Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Organ Peak- Organ Mountains

Douglas Firs high on the slopes of  Organ Peak

Organ Needle

Looking southwest- Baldy Peak, North Canyon

 Big trees in Rock House Spring Canyon

The Narrows
I climbed Organ Peak with Kevin Muckerheide in March. We came in on the Modoc Mine road, then bushwacked into Fillmore Canyon where we followed the trail to its end and then went cross country up the very last ridge before the main dividing ridge. We chose this route because it was mostly snow free. Eventually we had to angle out on the steep slopes, sidehilling southwest toward the east-west ridge coming off the peak. It was all a hideous bushwack amongst thick stands of 4 foot high oak and locust. On the south side, just below ridgeline, it was mountain mahogany, cactus, yuccas and the usual assortment of desert vegetation even at nearly 9000 feet. Up and down pointy rocks we trudged, hen ,completely exhausted, we hit the knee high snow just below the summit. I stood there for quite awhile, cooling my feet, and packing my water bottles .We summited pretty much on schedule.Close behind us was a group we had met down in Fillmore Canyon. They had taken another ridge to the top, and were even less pleased with their route than we were with ours.They had been walking in snow for the last hour.
We came back down,very steeply, but more quickly, in Rock House Spring Canyon which had trail in it's lower end leading back to the Narrows and Fillmore Canyon. I found an old mine shaft high on the side of the mountain. We also found some wreckage,which my hiking buddy, an Air Force colonel, told me was mostly likely from an early type drone or UMV.