Tin Mountain, Ubehebe Peak
By: Maris Valkass
Reading about 118 degree temperatures in Death Valley, it was with some apprehension that Ron and I drove Friday night to our morning meeting place in Mesquite Springs Campground near Scotty's Castle. We were also wondering of how many of the 12 or so signups would actually show up.
Driving through Stovepipe Wells after midnight, it felt like going into a blast furnace. I would estimate the temperature at least a hundred. At Mesquite Springs (ele. 1800') the temp. was 85 degrees at 1 am.
At 6 am nine people were ready to bag the peaks: Ron Jones, John Gibba, Wynne Benti, Al Beebe, Fred Wegs, Barbara Raab, Steven Crooks, Gary Tipling, and MV. For two of them, this was their first DPS trip.
We started our climb of Tin from a 4100' elevation on the Ubehebe road. This gave us almost 5000' gain. The first hour and half we were climbing in shade, the rest of it was pretty much in sun. We carried one gal. of water each (approx), which worked out pretty well. The entire climb took us nine hours. The temperature on top (8900') was 85 degrees. It probably was somewhat higher as we descended, but on the whole it was tolerable.
On the way down we were fortunate to see a baby bighorn, a first for many of us. It was separated from its parents, probably because of us.
The ranger, whose brand new Ford 4wd Bronco was broken down, told us that we can camp at the west end of the Race Track. This was just two miles from where we started our climb of Ubehebe.
We had a fairly quiet campfire because everyone was tired of the long day, as well as the short night. John Gibba did have enough time to tell one joke (not 'that' one) before he fell asleep.
Sunday at 7:30 we started the climb of Ubehebe. Only five persons participated. Others were too tired from the day before or just wanted to take it easy. We completed the climb in three hours. For most part it was class 2, but there are some class 3 routes. The climb reminds me of Old Dad, but the scenery is superb. I think that it is a fun peak and could be considered for addition to the list.
We drove home via Hunter Mt. road which meets the Grapevine road out of Saline Valley. It was passable for all vehicles.
My thanks to Ron for assisting me, and all the participants for joining me.
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