2nd Annual Mustache Mosey DPS Outing To Spirit & McCullough

  • Updated: January 21, 2013
  • Post By: Matthew Hengst

January 19th & 20th, 2013
Spirit Mountain (5,639')

Last year while trying to come up with a way to liven up a two-day desert climb of the somewhat unremarkable Manly & Needle a few of us hit on the idea of making it a theme trip. And hence the First Annual Mustache Mosey (then referred to a the Manly Mustache Mosey) was born!

Two peaks, one sausage-themed happy hour, 3.5 popped tires, a minor freeze, and a whole hell of a lot of wild donkeys later we declared victory and got the hell out.

A year later the memories of the first had faded into to a pleasant mix of nostalgia accompanied by occasional bouts of late night PTSD which meant it was time to fill up the gas tanks and strap on the mustaches for a second time.

As fun as the 20 mile (each way!) dirt road drive of nastiness to Manly was this year we decided to head for something with a slightly less tire destroying approach.

January 19th – 20th, Saturday – Sunday, Desert Peak Section, I: Spirit Mountain (5,639’), McCullough Mountain (7,026’).
Join us for the Second Annual Mustache Mosey (featuring mustaches!) After our now legendary trip to Manly & Needle last year we’ll spend two days wandering around the desert in the southern tip of Nevada climbing listed peaks Spirit (3 miles, 2000’ gain) and McCullough (7 miles, 2000’). But that’s not all! Sausage-fest themed potluck Saturday night. Fake mustaches required! Outlandish costumes strongly encouraged! Sign up NOW! Leaders: “Mighty” Matthew Hengst, “Macho” Jack Kieffer and Adrienne “Don’t Call Her A Man or She’ll Kick Your Butt” Benedict.

And so months later 24 people and 1 two dimensional stand-in for the absent Mrs Shields (with optional Virgil) all headed for the southern tip of the Nevada desert.

As usual I left Orange County Friday night and due to mustache related food prep we weren't on the road until sometime after 9.  Fortunately the drive was relatively reasonable.

We had decided to approach McCullough from the east since it seemed to be a little more vehicle friendly and had better camping potential.

This was the first outing for my subtly colored jeep and I was having a bit too much fun bouncing along dirt roads at 2 am when Anne finally prevailed on me to find a campsite.  We spent a few hours sleeping in a nice soft wash which would end up being our camp the following night.

We woke up a bit before dawn and went back to the rather windswept ridge junction where we'd passed a number of other vehicles the night before and collected the others.  

We got everyone moving and relocated to the spot where Anne and I had camped before consolidating into a few of the heartier vehicles.

We did that because the rumor was the road was 4WD.  In fact it's not that bad.  Personally I didn't see anything that required anything more than high clearance.  (Yes I was in the new jeep but I could have easily gotten the Rav back to Pine Spring)  The hardest bit was getting back on the ridge when exiting the next day but even that was relatively mild.

We pulled over at the DPS trailhead a bit short of Pine Spring finding plenty of parking and two more campsites complete with fire pits.

We set out with our group of 24 folks feeling very much like a herd.  While our third fearless leader Adrienne Benedict had been taken out by the flu at the last minute we had a good strong group heavily populated by other Sierra Club leaders, WTC staff, and all around only relatively mellow troublemakers.

As desert peaks go McCullough was extremely gentle.  Rolling hills, trees, and decent views once we got higher up.

Everyone made the summit in fine spirits after a rather sociable stroll. Unfortunately while temperatures were rather pleasant it was a bit on the windy side which hampered the mustache related shenanigans up top.  Next year I'm bringing a stapler & super glue...

Still, liberal application of duct tape works wonders and we persevered.  Awesomeness was achieved.

We took a slight variation going back mostly so I wouldn't grow board and wander off after something shiny but again the terrain proved to be so distressingly gentle that we returned to the cars without need for headlamps.

(I considered declaring the trip a failure purely on that respect but persevered.)

Returning to camp we set about the serious business of our Happy Hour.  There was food.  There was alcohol.  And there was a fire manly enough to send most of us cowering to the sidelines lest it melt the fake hair off our very lips.

The following morning we emerged to an aftermath of empty bottles, discarded fake lip hair, and distressingly good taste in camp clothing.

We had a drive ahead of us and lost a few to other peak plans but the majority relocated to Christmas Tree Pass prepared for the mighty Spirit Mountain.

Spirit is a short hike but the altitude seemed to impact a number of our hearty lip hair sporters.  Still after a mighty struggle we availed ourselves of the somewhat windy summit.

Having achieved both DPS summits we descended the trail in high spirits and departed for home.

Several of us made the distressingly long trek to Barstow in order to enjoy post trip Mexican food (as opposed to far inferior post trip anything-but-Mexican-food.)

While the Sierra Eats posts seem to be defunct Jimenez in Barstow should get special recognition.  Beyond just being good Mexican food they offer exotic fajitas and more stuffed animals staring down at you from the walls than you can shake a loaded rifle at.

And there's even a guaranteed double bear sighting when one avails ones self of the facilities.  What more could you ask for?

And so ended the Second Annual Mustache Mosey sure to go down in the history books as the most successful yet.  We made all our peaks, no car damage, and no one got hurt.

Well, mostly...

Stay tuned for the Third Annual Mustache Mosey!

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