Whipple Mountains, Stepladder Mountains
By: Gene Olsen
There were 6 late cancellations on this trip. No doubt due to the suspicion of bad weather. 18 souls met at Vidal junction and we caravaned east a few miles and then up to the aqueduct road and still farther east. The road was not the best but we got all the cars to within a mile of the leaching tanks. Remember to keep left at anything that looks like a junction. Driving map is attached. We went up the road over the hi1l behind the leaching tanks and dropped into the main wash. Went up the wash about a mile to a point just before the second canyon off to the left. From here we exited right (east) up to the ridge. We stayed on the ridge over pts 3662 and 3706 and around west to the summit. This is a longer route than going straight up the canyon but is a little more scenic. On the way up we met a small rattlesnake. On the return we dropped east to the saddle and down the water course bypassing the dry water falls on the right. We camped Sat night on the Nopah road about a mile off the highway. Some of the people opted for the gourmet delight at Vidal Junction. Had a nice campfire and next morning we were up at 4:30 for a good view of Halleys comet. I was unimpressed. Sat we drove to the road north off of the Turtle Mtn road where we left Jay H's truck with "0" oil pressure. We drove in as per the driving map. The survey markers shown on the Stepladder 7 1/2 min provisional map are very exact. Leaving the cars we hiked on 277 deg to the end of the Stepladder range. When near the ridge watch for ducks. On the return trip Reckless Randy took a misstep. The resident Dr effected repairs and Randy was able to hobble back to the cars just in time to avoid the first rain of the weekend. The weather this weekend was strange. It rained all around us but not on us. Had dinner at a good Mexican place in 29 Palms.
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