Griffith Peak Climb

Ah, the joy of climbing mountains. That is why I’m a long-time member of the Mazamas.

In early April a few years ago I drove to the 7.600-foot Cathedral Rock Trailhead in the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area west of Las Vegas. My plan was to summit Griffith Peak, the third highest point in Southern Nevada at 11,100 feet and only 150 feet lower than the summit of Mt. Hood.

But, as all climbers experience at times, I ran into a complication, namely lots of snow.

Even though it was perfectly dry and clear where I began, by 3 1/2 miles the snow was up to three-feet deep and the weather was too warm to keep the crust strong enough to support my weight in many places.

It took me five hours to reach the South Rim Plateau at 10,800 feet, only four miles from the trailhead!

Even though it would have taken less than an hour to finish the climb to the top of Griffith Peak, I was running out of time and had to turn back.

The hot shower upon return to Las Vegas was about as close to Nirvana as we get on this Earth.

Bristlecone Pine

Bristlecone Pine with Mt. Charleston in the distance

Griffith Peak

Griffith Peak

Long look down to the trailhead

A long look down over Cathedral Rock to the trailhead

Trail sign

Trail sign

Postholing through the snow

My steps from postholing through the snow

Where did the trail go?

Where did the trail go?

Clouds beginning to build up

Clouds beginning to build up

Hazy view of Las Vegas in the far distance

Hazy view of Las Vegas in the far distance


Categories: Desert Southwest OutingsTags: , ,

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