Ascent of Crossman Peak on 2021-01-09

Climber: Gustav Sexauer

Others in Party:Kenny and Jeff
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Saturday, January 9, 2021
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Hi-Clearance Vehicle
Peak:Crossman Peak
    Elevation:5100 ft / 1554 m

Ascent Trip Report

I had started planning this hike with Kenny in September, but it was only a couple days before that we got Jeff on board and only the day of that travel plans were figured out. Jeff graciously went an hour backwards to pick me up, then we drove to meet Kenny at his house at River Island State Park. After meeting Whiskers, we got in his Cherokee to drive the last leg to Lake Havasu and up Bison Boulevard to the rough wash to the locked gate on the road to the communication towers. The wash had a lot of washboard, and I felt like a ball rolling around in the passenger seat. The wash was primarily small stones feet thick, and other vehicles we saw were serious OHVs, including a custom looking one with wheels that were a foot shy of the top of the roll cage. Although they weren't solid in the ground, there were many foot tall rocks and some almost two footers in the wash that we straddled or bumped into on the way. Kenny was a bit daring. I would have driven around more of them, but he would have though I was daring for the speed I usually go on rough roads... We arrived at a hairpin with ample parking room and it seemed like the right place to stop. This was the right call, as the gate was just around the corner once we got hiking.

The road started out very steeply, and we took breaks often to drink water, take pictures, or tie our shoes. Maybe it was secretly to catch our breath. Views of Lake Havasu gradually came into view. The wind was ripping across the guy wires at the towers and we could here it from far below. Kenny heard there were mine shafts along the way, but thought they must have meant the wash and we had missed them. Nope, there was an open somewhat horizontal shaft just next to the road on the hike up. We played it safe and didn't go in. We passed one gate that warned about the life saving use of the towers and that there would be big penalties if we messed with them. Luckily access up the mountain wasn't prohibited. Once we got to the towers on the ridge, we found the far side to have even more wind than the west. I could tell Jeff was pretty winded, having not hiked such a steep route in a while. Then the use trail began and we had an easier time heading to the summit. The road was much steeper than this! I finally succumbed to the wind and put on my jacket. Near the top, Joshua trees began to appear, which was a pleasant surprise. Most of the mountain only has low bushes, but there is enough elevation here to catch a little more moisture for bigger things, I suppose. I found what looked to be a snake skeleton near the top, but didn't have a skull to confirm it. The top had a cairn with a metal pole sticking out of it. We took a long snack break just downhill and out of the wind to enjoy the views of the lake and the incredibly dry mountains in California across the way.

The way down was pretty smooth. We kept a much hotter pace going downhill on the steep road, and only slipped on loose rocks a few times. My knees were feeling fine at the end. On our drive back to town we debated what to do for lunch and settled on getting burritos to go at Riliberto's, my only 'berto's of the trip. Then we drove back to Kenny's, learning now that his AC didn't work and therefore we couldn't run the fans in the car. The black paint was soaking up the Sun and it started to get uncomfortable. Also, AZ95 was closed on the edge of town for some unknown reason, with no signage saying if we could make it around. Luckily we were able to drive through SARA Park and skirt the closure. We would have had hours of detours, or a questionable drive on OHV tracks to make it back had this not been the case. From Kenny's, Jeff and I drove back to Phoenix and I took the light rail from Central Ave to get picked up at the end of the line at Gilbert Road. Crossman was certainly a logistical feat. The mountain itself was pretty and more exciting than I had anticipated. I'm not huge on road hikes, but given that the pitch made it a challenge, I didn't regret going out of my way for my first major summit of the year. It helped to have good friends to do it with, too.

Plan a solid half an hour for the drive off the paved road if you are in a regular SUV or crossover. You could go a bit faster with a Wrangler, I would assume.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1910 ft / 582 m
    Round-Trip Distance:4.4 mi / 7.1 km
    Trailhead:3190 ft / 972 m
    Grade/Class:Class 2
    Quality:6 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country
    Weather:Cool, Very Windy, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Time:1 Hours 21 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:57 Minutes

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