El Bastardo (Peak 7986 Madre Range)

Near Las Vegas, NV

Harlan W. S.
December 28, 2006

This peak is in the Madre Range, on the north side of the Red Rock National Conservation Area.  Take the Red Rock Scenic Loop to the White Rock Springs turnoff, and take that gravel road N (R) to the parking area.  From the parking area, take the Keystone Thrust trail to the Leav-Key2Rd waypoint on the map (just as the official trail turns right and starts downhill), then continue N on an old trail/road.  At some convenient point, you must leave this unmaintained trail and head across the desert. (If you want GPS files, contact me.)  For most of the hike, there is no trail, and the cottonthorn bushes are hard on bare legs. There are several class 3 sections, one with significant exposure.


I wore shorts all the way to the summit, but it was hellishly cold and very windy.  This canyon gets little light; snow and general cold can make "sticky rubber" boots very unsticky.  The ascent took 2 hrs 10 min, the descent 1 hr 45 min, but I was trucking to keep from freezing.


This hike is somewhat sentimental.  I last went in May 1999 after a snowstorm, with my pal Matt. He came off a rough week, got 2 hrs sleep the night before, and had a hangover. I wanted to compare the difficulty pre- and post-stroke.


GPS trace (red). The 8093 peak on the R is informally named "El Padre".


View (looking up) from parking lot for White Rock Springs and Keystone Thrust trail.  Peak 7986 is to L; the ascent canyon is in the middle; and El Padre is to R.  La Madre, not visible, is behind El Padre.


View back SE at Turtlehead, after entering the narrow part of the canyon at 6600'.





Turtlehead again...


...and again; now at ~7200'


After topping the ridge at 7820', we get this view NW of the Spring Mts., from Griffith at L, Charleston (white), and Mummy Range (in clouds at R).





Near top of Peak 7986, this view SE includes (L to R) La Madre (highest and leftmost), then El Padre (right of La Madre, looks like a teta), then Turtlehead, then tan & red Calico peaks.


Slightly expanded panorama at summit Peak 7986.  The winds were cold and very strong on top-- they would flatten me at times.  The gusts were up to 62 mph in the valley, must have been worse up here.


Heading back down, ~7300'.





View at ~7150', roughly S across crux (waypoint trav-L on map). There is an unobvious, very large drop to L. The key is to use the crack for a traverse (not hard, but exposed; tough with snow).


Now we're below crux, looking back N; the camera is really pointed up, so it's steeper than it looks.  You really don't need to climb this wall;  go left, pass by a small pinnacle 40' up, then turn back R though a gap, to crack in previous picture. (The crack is hidden in this photo).


This shot is mainly to show the contrast in lighting.  It was a nearly cloudless day, but the deep canyon was cold and dark.





Hand-held, one (paralyzed) hand shot as I drive by a burro.