Two Brown DPS Lumps (Turtle Mts HP and Whipple) in CA

Harlan W S
Jan 18-19, 2013

Life surprizes you sometimes. I mainly wanted to join friends for camping in the desert; They were going Whipple Mountain and Mopah Peak.  I had been to Mopah before, so I looked for some other DPS summit in the area, so I chose to drive down early and hit Turtle Mountains Highpoint.  I had low expectations, but I enjoyed camping alone in the desert at the Wilderness Boundary, and starting out at 6:16AM, before the sun rose.  It was windy and cold, and somehow I found that exhilirating.  Seven miles and  2h 50m later, I was on top of Turtle. (There was no sign at the wilderness boundatry, and I could easily have driven my Soob another 3.25 miles to shorten the hike... but the brisk walk did me good.)

General map of the area; on Friday
I went up Turtle, and on Saturday
I met the Trona Firepit folks for a
trip up Whipple.
First day-- I started at the (unmarked!)
Wilderness Boundary at 6:16AM.
The road to this point was rough; but
actually, the next 3.25 miles would have
been easy in my 2003 Subaru Outback.
By 6:20 or so, the sun (not risen)
began to light up the eastern horizon.
The early sun hits Castle Peak, Mopah
and Umpah (L to R).
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Tjhe indistinct top of Turtle.
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Now I'm on the ridge, looking NW
at Turtle.
View N from Turtle.
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Panorama N to NE.
View S from Turtle.  The Horn looks
like a nicer peak, and if I'd planned better,
I would have gone there too.  Even though
I reached the summit of Turtle at 9:06AM,
by the time I was back, packed up my car,
drove slowly out, and drove the long dirt
road to Whipple, it was 3:30PM.
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It was very windy.
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Much-tortured Proterozoic gneiss.
Down this ridge, mainly class 2 at worst.
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I sure hope the yellow-green on my
beard is an artifact of the light.
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More gneiss.
Coarse pink granite on right
of Proterozoic metamorphics.
Finally, back in the wash, still 4 miles from
the car.
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Next I drove up to Whipple. Incredibly,
I didn't get to the cammpsite till
after 3PM. I didn't want to drive in
after dark.  Kathy Wing appeared
about 4PM or so, and I was asleep by
...and I slept until 6:34AM! When I woke
up, there were at least 5 more vehicles!
Epidotized rock with vein.
Soon we were walking up incised
Kathy W managed to find shorter ways
(than the DPS route), staying high and
following animal trails.
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Here we cross from one drainage to the next.
We must go up there.
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The rest of the group is already on top.
Pano, ~SW.
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Pano, ~NE
I started to head down with tjhe others,
then noticed Kathy was on a more southern
ridge, so Rainboze and I traversed over.
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There was one sslightky spooky spot on the
descent.  KW had left a cairn during her
climb, which showed a way around.
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By this time of day, it seemed hot in the sun;
in reality, it was 60F at most.