Dry Mountain, Tin Mountain
By: Henry Heusinkveld
These two peaks are located in the extreme NW corner of Death Valley. A DPS party of 20 met at 7:00 AM at Ubehebe Crater and caravaned 9 miles south over the rough road. They parked on the road shoulder at a place, where a large white blotch is seen on the mountain side to the east. The hike to Dry proceeds due west, picking up a rather steep spur and always aiming for the high point on the horizon. The saddle of a North-South ridge is gained. From here Dry Mtn is seen a couple of miles to the NW, One must drop 1000' through a watercourse and then ascend the opposite side to the peak. This 1000' loss and gain must he repeated on the return trip to total 2000' of non-productive gain, accounting for the big number of 5800' gain in climbing this peak. The mellow day turned chilly as the sunset while 20 tired people slithered sown the rock outcroppings and stumbled through the gullies in the dark to return to cars. A fine camp out in the desert, hut oh so quiet. Were you all that used up? The leaders were the most perky of all.
Sunday: To climb Tin, a roadhead 1/2 mile south of that for Dry, was selected, There probably is no standard or optimum route to climb Tin, A variety of routes were envisioned, each one would make quite a different trip experience. Although Tin is higher than Dry, it is easier and a lot more fun, there being no loss enroute. This well-seasoned party surged up the steep crud slope easily, gained a transverse ridge, dropped through a pleasant valley, having cedar trees and on to the peak for a glorious view in all directions.
The return trip was an interesting gully which finally pooped out in a 40' dry waterfall, forcing the party out onto the easy spur we had ascended. Back to the cars by 3:00 pm.
Observations-- It is gratifying to the leaders that all climbers were in such excellent condition making the trip go smoothly. The trail sweep was chastised both days (well-deserved) by the purist for lapping the stragglers on the final dash to the cars. The Park Service's attitude seems to be that all visitors to the park must be managed per the tourist routine. Pack all the people into tight areas "established camps", and deter people from traveling back roads and camping in remote places.
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