Old Woman Mountains
By: Dave Jurasevich
CARBONATE GULCH ROUTE
On Sunday, Feb 11th, Les Hill, En Lee Lin and I did a climb of Old Woman Mtn from Carbonate Gulch, a major E-W canyon south of the peak. This route will attract interest among DPSer's should S-1l become law, as the standard northern approach will be closed about 2 miles short of the Florence Mine roadhead. Following is a summary of the approach and climb.
DRIVE/APPROACH: From Ainboy, CA drive east on the National Trails Hwy (Old Hwy 66) for 12 miles to the Cadiz Road. Turn right on the paved Cadiz Road and go 4.4 mi. to where it crosses the railroad tracks. Less than 50 yards south of the tracks (pavement ends here) turn left on a good dirt road which parallels the tracks. Drive 5.5 mi. to a fair dirt road and turn right, Drive 1.9 mi. to a 4-way junction and turn left. Go 2.3 miles to within 100 yards of a pipeline pumping station and turn right on a fair dirt road heading south over Skeleton Pass (The last 0.7 mi. of road to the pumping station is actually a dirt runway for small planes servicing the station), In 1.5 mi. turn left on a fair dirt road heading towards the Old Woman Mtns. Follow this road for 5.0 miles to where it drops into a wash at the mouth of Carbonate Gulch. Bear left at a fork in 0.6 mi. and go another 1.6 mi, to where you will see a very narrow, high-walled wash on the left. Park here. 4WD is not needed to this point but high clearance is recommended, 2WD cars can probably get to within a mile or so of this point; possibly all the way with careful driving and road "gardening".
CLIMB: From cars, hike NNW up the highwalled, wash coming to a major fork in 0.5 mi. Following are directions for hiking either fork: Left Fork "A" Mike up through the obvious narrow slot which opens into a large wash that is followed to the saddle between points 1602 and 1608. Contour around left side of point 1608 to the saddle just S of the summit, then up 100 feet to the top. Class 2 Right Fork "B" Hike up wash for 0.5 mi. to a fork at 1105 meters elev. Bear left (NNW) and go 0.5 mi. to where the wash narrows with a high wall on your right. Just beyond climb a dry waterfall (10 ft. of easy 3rd class) and continue up to where the wash broadens and turns NW, heading for the saddle on the ridge between point 1608 and the summit. At the saddle, turn right and climb 100 ft. to the peak. Class 2 except for the dry waterfall
Either Route: RT 4hrs, 2200 ft. elev. gain
This hike topped off a great weekend that included climbs of Avawatz and Old Dad on Saturday.
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Desert Peak Section Road and Peak Guides
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