Harquahala Peak, Bear Hills
By: Gordon MacLeod
ARIZONA DESERT EXPLORATORY
Nine participants, including Jerry Keating and five other list finishers, met at Wenden, Arizona, on Hwy. 60 and, aided by the fine write-up by Bob Michael of his 1979 New Year's Day climb (which appeared in an earlier "Sage") ,successfully climbed Harquahala Peak (5681'), highest point in Yuma County. The route is on the north side and follows an old abandoned mining trail. A 1921 Smithsonian Institute building, listed in the National Historical Register, is located near the summit. Unfortunately, a modern jeep road coming from the south (many of the entries in Bob's register were made by drivers), together with the general massacre of the summit area by mining activities, preclude possible list consideration. Nevertheless, the climb from the north is quite interesting and well worth the effort.
Returning just at dark, we drove from Wendon north on the Cunningham Pass road to a camp off about 2 miles on a side road. The specific site had been previously selected earlier in the day by Dick Agnos and his wife through the simple expediency of getting mired in the sand. During the night the predicted rain began. The group largely dispersed Friday morning, although the storm cleared long enough for four diehards to climb the high point of the Bear Hills (2188')and to enjoy a pleasant evening campfire before the rain returned in earnest. Heavy squalls were encountered Saturday en route back to L.A Keating strikes again!
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