Turtle Mountains, Castle Dome Peak, Mopah Point
By: Art de Goede
A perfect desert day greeted the thirty plus eager desert peakers as they gathered at Rice the morning of February 7. The sky was clear and people were correctly predicting a two quart day It was 7:30 am and as some finished breakfast others laced their boots and loaded summit packs. Soon we were caravaning to the starting point for the climb of Turtle Mountain.
A group of rock climbing enthusiasts left the main party to climb Castle Rock. Someone said that it couldn't be done, but, Wally Henry and his friends proved that it could. Theirs was a first ascent of the impressive rock. Meanwhile the rest at the group followed the leader to the summit of Turtle. It was a most enjoyable climb, with a comfortable pace, frequent stops, and a long lunch break on the top. The trip down was made in good time and we began the long drive to the main highway, stopping once to push a car through the sand.
After a stop in Vidal Junction we drove on to our evening's campsite arriving after dark. Dinners were soon cooking and bed spots selected. During the evening we did some star gazing and enjoyed a tire fire, several of the group registering complaints. It seems that their camper-bedrooms filled with smoke and soot. However, those who chose to rough it were not inconvenienced.
Sunday was another beautiful day in the desert and the climb of Nopah was most pleasant. It is a short but interesting third class climb. There was another long summit stop and, a few eager climbers scrambled over to an adjoining summit. Everyone was back at the cars by noon for the start of the homeward trip.
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