OverviewBlack Mountain is the highest peak in the Blue Wing mountain range located in Pershing County in Nevada. Black Mountain is located south east of Gerlach, Nevada. It presents a striking feature from nearby Dry Lake
(playa/endorheic basin). Black Mt. ranks 171th in redsplashman23's list of 172 Nevada peaks with a prominence of 2,000+ feet.
The peak doesn't seem to see many ascents. That's probably because the mountain is over 30 miles from the nearest paved road. The summit register in October 2009 contained about 8-10 signatures going back to 2004. The mountain appears to be climbable from all sides (easy class 2 at most). For the heat-tolerant, Black Mountain can provide a peak bagging diversion on your way to or from the Burning Man festival in August. Also pairs well with Budweiser and 7.62 mm.
Getting ThereProbably the easiest point at starting your climb is via the Dry Lake lake bed.The closest approach to Black Mountain is via 30 miles of dirt roads. All roads described below are best driven on a higher clearance 2 or 4 wheel drive. From Wadsworth, Nevada head north on highway 447 for 53 miles. At around this 53 mile mark you will come to large power lines
crossing 447. Take an immediate right on the dirt road at the power lines. Follow this road (county road 2033 on some maps) for about 15.8
miles until you come to an intersection with a BLM sign. The sign says Trego 44 and Nightingale 12. Take a left at this sign (to Trego). Head north on this road (county road 2084 on some maps) for another 10.3 miles passing a corral area before your 10.3 miles are up. At this point there should be another less-prominent vehicle track to your right that heads in the direction of the lake. Turn right and take this road for 3.4 miles to the south edge of Dry Lake.
Red TapeThe Golden Rule, otherwise just the standard BLM rules and etiquette.
CampingCamping is literally anywhere that is not posted private property or has some sort of special BLM restriction (none known or apparent). There seems to be some variety of cryptogamic soil in the area. A conscientious camper will consider the low impact when encountering this type of soil. Though there are some cattle watering stations, you should definitely bring your own water supply. There are also free range cattle and feral horses/mules/donkeys in the area.
When to ClimbSpring/Fall for drier and cooler conditions. For Winter, one would probably encounter snowy conditions on the peak. If your plan is to climb Black Mountain from Dry Lake by driving to the south eastern edge of the playa, you will need to consider the moisture content of the soil out on the playa. That is, lots of recent rain/precipitation might make the lake bed too muddy to drive on. If you can't drive on the lake, it's about a mile from the dirt road entrance at the south part of Dry Lake to the south east edge of Dry Lake.
The ClimbFrom the southeast edge of Dry Lake it's about a 4-hour round trip to the summit at a moderate pace. It's probably about 2 miles one way. The ascent/descent is easy, but fairly steep with a ~2000 foot elevation gain from the Dry Lake. Trekking poles are helpful. Look for the obvious valley that is directly south of Black Mountain. Hike up this valley, until you see a very obvious gully on the south face. You can follow this gully all the way to the summit.
Place Names"The Blue Wing Mountains, a short range northwest of Granite Springs Valley between the Seven Troughs and the Nightingale ranges, were so named for the presence of blue rock formations."
-Nevada Place Names: A Geographical Dictionary by Helen S. Carlson
External LinksSide note: Courtney Purcell's guidebook Rambles and Scrambles: The Definitive Guide to Peakbagging Around Las Vegas is a great resource for southern Nevada peakbagging.
Dedicated altitude enthusiasts should consider obtaining a copy for their south Nevada wunderwaffen climbing arsenal.
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