Chuckwalla Mountains, Black Butte
By: Cuno Ranschau
It may have been a deliberate act on Mike's part to get out of leading this trip and a burned foot will do it every time. The peaks are good enough but, the weather was going to be a problem. He asked me to take over and I got a few anxious inquiries as to whether it would go-- and Friday nite wasn't very hopefull.
Well, Saturday we finally got to the Chuckwalla turn off from 110 and met any who were still waiting and drove i6.5 miles of dirt road over Graham pass to a point due south of the peak. We got onto the south ridge with the summit well obscured in the clouds. Up, up it went and finally we were all there-- in good time and not too spread either.
We signed in, and since there wasn't much to see we started down. One immediately headed down the wrong ridge and we had to retract him from his confused state and got him headed down the right way. Upon arriving at the car we looked back and the cloud shroud had lifted and there was the peak in view!!-- and a nice peak too!!
There was a general consensus to eat in Blythe since the weather and wet and didn't look like it was going to make for a funsy type camp. We enjoyed good steaks at the sizzler and returned to the Red Cloud road and followed the Akawie '75 instructions most of the way to the road head. It was still misting and we managed to protect ourselves from the elements for the night. Next am looked very good--lots of clouds but they were much higher now and should prove no problem. After breakfast, we found the turn off north and drove a few miles closer to the peak, parked it and we were off under cool, comfortable skies.
Again Greg and I alternated leading and trailing the group, We took a canyon up from the W and were on top in good time--good group. We found no register (only zillions of old batteries) and Greg left a new book and can. Everyone agreed not to stay long as we were interested in hearing football play-oft games on the radio. So it was back to our vehicle and we declared it a-very successful weekend in spite of no one else showing up!
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