Virgin Peak DPS

  • Updated: November 25, 2012
  • Post By: Matthew Hengst

  Virgin Peak (8,071')
When:  November 25th, 2012
Where:  Nowhere in particular, NV
Who:  Matthew Hengst, Anne Kircher
Pictures:  Matt's Flickr
GPS Track:  Track

We'd left Valley of Fire State Park (and it's depressingly nice hot showers) behind us the night before and driven several hours further east to the access to Virgin Peak past Whitney Pockets.

Virgin is a Desert Peak Section peak located near enough to Moapa Peak that it's usually logically grouped with that somewhat more interesting climb.  Of course Jack and I had paired Moapa with the also slightly more interesting 3rd class Muddy Peak when we led it back in December of 2011 so Anne and I were planning to grab it along with the peak usually paired with Muddy called Hayford Peak.  (Follow all of that?)

Two days into the 4 day Thanksgiving weekend we'd done 3 peaks and had too more to do.  And we didn't smell half bad.  Not too shabby!

We arrived well after dark Saturday night and after finding a campsite beside an old dilapidated corral (Miss Kircher was again somewhat less appreciative of our authentic desert surroundings than I) we set about making a surprisingly tasty and only moderately singed/crunchy campstove pizza dinner and enjoying a nice campfire.

We awoke the next morning and even Miss Kircher had to admit the campsite looked a little less spooky by daylight.  (Granted i thought it was pretty cool the night before.  I could totally see planning a major DPS shindig camping in the middle of the coral and stringing battery operated Christmas lights around the corral.  But I digress...)

We decided to leave the Rav where it was and just walk up the road (I'd gone a ways up the night before looking for additional campsites only to return to a somewhat unamused Miss Kircher somewhat cross at the thought of being left alone)

This is the barrier where I marked the 2WD trailhead waypoint.  Jeeps could make it across but the slightly trail worn (/beaten?) Rav wouldn't have made it past that point without risking serious damage.

The road continued a bit further and we picked what looked like a fairly reasonable point to start climbing up a ridge.

Virgin has the distinction of being one of the more straightforward desert peaks.  Walk the road, climb the ridge, follow the main ridge to the top...

...granted there was a slight bit of brush here and there which some of us enjoyed more than others...

We topped out, signed in, and soon started down.  Thanks to our late night / late wakeup / time of year we were hiking down the ridge as the sun set.  It did give us a rather nice view of Lake Mead off in the distance...

...and also meant we had a bit of after dark bushwhacking down the ridge.  Much fun was at least one of us.  (Strange how some people don't have the same definition of romantic moonlight strolls)

One off the ridge it was an easy walk back down the road.  Once again we had to relocate after dark this time back west past Vegas to the trailhead for Hayford Peak.

The drive back to Vegas wasn't bad but the long washboard dirt road that followed had the Rav rattling so badly I was afraid I was about to loose another piece.  After what seemed like a very long time we pulled into the empty Hidden Forest parking area and bedded down for the night amid high cold winds.  On to day 4!

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