New York Mountains, Clark Mountains
By: Doug Mantle
What could go wrong on a desert climb? You name it, it happened on the Clark-New York trip: snow, all-night rain, a wrong summit, two aborted peaks, three blown tires, May Heishi, and more.
Saturday a.m. the snow came thicker and faster than I thought possible on the New York Mt. Road. (This road, incidentally, is a good one, although the rancher who lives at its junction would appreciate knowing who's around.) In fear of being snowed in (really!) we skidded south through the rains of the lower elevations to Mitchell Caverns.
That afternoon, as the storm paused, and while most of the group of 21 explored the staligma--well, cave formations, George Hubbard and I, with help from Paul Nelson, scouted Providence Pk (locally known as Edgar). The route proceeds up the right fork of the canyon to the right of the parking lot, and generally follows the gully which seems to go highest. Three to six inches of slushy snow made this, George's birthday peak, a bit more hazardous than we thought the main group should try. So, after a full night's rain, our dwindling caravan again struck out across the desert. After weighing such possibilities as Little Picacho and Studio City, we determined that Old Woman Mt. was our goal.
The road from Danby was sandy but passable for all vehicles to a point perhaps a mile from the mine at its end. Our route angled up steeply from the mine slightly left across a gully to the main ridge. Then we ran the ridge left over a bump or two to the (eventually) obvious peak.
Our return took slightly more than the 2-1/2 hours of the climb, but amidst cries for "listed peaks" the survivors hurried off toward Marble Mt. "Between the dusk and the daylight," without maps or reason, we raced up "False Castle," from which Marble Mt. was visible but not accessible. We all said it didn't matter as we returned for a fine dinner in Barstow, an anxious excursion to the local shyster-garage, one more ritual tire-changing, and smogsville.
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