Bat Mt. South and North, both ~4955’, CA (near Death Valley)

pics by Harlan W. S.
Dec. 27, 2008


This trip was 10 miles, totally trailless. One could do either South Bat, or just North Bat, by totally class 2 routes; however, it’s hard to chain the two together without some rougher stuff.  The ascent route that I took involves some exposed class 3 on crappy rock.  The more western canyon (blue dots on map), and the S ridge itself, would be better routes to S Bat.


This area has been the subject of much geological study.  This sort of geology is familiar; Miocene conglomerates near Paleozoic carbonates.



The red is the GPS track for my hike.

The blue curve at the top is the “traditional”

route to North Bat (aka Gray Peak). The

blue dots at lower left show the better canyon

that I originally planned to follow.  I started ~9:40AM.


View N. At the last moment, I deviated

from my plan to go up the westernmost

canyon  (blue arrow), and chose to go

up the canyon in the conglomerate

(brown arrow). 


At L is South Bat, made of  Paleozoic

carbonates (~360 My old).  At R are much

younger, coarse reddish conglomerates of

the Amargosa Valley Fm. (~22 My).


The canyon itself wasn’t bad, but

it dumps you out on the pinnacles (above left).





Many of the clasts in the conglomerate

are made of Paleozoic limestones. 

The conglomerates were formed by rapid erosion

of the older rocks, and may represent alluvial fans.


Top of the conglomerate canyon, view S.


Bat Peak is at back L; to right is the

start of the creepy ridge one must traverse.





View back S over lump from previous picture.

The N side is actually the creepiest.


Bat through a window in conglomerate.


I’ve drawn a brown dashed line to

delineate the edge of the cliff. Beyond

the edge is a drop of at least 100’.





Looking back SSE over creepy

conglomerate ridge.


On top of South Bat; Don Palmer

had also signed in many times on the

other pages.


View to snow-covered Telescope Peak.





Now I look to the N.  At R is the

ever-so-slightly higher North Bat.  Initially

I planned to go along the knife edge.

The view from the intermediate, darker

gray lump is two photos down.


Looking back S over South Bat.


I’m looking N from the dark gray lump.

I realize that the N edge of this lump is a

nearly shear drop of ~50-100’,

and there are snow and ice pockets

on the NE sides of the steeper stretches…

so I head down to 4100’ in the basin to E,

to start up the north summit.





View UP and W, at the ridge I avoided.

The drop off the dark lump is visible just

L of center on the skyline.


View back S.  The apparent high point,

is actually the intermediate dark gray

lump in previous photos.


Log on top of N peak.






View back over S peak.


Telescope from N peak.







View N.


This is the conglomerate lump where

Snownymph got stranded; the west

side is rimmed with fearsome cliffs. 

The snow-covered peak is Charleston, NV.





The W side of the range has a huge cliff.

You can’t safely get a good photograph

of this drop.


The successful Snownymph route goes

down the limestone and L (N) of the dark

shadows on the brownish conglomerate.


Decent on the edge, back E to the pass.





I was a bit worried about the time,

so I opted for a descent down another canyon

SE. I actually stayed on easy ridges almost

all the way, as the canyon looked to have

numerous big dryfalls.


A look back UP and W at South Bat.


There are lots on interesting conglomerate

formations on the way.





Finally I’m back at the Bajada, and I cut right

over many shallow washes, to get back

to my car on rte 190 ~3:20PM.

This view is SE to Eagle Mountain (center),

with the Nopah Range at L.