Sunday, Muddy Sunday (Muddy Peak, NE of Las Vegas, NV)

Pics by Harlan W. S.
Feb.12, 2006

(Age test: Does the title remind you of a) a Glenda Jackson Movie, or b) a U2 song?)

Verbatim, from the Sierra Club DPS 2002 report: "DRIVING INSTRUCTIONS: Leave Nevada I-15 at Exit 75, signed 'Valley of Fire, Lake Mead', State Route 169. Drive 3.1 miles SE on Route 169 to where the road starts curving left (less than 0.1 miles past highway milepost 3). Leave Route 169 here, continue straight (SE) 0.1 miles to the end of pavement and start of a good dirt road. A BLM sign here welcomes you to the Bitter Springs Trail, a designated backcountry byway. Drive 4.0 miles SE to a second BLM sign indicating mileage and directions to Buffington Pockets, Bitter Springs, North Shore Road and Colorock Quarry. Continue straight (SE) towards Buffington Pockets, following the main dirt road (ignoring any left or right minor forks) for 6.2 miles to a faint dirt road. Turn right here. The faint dirt road goes South a short distance and then turns right following the wash heading generally W towards a low ridge or saddle. Continue up the wash driving about 1 mile to the road closure at a large, metal sign. The road is good for about 3 miles past the second BLM sign as it winds through Buffington Pockets (an interesting area of sandstone formations). After a rock quarrying area the road gets rough and high clearance is most helpful the rest of the way. " The road was quite rough in perhaps 10 spots in 2006; this is definitely a HC / 4WD road.

 We ascended by the normal route, then descended down an airy ridge (to east of normal route). This ridge is quite rough, much more so than the normal ascent route. If you choose this descent, beware the many cliffs that are invisible from above; in addition, the route is rarely traveled, so is not preened of loose rock. We descended the ridge (that is, dropped down west) too early; we encountered some really cruddy loose rock returning to Hidden Valley. It would be wise to travel an additional 100 meters or so NE before leaving the ridge.

The south side of the peak provides an easier ascent route (through Lovell Canyon / Wash), but I believe the access road was closed 3 years ago (I was last there in January 2003).


GPS trace.


View S down Lovell Wash, just after the Saddle.


Dazey the Wonder Dog.






On the first ridge to the peak, view NW to Sheep Range.






First full view SE of summit block, from over the ridge. It looks impossible from here, but the view is foreshortened.


Up the chute on the W side of peak. The biggest danger is the loose rock.






At the top of the chute is a very steep but easy stair-step section.



Too bad Kim didn't join us; this coupon expired at 9 PM EST.







Booth Pinnacle and Pyramid.





The descent of our new friends. These guys are from Colorado and Mesquite, and have been hiking together for 40 years.








Now were heading NE of usual route, into uncharted territory.


This ridge gives one airy views of Hidden Valley.






Looking back S at Muddy. The slope on the right side is where one must go to climb the summit block.


Hidden Valley to W.






View back S, over the length of Hidden Valley. Muddy Peak is the sharp point in background at left; the descent ridge is the "peak" to right. We went to left on descent ridge, then cut down over the red sandstone at left.