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Ascent of Stepladder Mountains on 2000-03-05

Climber: Richard Carey

Date:Sunday, March 5, 2000
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Stepladder Mountains
    Location:USA-California
    Elevation:2927 ft / 892 m

Ascent Trip Report

Located in the 81,600 acre Stepladder Mountains Wilderness Area administered by the Bureau of Land Management. The area is open to non-motorized travel all year.

This peak is more difficult to reach after the passage of the Desert Protection Act in 1994 which established the Stepladder Mountains Wilderness. From highway 95 east of the mountain one can drive west on the gas pipeline road which is 12 miles south of I-40 in Needles. Follow this road, which is sandy the first half mile, for 7.8 miles until it meets a powerline crossing the road. From here drive another 0.55 miles west and turn left (south) onto a narrow dirt track. Follow this south for 5.0 miles until you reach a red stake at the wilderness boundary. UTM here is: 701320E, 3831700N (NAD27). An alternate drive-in is to take the powerline road which is 29.0 miles north of Vidal Junction on route 95. This better road goes for 11.2 miles until it reaches the same junction with the gas pipeline road. Begin the hike heading on a bearing of 233 degrees for 2.7 miles to near the base of a hill where you turn west and then northwest following a wash. At a point about 1/2 mile east of the mountain with its jagged summit ridge go left out of the wash and ascend slopes toward a notch in the summit ridge. There is some scrambling on conglomerate rock to reach a series of ledges that will take you to the top of the ridge in the notch. Turn left and go to the southerly peak which has the register near the base of a 10 foot high block. The hike is 9 miles round-trip with a gain of 1100 feet and should take about six hours. 3/00 RLC
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