Peak 8749' in western Spring Mts., NV

pics by Harlan W.S.
June 13, 2010

Perhaps it was just the nice cool day, or the pleasant company, but this hike far exceeded my expectations.  The initial pinyon-juniper wood was not too brushy, and the trees were tall enough to block the sun.  Soon we hit a rather open, pleasant ridge, and a nice rocky, protruding top for the north peak. The south peak was mainly wooded, but with a good quartzite viewpoint to the south, and a nice mix of conifers (including ponderosa and white fir) between.  No trail, of course, and it would be a tad hard to navigate in the low parts; a good peak for the cooler weather before summer really sets in, or the early days of fall.


The register, placed on the south peak by John Vitz, had no signatures.  From the maps, JV probably concluded the south peak was the higher.  However, that conclusion is unclear, because the mapping was done by photogrammetry, and the “highpoint” on the south peak is actually in trees; the tops of the trees may actually be the “checked” elevation. The south peak has a 2669T elevation mark, on a rather flat plateau; while the N has a (supposedly) more precise 2657.8 mark. But the latter mark was not taken from the top, but from the rocky point south of the top. (That’s the way photogrammetry  works – the mappers look for a distinct point, and rounded bald tops are often not well-defined enough for the check.) In fact, the north peak has a 2560 contour, higher than the check elevation, and the high point of the north peak definitely protrudes well above this contour.  Given the +/- 5 meter uncertainty for photogrammetry. the two peaks are of the same elevation, within error.  Since these are just provisional maps, it is unlikely either summit was actually surveyed by optical means.



The road and hike.  In June 2010,

the road was pretty good all the way

in, with HC recommended for the last

0.3 mile.  The route in starts at the

Wheeler Pass road E of Pahrump;

I’ll let you figure out the rest of the

mystery!  The red section marks

are roughly 1 mile on a side.


GPS trace, 24k. The black UTM

grid is 1 km on a side (degree

lines are superposed in places).


We started early, to avoid the day’s

heat, so mountains to the east were a

bit dark.  L to R: Bonanza, McFarland,
Mummy, and Charleston.





Wheeler (Toiyabe) to the N; we’re

on the pleasant open ridge.


Top N peak; Wheeler to R.





View SW to Pahrump, possibly the

most beautiful city in the world.
Kingston (L) and Nopah (R) in



View W to Stirling (L) and

Peak 8579 (R).


Arrogance! I managed to cut my leg while

rushing over for the timed shot.





One pano N, showing the steep

edges of N summit.


A fuller pano NE, with Wheeler and

Willow to R.


Pano S, with south peak to L.





Descending the rocky top of

N peak.



View of Charleston from S end of S peak.





This and next two: views S.








Horse BM to S.







Charleston with weather on top.


Here’s the elevation uncertainty,