Smith Mountain, Funeral Peak
By: Paul Nelson
A DPS scheduled trip, although it did not look like it. I always said that I liked small groups to climb with. Well, this, time I got it. Four people came out for this one. A successful and enjoyable trip. Hope this makes those who stayed home sorry.
We had to approach these peaks from the north entrance to Greenwater Valley. It's 50 miles farther this way, but the south ten miles of the Greenwater Valley road is very poor due to heavy rains last October. Anyone planning to go into this area this season, especially with a passenger car, should use the route that we did. I doubt if the road will be fixed until next year.
Under clear, cool skies we climbed Smith Mt. in about two hours by the most direct route from elevation 3700 on the road going up the south fork of Gold Valley, (Funeral Peak Topo Map). This appears to me to be the best way to climb Smith. You could start 500 feet higher but it would be 1/2 mile farther and there would be many washes and ridges to cross.
After descending the mountain we had an hour to waste before dark, so we visited the mine at the south end of the above-mentioned road.
Saturday night we camped just off the Greenwater Valley Road near "BM 3917" from which point we started our Funeral Peak climb Sunday AM. Funeral is an easy but rewarding climb. It took us 2-1/2 hours up without pushing hard. We found a register on top with a few strangers' names in it, plus our own Bill Banks. You know he's a hard man to beat to a peak! This summit could use a good "Book & Can" if anyone is going that way.
We were back to the cars by 1:30. This was the official end, but the three others missed the best part because Art Rich and I spent the rest of the afternoon soaking in the Tecopa Hot Springs.
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