10th Stroke Anniversary (La Madre, El Padre, Peak 7667 near Red Rock, NV)

pics by Harlan W.S.
March 08, 2012

 

This trip was intended to reckon with two anniversaries. It was the 10th anniversary of my own freakish brainstem stroke on March 08, 2002. In addition, it is nearly 10 years since my mother died suddenly from a hemorrhagic stroke on her brainstem. I have tried to do something difficult, every year on the anniversary of my stroke. I may ease off on this obligation, now that I’ve made it this far. Originally, it was predicted that I would never again have adequate balance for this sort of activity.

 

This trip looks mainly like a long slog to La Madre. It is more than that; I also visited “Fernande” (peak 7667) east of La Madre, by an “interesting” route, and later went to El Padre. The accumulated elevation gain was over 5800’, and the stretch to 7667 and back is very slow.

 

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I started in Sandstone Quarry.

The red line is my GPS trace.

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In 2003, when there was still access via

Little Red Rock, I saw peak 7667 from

the east. It looked like a dramatic, yet

difficult to reach place for a remembrance

of my mother. Since the name of the range,

“La Madre,” means “mother,” the choice

seemed fitting.

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Flash forward to March 08, 2012. At

7:40AM, I started from Sandstone

Quarry. El Padre in distance at L,

Turtlehead at R.

 

 

 

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El Padre. The peak has 1200’ cliffs on

the S side.

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View up; camera was perhaps at

45. I’ll head to right around corner.

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View W to arch on El Padre.

 

 

 

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Around corner, view back at Turtlehead.

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Higher, still looking S.

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View SW over El Padre; Potosi in

distance at L. A problem is apparent;

the N slopes are covered with soft

snow from a recent fall, and the rock is

very slippery under the snow. So, I’ll

try to keep on the very edge later, to

stay in the sun.

 

 

 

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Some register entries from the summit

of La Madre.

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Now I look ENE to peak 7667 and

Vegas.

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The ridge to 7667 is a cliff on

the R (S) side, and steep slabs with

snow and talus on the L.

 

 

 

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Here’s part of the problem. If

the cliff scares you and you retreat

N to the slabs, you find an irregular

mix of snow and scree on steep rock.

The security is an illusion (as in most

of life).

 

 

 

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I look back (WSW) over a cliff that I

had just downclimbed. You must be

very careful here; I tested every hold,

and trundled off many loose rocks.

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View WNW to Charleston (at L) and

Mummy (at R). It has been a very dry

winter, though we did get about 1’ of

snow 10 days later.

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View on S side main cliff

below 7667. The Summerlin

Peak Ridge is in the distance.

 

 

 

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Killis Howard is a well-known climber

(controversial) in this area; he had

attempted the traverse the year before.

I don't envy Trent's dark downclimb;

at least he was heading down steep

slopes, not cliffs.

My mother (Quebecoise) was born

the day after the armistice was signed.

My great-grandmother later abducted

the baby and had her christened

"Victoire" to celebrate the end of WWI.

My mother and grandmother hated that

name, and preferred "Pauline Fernande."

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La Madre is in back. Few people

get to this peak; the register had 4

signatures in 5 years, 2 of which were mine.

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View over E side of 7667.

 

 

 

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My house is down there!

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A raven waits for me to fall.

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View back WSW as I return.

The edge is overhung much of the way.

 

 

 

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View down to Turtlehead.

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Back on Madre, I face another

problem; I forgot to bring food.

 

 

 

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Soon I head up El Padre. The

cliff on the S side is serious business;

a slip and you can fall 1200’.

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I found a register here in 2004, but

someone had taken the pencil. When

Mark B and I came through here in

2006, the original register was gone,

so we left a new one. Miraculously,

someone found this water-logged book

from the old register, and added it to

the one I left.

 

 

 

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In 2006, I put a description of the

route from White Rock Spring on

the internet. I was unaware that anyone

might see or use that route.

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This map shows the route from

White Rock Spring.

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Now it’s a “well-known” route!

Who knows if they read my account.

 

 

 

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The temp was probably in the 40s, but

the wind had stopped, and I was

actually hot.

 

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Turtlehead and RedCap from El Padre

 

 

 

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View SE, with Damsel Peak on L.

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Graycap and Kraft.

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La Madre at L.

 

 

 

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Cliffs on S of La Madre.

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Cliffs again, as I descend the notch

between La Madre and El Padre.

 

 

 

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Now I head down the awful slick

scree-on-rocks on E side of El Padre.

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View of arch again, different lighting.

 

 

 

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Turtlehead.

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Iron oxy-hydroxides, probably from

a decayed sulfide deposit.

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View back up at El Padre.

 

 

 

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Redcap, as I head out.