Dry Mountain, Tin Mountain
By: Ed Treacy
Nineteen good hikers parked the cars about 9.5 miles south of Ubehebe Crater and took off for Dry Mt., one of the more demanding desert peaks - lots of miles and 5800 feet of gain. The idea behind successfully climbing this fun-generating peak is to get up and over an east ridge with enough pizzazz left to drop 700 feet into a canyon, scramble up 1400 feet to the summit - and then get back out. This we did, using one of probably several acceptable routes to the east ridge just south of its high point. Were on the peak for lunch under overcast skies - with some eating a little later than others. Three, Trent Bartlett, Doug Mantle, and Jim Strahan, still feeling frisky, took off to climb everything else in sight - and we could see a long way. The hike out was enlivened by half an hour of starlight strolling that made this day's wilderness experience complete, although we could have done without the unexpected, abrupt 3-foot drops into washes that occurred every now and again. Camped at the nearby dry lake where amazing culinary feats were carried out and even more awesome gastronomical acts in consuming some of the "entrees." A pleasant fire, good company, some wine, a fine night.
Sunday's climb of Tin went well. Used a chute just north of the main drainage. It was a little steepish but got us from 4400 to 8500 feet real quick over some scree and some rock. We evidently climbed up and through a frequently used sheep bedding area; there was a lot of fresh signs indicating that sheep had been there the previous night, and in some places we were able to use a fairly good animal trail. Beautiful day on the summit. Spent an hour enjoying a magnificent view of the Sierra and savoring the Cold Duck that Mae Heishi had brought to celebrate her DPS qualification. Descended via the main drainage, perhaps one of the highlights of the trip. There are quite a few waterfalls in this canyon, some could be down-climbed, some could be bypassed, and on two occasions we had to climb out of the canyon because of impossible situations (40-75 feet sheer drops). There was never any problem associated with this descent route - the class one ridge was always there - but the opportunities to do some class three climbing added enough variety to make the descent a lot of fun.
Were out to the cars by 3:30, completing an eight-hour day. Most agreed that Tin was a far better peak than Dry. And, as is usually the case, the attitude of the participants made this another splendid DPS weekend.
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