two of the fascinating cabins up there, but because of time constraints (6 summits in 4 days) we missed out on so much more.  I hope to go back there someday to explored the mines and springs en route, to summit that very cool looking Striped Butte, and to see more of the cabins, especially the burned remains of the Barker Ranch where Charles Manson drove his “family” in a stolen school bus (up the route Helman describes, BTW) and was ultimately caught.  Also, the route over the pass and the road in Golar wash on the SW side are well known by 4WD’ers to be a very scenic and cool drive.  I guess it helps to have a Rubicon with 4 added skid plates underneath as I do, however, for this extended excursion.

                          I don’t know if Adam realized it, but he drove right by Cinder Hill on the way to and from Manly.  I didn’t realize it either and was perplexed when Dennis Poulin stopped on the road a mere 10-15 minute walk from the low Cinder Hill.  It turns out to be the most prominent summit in North America which has a summit elevation below sea level, or something like that.

                          Also, Adam plans to post side by side photos of Kurt Wedberg and him side by side atop Denali and Badwater:

                          "The above photograph at left will be presented alongside a Denali summit picture 14 months later - a unique pairing from North America's lowest and highest points.

                          Well, sorry Adam, but you will be unable to make that claim for the same reason as your argument about the need to surmount Manly’s summit block to count that mountain.  You see, the low point is in Badwater Basin, but Badwater is NOT the actual low point   I think the NPS promotes it as such for convenience (being next to the paved Badwater Road) and because of the reliable water there making it more scenic.

                          The low point is actually a little over 3 miles to the WNW, and is actually variable year to year.  Officially (or at least based on the topos and a small plaque there), it is at point 51730 -282T, which I found to be a 3.3 mile one way walk east of point R680 BM -250.2 along the dirt West Side Road.  The walk is easy enough (as long as the surface is dry!)

                          By the way, Adam, I was surprised to find no mention of the summit block in your first report on Manly Peak years ago.  By omission I always assumed that it was a successful ascent.  Or were you using DPS rules back then?
                          ; )

                          Dan Baxter

                        • Mark Adrian
                          Dan, et.al. There are many DPS reports on (summiting) Manly Peak in their archives. http://angeles.sierraclub.org/dps/archives/dpsa0001.htm#M Among others
                          Message 12 of 13 , Apr 14, 2014

                            Dan, et.al. 

                             

                            There are many DPS reports on (summiting) Manly Peak in their archives.

                            http://angeles.sierraclub.org/dps/archives/dpsa0001.htm#M

                             

                            Among others (google : Manly Peak) ..

                            http://www.snwburd.com/bob/trip_reports/manly_1.html

                            http://peakbagger.com/peak.aspx?pid=16732

                             

                            Cheers,
                            M

                             

                            From: prominence@yahoogroups.com [mailto:prominence@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Baxter Daniel R
                            Sent: Monday, April 14, 2014 8:11 AM
                            To: prominence@yahoogroups.com
                            Subject: [prominence] Re: Manly Peak

                             

                             

                            I recently joined DPS for an ascent of Spectre (Coxcomb Mtn's HP)and was quite surprised when one member told me that I was the first member he had ever heard of that summited Manly’s summit block!  Even the leader of the Spectre outing, an accomplished climber both Sierra and desert, who was working on her THIRD completion of the DPS list couldn’t be sure but she may have climbed the summit block on her first ascent of Manly.

                             

                            The DPS register is indeed below Manly’s summit block and is filled with entries from people whom I suspect reached that point only.

                             

                            I summited this year with Dennis Poulin, who on a previous attempt reached the summit block but (wisely) decided not to attempt the block on a solo climb.  It took us just under 3 hours to reach the summit block, but then another 1 1/2 hrs to figure out a way to touch the top.  (No, we did not stand on the HP).

                             



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                          • Adam Helman
                            Hello Dan, Thanks for both reading my report AND providing helpful comments. I ve amended the report with some information provided by Mark Adrian ( Striped
                            Message 13 of 13 , Apr 14, 2014
                                 Hello Dan,
                               
                                   Thanks for both reading my report AND providing helpful comments.
                               
                                   I've amended the report with some information provided by Mark Adrian ("Striped Butte")
                              is the hill's name in that first picture); and Andy Martin (see the new Appendix at the report's end).
                               
                               
                                  Now my comments ....
                               
                              1. I agree that the Badwater sign, visited by thousands of tourists, is not North America's lowest point.
                                 That the true lowest ground is ephemeral, changing annually, raises VERY PROVOCATIVE issues
                                 about CREDIT FOR LOWPOINTS.
                               
                                  Peakbagging community has all-too-many rules for what's considered sufficient for HIGHPOINT credit.
                               
                                                                            NO ANALOGOUS RULES EXIST FOR LOWPOINTS!
                               
                                  I offer that lowpoints will generally occupy large areas rather than tiny specks of earth (such as a summit).
                                  Therefore I suggest that the same rules for "covering" a county highpoint's contour of sizable areal extent
                                  also be applicable to lowpoint credit.
                               
                                   The relevant excerpt from the cohp "RULES"  (see http://www.cohp.org/FAQs_and_Rules.html)...
                                   is Paragraph 5 on "How close one must get on flat terrain":
                               

                              "One should make a "good-faith effort", to use David Olson's phrase, to get to the "true" HP. When you are in a large, flat area that is inside the highest contour, you should wander around and stand on all the areas that appear to be slightly higher, then invoke the Rule of Schweiker. [Roy Schweiker proposed, several years ago, that if you were inside the highest contour and it was not obvious where the true HP was, that that was good enough to claim the HP.]

                              Two or three people have recently said something or asked questions that suggested that they thought that simply getting inside the highest contour was good enough to claim the HP. This is absolutely not the case. If you are inside the highest contour, and another area over there looks higher than where you're standing, you need to go over and stand on that area. In the case of large open fields or areas above treeline, this does not pose much of a problem, except for the time and effort necessary to tramp all over the area. But in large flat areas of dense forest or swamp, it may be very difficult to visit all possible HPs.

                              Thus, I regard some of the southern Florida counties as essentially undoable, as are some on the southeastern coastal plain. These counties have large areas (in some cases, several square miles) of "high point", and without a major effort that might involve days of mucking through swamps, it's not possible to feel reasonably confident of having stood on the highest area. Pasquotank County, NC has several square miles of Great Dismal Swamp at an elevation of 20 feet, with no part of the county reaching 25 feet elevation. The HP may well be some hummock in the swamp, but I'm not going to find out. And I accept the fact that I'll never complete NC. So, in my opinion, simply getting inside the highest contour is, by itself, inadequate to claim the HP.
                              "
                                  
                               
                              2.  I will not edit the current report with this information. Let the mountain guide Kurt W. THINK that he
                                   truly has reached America's lowest natural ground, and thereby make all the sweeter the acquisition
                                   of a Denali summit picture to match.  If I hear somebody has told him otherwise....
                               
                              3.  I will not be hiking in the colder months to the TRUE lowpoint with Kurt W: at his daily rate it's just plain stupid.
                                   HOWEVER I am amenable to visiting the true lowpoint with any of YOU people.
                               
                                   To make this all quite relevant to PROMINENCE (and render the road journey more economically sensible),
                                   we would additionally visit the lowest point of nearly SALINE VALLEY which
                                   is seconly only to Asia's Turfan Depression for being the deepest "sump" on Earth's dry ground (!!)
                               
                                   I've wanted for years to visit that low ground, one with roughly 4,000 feet of inverse prominence.
                               
                              4.  Dan - I do NOT enjoy driving on ROCKY dirt roads. Never. I repeat here my distaste for that activity - one that
                                   continually threatens the misfortunate of a punctured tire.  It is, at least for my sake, a "have to" rather than a
                                  "want to" activity that is only good for getting to the desired venue. I grant that the scenery may be noteworthy -
                                   yet the spectre of a flat tire remains my constant concern, eliminating any peace of mind and thus enjoyment.
                               
                                   We had zero time to explore while on the 26 mile drive - in either direction. Your Cinder Hill sounds
                                   particularly inviting.  Maybe some day...
                               
                              5.  Dan again - I never previously attempted Manly Peak. So I don't how you received the idea I've been there
                                   prior to the current visit !!
                               
                                                     ****************************************************************************************
                               
                                I await a discussion of the two questions posed in my original note to this group -
                               
                               
                              A.  Are there OTHER DPS peaks where credit is given even though the highest point is not reached?
                               
                              B.  Why is there a new sign "Mt. Knight El. 7,271 ft." atop Towne Benchmark - and with the benchmark itself
                                   defaced with "7271" scratched atop it's face, overwriting the well-known value of 7,287 feet?
                               
                                    
                                          Sincerely,
                                                          Adam Helman
                               
                               
                              ----- Original Message -----
                              Sent: Monday, April 14, 2014 8:11 AM
                              Subject: [prominence] Re: Manly Peak

                               

                              I recently joined DPS for an ascent of Spectre (Coxcomb Mtn's HP)and was quite surprised when one member told me that I was the first member he had ever heard of that summited Manly’s summit block!  Even the leader of the Spectre outing, an accomplished climber both Sierra and desert, who was working on her THIRD completion of the DPS list couldn’t be sure but she may have climbed the summit block on her first ascent of Manly.


                              The DPS register is indeed below Manly’s summit block and is filled with entries from people whom I suspect reached that point only.

                              I summited this year with Dennis Poulin, who on a previous attempt reached the summit block but (wisely) decided not to attempt the block on a solo climb.  It took us just under 3 hours to reach the summit block, but then another 1 1/2 hrs to figure out a way to touch the top.  (No, we did not stand on the HP).

                              I disagree, BTW, with Adam Helman’s comment about the approach to Manly as  "26 miles of thoroughly 
                              unenjoyable 26 miles of dirt driving from Badwater Road”.  I found that area quite fascinating.  Dennis Poulin and I had a chance to explore two of the fascinating cabins up there, but because of time constraints (6 summits in 4 days) we missed out on so much more.  I hope to go back there someday to explored the mines and springs en route, to summit that very cool looking Striped Butte, and to see more of the cabins, especially the burned remains of the Barker Ranch where Charles Manson drove his “family” in a stolen school bus (up the route Helman describes, BTW) and was ultimately caught.  Also, the route over the pass and the road in Golar wash on the SW side are well known by 4WD’ers to be a very scenic and cool drive.  I guess it helps to have a Rubicon with 4 added skid plates underneath as I do, however, for this extended excursion.

                              I don’t know if Adam realized it, but he drove right by Cinder Hill on the way to and from Manly.  I didn’t realize it either and was perplexed when Dennis Poulin stopped on the road a mere 10-15 minute walk from the low Cinder Hill.  It turns out to be the most prominent summit in North America which has a summit elevation below sea level, or something like that.

                              Also, Adam plans to post side by side photos of Kurt Wedberg and him side by side atop Denali and Badwater:

                              "The above photograph at left will be presented alongside a Denali summit picture 14 months later - a unique pairing from North America's lowest and highest points.

                              Well, sorry Adam, but you will be unable to make that claim for the same reason as your argument about the need to surmount Manly’s summit block to count that mountain.  You see, the low point is in Badwater Basin, but Badwater is NOT the actual low point   I think the NPS promotes it as such for convenience (being next to the paved Badwater Road) and because of the reliable water there making it more scenic.

                              The low point is actually a little over 3 miles to the WNW, and is actually variable year to year.  Officially (or at least based on the topos and a small plaque there), it is at point 51730 -282T, which I found to be a 3.3 mile one way walk east of point R680 BM -250.2 along the dirt West Side Road.  The walk is easy enough (as long as the surface is dry!)

                              By the way, Adam, I was surprised to find no mention of the summit block in your first report on Manly Peak years ago.  By omission I always assumed that it was a successful ascent.  Or were you using DPS rules back then?
                              ; )

                              Dan Baxter

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