Scrambles in the Lower Colorado River Corridor AZ/NV; Dec. 11-14, 2020

John Morrow

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Joined
May 22, 2015
Messages
704
Down into the warm still air of the lower Colorado River Corridor, basing out of Katherine Landing in Lake Mead National Recreation Area. Katherine Landing is just a glorified trailer park, but offers some shade, free showers, and free wifi.

Dead Mountains Wilderness, NV
Black Mountains by Oatman, AZ and adjacent to Warm Springs Wilderness
Cottonwood Cove area of Lake Mead National Recreation Area
Lave Butte, Lake Mead North Shore

December 11: a loop connecting a couple summits, a narrow canyon, and a broad canyon with notable petroglyphs.


DeadMtnsPictureCanyon
by John Morrow, on Flickr

Key notes: the powerline road off US93 is a bladed gravel road OK for standard clearance (hardest part is hwy berm).
I could have went further along the powerlines before parking
After crosscountry southward I entered a nice easy canyon leading to an easy indistinct west rib of the first summit: Peak 3448'. Class 2 scrambling over to Peak 3467'. Descending the east ridge of 3467' to a north trending rib with excellent scrambling led down to a nice waterpolished granitic canyon and on to Picture Canyon with no more than Class 2 downclimbs of scenic dryfalls.


gray day
by John Morrow, on Flickr


up a side canyon
by John Morrow, on Flickr


above Picture Canyon
by John Morrow, on Flickr


Descend thatta way
by John Morrow, on Flickr


hmm, water polished canyon
by John Morrow, on Flickr


awesome wash bottom
by John Morrow, on Flickr


power of water
by John Morrow, on Flickr


wide dryfall
by John Morrow, on Flickr


petroglyph sample 3
by John Morrow, on Flickr


great sunset, heading out
by John Morrow, on Flickr


Dec. 12: Boundary Cone, Peak 3360' and Peak 2880' scrambles.

Down to Oatman AZ for a Courtney Purcell classic plus a couple more aesthetic looking mountains.

Notes: Boundary Cone is almost continuous Class 2 and 3 and really really fun. With no beta on Peak 3360' I liked the looks of a steep rock gully to gain the knife-edgy and really fun and scenic SE Ridge, Class 3 with maybe a touch of Cl 4. The east slope made a nice easy Class 2 descent. The least unpleasant route up Peak 2880 (surrounded by continuous talus) looked to be a loose and unmemorable W/NW Ridge.

BoundaryCone+2 by John Morrow, on Flickr


South side Boundary Cone
by John Morrow, on Flickr


Up to the saddle
by John Morrow, on Flickr


great scrambling
by John Morrow, on Flickr


Peaks 3360 and 2880 next
by John Morrow, on Flickr


3360 and 2880
by John Morrow, on Flickr


key gully to notch
by John Morrow, on Flickr


SE Ridge just great
by John Morrow, on Flickr


more of it
by John Morrow, on Flickr


the easy east slope descent
by John Morrow, on Flickr


3380 and route on skyline
by John Morrow, on Flickr


hugged the left edge of slope
by John Morrow, on Flickr


parting
by John Morrow, on Flickr


Dec. 13: Lake Mead NRA, Copper Mountains East and West.

These are well known local scrambles in the Cottonwood Cove area above Lake Mojave. They can be kept at Class 2 with visible route finding. I chose some more solid looking ribs to get more scrambling in.


Coppers loop
by John Morrow, on Flickr

Notes: the SW Buttress I chose to gain the summit ridge of the west peak got very steep and exposed (Class 4), Thus, getting my heart pumping mostly because I always suspect holds to be loose. I varied the east peak by going over to a nice solid low angle western rib to the south ridge, visible in the pics. A Class 4 variation stays right on the very south ridge crest. It can be avoided on the west, and goes over an arch that is not visible until returning the west slope Class 2 route. From near the central saddle, descend (or ascend) the eastern of the two main gullies/washes. It has very nice solid waterpolished wash bottom.


The prominent buttress
by John Morrow, on Flickr


fun inside corner
by John Morrow, on Flickr


profile of buttress descending right edge
by John Morrow, on Flickr


The center right ridge
by John Morrow, on Flickr


interesting topography
by John Morrow, on Flickr


looking back at summit
by John Morrow, on Flickr


cholla garden
by John Morrow, on Flickr


Great polished rock wash exit
by John Morrow, on Flickr


Dec. 14: Lake Mead NRA, the ubiquitous Lava Butte.

Lava Butte is a short pleasant trip up a cone shaped hill, distinctive and visible from many locales along the North Shore of Lake Mead. Any variety of routes up a north/northwest side from a high clearance powerline road off NV-147, Lake Mead Boulevard. I chose a fun and solid rib, a left one of two separated by a pale white gully. An example of one of my several short casual easy days.


Lava Butte NW Ridge (take rib left of gully)
by John Morrow, on Flickr


it's a walk after this pitch
by John Morrow, on Flickr


Frenchman
by John Morrow, on Flickr


wrinkled earth
by John Morrow, on Flickr
 

Ugly

Life really is better Here
.
Joined
Apr 20, 2013
Messages
895
I've been reading your reports the last few days. Lots of interesting stuff and some great pics. I like the pic of the Cholla garden especially. Your scrambles and casual hikes are awesome.

I hiked Hualapai by Kingman when my sister lived there a long time ago. I have wanted to do some more down in the same area ever since (at least I am interested in hiking the area in winter or real early spring).
 

Artemus

I walk
.
Joined
Jun 25, 2012
Messages
4,414
Hey John, thanks for the report!

Looks like you had a significant encounter with Teddy Bear Cholla. Any trouble walking through it? We have had problems before like in KOFA where the dogs are confined to the dirt roads otherwise every step is on a pin cushion and we have to extract spines from paws constantly.

And.. what was your total mileage?
 

John Morrow

Member
Joined
May 22, 2015
Messages
704
Hey John, thanks for the report!

Looks like you had a significant encounter with Teddy Bear Cholla. Any trouble walking through it? We have had problems before like in KOFA where the dogs are confined to the dirt roads otherwise every step is on a pin cushion and we have to extract spines from paws constantly.

And.. what was your total mileage?
Hi Artemus,
Indeed there were unavoidable places full of cholla balls being blown into areas where foot and handholds were necessary along certain scramble routes. But, overall, in the realm of hiking most dense areas of living cholla and spent "balls" were avoidable. At least always visible as to what is ahead!
I haven't done my mileage for the trip. 45 days of hiking overall and I'd guess the avg was between 6 and 8 miles. Some very short days (3 miles) and some longer ones (12 miles). Hope the reports are of use to you. Neat places for sure.
John
 
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