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West Face / NW Ridge Traverse

 
West Face / NW Ridge Traverse

Page Type: Route

Location: Nevada, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 38.34300°N / 117.974°W

Object Title: West Face / NW Ridge Traverse

Route Type: Scramble

Time Required: Most of a day

Difficulty: Class 2

Route Quality: 
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Page By: ScottyS

Created/Edited: Jan 12, 2003 / Jan 13, 2003

Object ID: 157584

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Approach


Because all hiking on this peak is cross-country, the exact points of departure are subject to individual whim. The goal of this route is to reach the NW Sub-Peak and then execute a traverse from this point to the summit. A preferred course of action is to leave US Highway 95 at Mina, Nevada and head south-west across the alluvial fans to the base of the steep, reddish-colored west face.

A decent, straight dirt road can be plainly seen from Mina leading diagonally across the valley to the mouth of Water Canyon (3 miles). This road is visible on USGS topo maps, and starts from the south-east end of Mina, crossing the dirt "landing strip" just outside of town. The climb can either be started at the mouth of Water Canyon, or from a point further south along the mountain front. Just pick a ridgeline that leads up to the sub-peak and stay on it.

From the base of the mountain it is about 2.5 miles to the sub-peak, with another 3.2 miles to the summit. There are some small ups and downs along the ridge, but nothing major.

Route Description


Depending on where you start, the initial elevation will be between 5300' and 5500'. The NW Sub-Peak is at 8770' or so, and the summit is 9182'. From the base of the mountain it is about 2.5 miles to the sub-peak, with another 3.5 miles to the summit from there. There are some small ups and downs along the ridge, but nothing major. The initial climb is steep, so stick to rocky areas when possible. Staying on the crest of the ridge certainly helps. Navigation is easy without trees to block the view, but don't get caught trying to descend the wrong canyon or something --- desert peaks cover a lot of territory and offer no water, shelter, or tourists to help you get back to base camp. On the other hand, this ridge traverse comes with nonstop views and the quiet solitude of the Great Basin.


Essential Gear


Stiff high-top style shoes or boots are recommended along with a good sun hat. Little brush is encountered on this hike, so shorts are OK. For winter climbs, snow would demand gaiters. The Great Basin gets little moisture, but very cold temps and plenty of wind in the winter --- dress accordingly.

Water is critical in this part of the country no matter how short the hike is! This peak offers no sources of water replenishment.

Images

 Pilot Peak from US HWY 95... Looking south-west from the... West Face and NW Ridge route... Looking west from the West...