Hayford Peak, Mount Stirling
By: Frede Jensen
If one of the main reasons for scheduling a desert trip in early May was to divert a few cars from the endless stream of vehicles off highway 395 on the opening day of fishing season, the Hayford-Stirling climb must be termed a very moderate success. On Sat the leaders waited in vain for participants at the entrance road to the Desert Game Range at Corn Creek. Realizing with some disappointment that we were to go it alone, we drove in about 21 miles on the Alamo Valley road to the Hidden Forest turnoff which we followed east to a point about l-1/2 miles beyond an open gate. If future parties should find this gate looked, they will have, little reason for annoyance, since the road is in extremely poor condition from there on and cannot be recommended for ordinary cars.
The 3 mile hike to the end of the jeep trail was rather uncomfortable due to the heat, but the weather soon cooled off, allowing for a most pleasant hike thru beautiful woodlands and along a snow-filled streambed to the open slopes of the peak which we approached from the S. While still complaining about a poor turn-out, we were joined on top by a very friendly group of Las Vegas Sierrans who had scheduled their trip to coincide, with ours. It was obvious that they had expected somewhat of a mob scene on top, and thus, in extremis, we were able to share our disappointment with others. We gave some thought to joint ventures in the Nevada deserts during the fall and winter months, and I am convinced that this is something to follow up.
The return trip was made along the ridge to the south and west; this is a much better way than dropping down into the canyon. The terrain is very easy on Hayford and has a worn path in spots. We returned to the car in overcast, cool weather and swallowed enormous amounts of dust on the Alamo Valley road. Dinner was spent in Las Vegas, and camp was made in the Spring Mtns at the foot of Mt. Stirling.
On Sunday the party disintegrated somewhat, Pet Donegan having already bagged the peak on a previous expedition, and not feeling much inclined to retrace his steps. An unnamed peak to the south was reached, apart from which nothing also was achieved that day. However, it was somewhat of an achievement just to find our way home thru a blinding Sahara sandstorm which ruffled our windshield and finished off the weekend on a rather chilly note!
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