Brown Mountain, Stewart Point
By: Mike Manchester
This outing was originally scheduled for December 15-16, but in error, it appeared in the Schedule for Nov. 10-li. Even though we had lost our participants thru the misunderstanding, we decided to go ahead with the trip for two good reasons: Mike wanted to go, and I needed the peaks. Mike scoured the whole of Los Angeles to see if anyone else would join us. He came up with one participant for sure, and two might-show prospects. The one Mike corralled had never climbed a peak, but did have desert hiking expercence.
Saturday was Brown Peak day. We had our breakfast in Shoshone and forlornly waited for the two prospects, who when no-show, we departed and were on our way to Green Valley Road and then the cut-off that leads to Deadman's Pass. This road had a few mean-looking ditches but with caution it is (or was), navigable for a non-4esert vehicle. We parked just a few yards beyond deciding not to drive any further because the continuing road appeared sand-heavy. From this point the peak is quite evident, since it's brown anyway. We meandered across the desert floor, NE direction, and visually decided our route as we went along and soon we were just below the banded cliffs. We found a cozy and friendly opening leading directly NE to the summit where we enjoyed a nice rest and the great views - the one of Eagle was worth the climb. We then descended via the flat ridge that angles SW and continuing this way inevitably came across the road and within a few yards from the car. Our exhausted participant was very grateful when we headed back to Shoshone to enjoy the baths. We then went back just inside the Green Valley Road perimeter to find a nice, sandy and comfy secluded camping site to complement our dinner, spirits and frugal but warm campfire.
Sunday, after breakfast in Shoshone, the leader and assistant leader killed themselves by starting around 9:30 for the climb to Stewart. We left the car at Hwy. 178, BM 2828 and also our participant who decided to fool around and take pictures. Here, we followed the easily visual route described in Gene Gail and Dick Akawie's trip of March 19-20, 1977, Sage 4~140, only we left the wash to pick up the canyon paralleling just NW and which leads to the ridge that makes a soft U-turn to the peak. We enjoyed lunch and views - just across the street to the SE, Pahrump looked like a mere skip and a jump. We then headed out by taking the steep descending ridge that leads to the canyon described in Gene and Dick's trip, and which Mike selected for our return and convinced me it was easier and faster than our route up. Back at the car I guzzled my well- deserved beer and were heading back home by around 3:30.
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