Black Mountain, Sandy Point
By: Mike Manchester
Thirteen climbers met in Big Pine and car caravaned over the Loretta Mine Road which becomes the Eureka Valley Road on the Last Chance Range topo map. It is paved most of the way. (The road continues across the Last Chance Range to the road through the Death Valley Wash). We parked beyond the Crater ridge System. The climb is moderately difficult and it affords the participant continual views of the Eureka Valley Sand Dunes to the west and the Death Valley Wash to the east. Why, the weather was so clear you could even see 1873 Von Schmidt line! From the summit people were seeing the Uebehebe Creature and Dry and Tin Mountains in the south. Someone got carried away and thought he saw John the Baptist. That person was given another drink of water and a cold compress and told to behave.
This mountain affords challenges in route finding and climbing if climbed from the Eureka Valley.
The participants were informally asked if they favored Sandy as a list addition.
At first a few people were non-committal. So a list of people for and against was made. Under these circumstances only three people were against adding Sandy to the list. They were given a chance to "think" about it. By the time we had returned to the car, those three were leaning in favor of the addition of Sandy to the list. This third grade teacher trick of taking down names really works. There was only one incorrigible; good old Claudius Maximus and then he was only abstaining.
Upon the return to the car we caravaned back to West guard pass and camped on a dirt road off the main road to the Bristlecone Pines. The next day we found a nice dirt road which led to a mine very close to Black. The climb of Black took about one hour round trip. The views of the Sierras were spectacular but it was thought unsuitable for list addition.
Sandy offers spectacular views in all directions at nearly every moment. It offers several climbing challenges depending upon the route selected, and is in an area not currently represented on the peak list.
For these reasons it is urged that Sandy be added to the list.
The trip was a success. The ambience was good. Everyone got an early start for home on Sunday. This fact alone elated those among us who began anticipating the return trip home before they got to Mojave on Friday night.
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