Ascent of Dry Mountain on 2013-03-08

Climber: BMS 914

Others in Party:Joel Brewster
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Friday, March 8, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Dry Mountain
    Elevation:8674 ft / 2643 m

Ascent Trip Report

Dry is a DPS peak that requires a long approach hike over an intervening ridge. Before the expedition began, we lost a party member who wasn't interested in spending a night in the rain/snow that was predicted at 60% likely. Another had car trouble at Furnace Creek and had to head back to Las Vegas as we had no cell phone reception and couldn't help him. Parking was a small turnoff on the side of Racetrack Rd, which we covered in Joel's Jeep Liberty. The road is marked for 4x4 but other than small stones the only difficulty was the washboarding, especially at the beginning - the road is flat and lacks anything to get hung up on. I believe the trailhead would be accessible in a standard passenger car.

We camped at this spot, and began our trip a few minutes before 6:00am as the sun was coming up. The predicted snow/rain had not arrived, though the clouds were starting to come in again. The first part goes over a flat area of low scrub and a few Joshua trees, with small smooth stones pressed into the dirt. Joel remarked it was a lot like a sidewalk, and made for easy walking. At the base of the first ridge we elected to ascend to the left of the gully/notch South of the summit of Peak 8432, rather than the gully itself which terminated in a rather impressive looking headwall. The ridge itself was fairly steep, but the mix of rocks and dirt for once actually made for decent footing somehow. There was some light scrambling on limestone here, with a few easy and unexposed Class 3 moves here and there.

Once on top of the ridge, we cut a little too directly for Dry Mountain, which was just peaking out of the abundant clouds. Realizing we were heading down the wrong ridge, we cut down a gully to the North and made it back up to the correct ridge. Looking at it from the summit, it looks as if the ridge we started down probably would have served us, though it probably would have been a steeped track.

We hiked down the easy ridge to the wash, then began our trip up the side of Dry Mountain, which was similar to, but shorter and easier than the ridge we crossed earlier, and required no scrambling (I did a little near the summit just for fun.)

Joel mentioned he thought he saw a snowflake or two near the top, but I did not. The clouds cleared away affording us a great view to go with our lunch. We began the trip down by much the same route, heading down Dry, then up toward Peak 8432, this time staying on the correct ascent ridge and avoiding crossing the gully near the top. On the route down, we split off on a different ridge, but decided rather than the short jaunt over to our ascent route we would try the one we were on. It proved similar to the route up, lacking any scrambling but having more loose rock which made the footing tougher. It eventually dropped us into a wash, where Joel thought he felt a raindrop, but I again missed it.

After some walking in the wash, I hiked up a saddle of a small hill that I knew the Jeep was parked behind, thinking to cut back to the nice area with the so-called sidewalk. Joel elected to stay in the wash until it hit the road, then head down it for a short distance. The far side of my little hill was much steeper and rocky than I expected, so I headed along the crest to the top of the hill and took a different ridge down, arriving at the same time as Joel on the road. We both agreed our ascent route was better than the variation on the way down. Moving time for me was 3:51 up, 3:43 down.

Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:6170 ft / 1879 m
    Elevation Loss:6170 ft / 1879 m
    Distance:13.4 mi / 21.6 km
    Grade/Class:Class 3
    Quality:6 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Open Country, Scramble
    Gear Used:
Tent Camp
    Weather:Cool, Calm, Low Clouds
Chance of rain/snow all day but none fell
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:5151 ft / 1569 m
    Extra Loss:992 ft / 302 m
    Distance:6.4 mi / 10.3 km
    Route:East Ridge
    Trailhead:Turnout off Racetrack Rd  4515 ft / 1376 m
    Time Up:5 Hours 26 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Elevation Loss:5178 ft / 1577 m
    Extra Gain:1019 ft / 310 m
    Distance:7 mi / 11.3 km
    Route:East Ridge with variation at end
    Trailhead:Turnout off Racetrack Rd  4515 ft / 1376 m
    Time Down:4 Hours 37 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by BMS 914
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

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