Dry Mountain, Tin Mountain
By: Dale van Dalsem
After a few hrs sleep Fri night in Mesquite Spring Campground, we met at 5:15 A.M. at the junction just north, drove to Ubehebe Crater, then 9.5 mi S on Racetrack Valley Road & parked at a 'turnout' or wide place at about 4500 ft & walked due West at 0625, heading for the saddle in the front ridge .7 mi S of 8433, staying in the main canyon at every turn. We made the first two 8-10' cl 3 dry waterfalls, stopped at the next one, went up gullies (perhaps 50 yds) left & found our way up a loose cl 2 ridge which topped out on the frontal ridge, then angled NW & dropped 650' to the 7200'+ saddle, then the 1450' climb to the Dry Mtn summit (44 min for the front 4, who summited in 5 hrs.) Bill Banks, in this, his 7th ascent, had, of course, been there for 45 min., after staying with us the first 2 hrs. Short lunch in freezing wind, back the same way. Last person back to the cars by 4:40 P.M., 101/4 hrs after start. All 12 who signed in made the peak, plus two groups of two each who were late & played catch-up. We knew the 49er days gathering (2nd weekend each November; beware!) had choked M.S. Campground, so we had two choices: South to Teakettle Junction, then left at least a mile, but no fires, or North to Ubehebe Crater, past for 2 mi, then left 7 mi to get out of the Monument. We chose the latter & had a good 16-person campfire, thanks to Donn Cook's wood, & some good guitar playing by sue Wyman & David Hollenberg, but icy winds & short sleep cut the campfire short. Sunday up at 5:30, off at 6:30, walking at 7:30. We drove 10 miles S of Ubehebe & parked at about 4650, one turnout S of Saturday. We ascended the ridge that tops out .2 mi SW of "Tin" and runs .2 to .45 N of the blue watercourse on the 15' topo. This went well and was less steep than usual routes further north. We summited just after 11:30, left by noon, and the last person reached the cars by 2:15: Summaries: Tin, 6 Hr 45 elapsed time, 12 people, no turnbacks, 4400 gain, 7 mi r.t. Dry: 10 hr 15 e.t. 12 + 4, no turnbacks, 5600 gain, 13+ mi r.t. The parking was the bad news and is reported elsewhere. -Dale.
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