Monument Valley & Valley of The Gods

   Monument Valley
   Valley of The Gods
When: November 30th, 2014
Where: Utah-ish
Who: Matthew Hengst, Kristen Lindbergh, Jen Blackie
Pictures: [Matt]

Day 3 of the 2014 Turktacular found us camped rather close to a cliffside at Goosenecks State Park between Monument Valley and Valley of the Gods.  See the previous day for more details about the park but the short version is it's a great place to camp if you're passing through.

Today was going to be mostly vehicle touring covering Valley of the Gods, Monument Valley, and then heading back over towards White Pockets.

Navajo Mountain DPS & Goosenecks State Park

   Navajo Mountain (10,346')
When: November 28th, 2014
Where: Utah
Who: Matthew Hengst, Kristen Lindbergh, Jen Blackie
Pictures: [Matt]
GPS Track: [Map]

Navajo Mountain is a peak on the Sierra Club Desert Peak Section list of 99 peaks stretching from Mexico to Utah.  It has the distinction of being very far away and the only peak on the list you can drive up.

Sound awesome?  Well that's not all!  It's located on Navajo land and depending who you ask climbing it is either forbidden or just discouraged.  See the Summitpost page for Navajo for details.

Despite this DPS hasn't seen fit to de-list the peak (despite doing so for Kino, Ajo, and Maturango all of which I've also done and have far less access issues) so I figured it was worth a shot and started calling around.

After getting transferred umpteen times the best answer I was given was "Not everyone likes you up there and you can't leave the road but if you stick to that you should be fine"  I was also able to contact someone through Peakbagger who had just been up there and said he'd had no issues.

So day 2 of the 2014 Turktacular found us driving across Navajo land towards a very big mountain...

Mollies Nipple & Thanksgiving Dinner

   Mollies Nipple (7,271')
When: November 27th, 2014
Where: Utah / Arizona Border
Who: Matthew Hengst, Kristen Lindbergh, Jen Blackie
Pictures: [Matt]
GPS Track: [Map]

Thanksgiving time and once again the plan was to escape civilization and go someplace awesome for the annual Turktacular trip.

This year we decided to head toward Monument Valley out in the Utah/Arizona border area and fill in the other days with Mollies Nipple, Navajo Mountain, Valley of the Gods, and finishing up in White Pockets.  Mostly due to having seen cool pictures of these places or liking the names.

Silurian Hills High Point and Silver Lake Mine

  Silurian Hills High Point (3,738')
  Silver Lake Mine
When: November 22nd, 2014
Where: North of Baker, CA
Who: Matthew Hengst, Jen Blackie
Pictures: [Matt]
GPS Track: [Map]

After yesterdays jaunt up Avawatz we got moving at a reasonable time and went hunting for access roads.

I had no beta on the Silurian Hills and it took Jen and I eyeballing topos to determine what the highpoint even was.  To get there I checked satellite shots and maps to see what old roads headed back that way and made sure to have plenty of alternates.

This was a really really good idea it turns out.

Avawatz Peak DPS From Sheep Creek

  Avawatz Peak (6,155')
When: November 22nd, 2014
Where: North of Baker
Who: Matthew Hengst, Jen Blackie
Pictures: [Matt]
GPS Track: [Map]

I'm closing in on the end of the Sierra Club Desert Peak Section list and there's a few peaks left out by themselves as a result of odd pairings or minor misadventure.  Avawatz is one of those and I'd been eyeing it for some time making eventual plans to pair it up with something off list like Ibex.

I'd heard through the grapevine that the standard DPS route up Avawatz was so washed out so as to be terrifying even in a Jeep so that put it out of consideration for trips like the Mustache Mosey.  So when an open weekend came up we decided to knock it off.

The northern route listed in the DPS guide is significantly longer (15 miles vs 6 miles) but avoids the access issues and starts out of something labeled Sheep Camp on the map which sounded interesting and fulfilled my strong preference for desert trips of having nice camping!

We made plans to explore the nearby Silurian Hills the following day to round off the weekend and we were off!

Mount Patterson DPS From Both Sides

November 15th & 16th, 2014
Mount Patterson (11,673’)

We planned to do Patterson Saturday and Glass Sunday but things went a little cockeyed...

Patterson is a DPS peak that's up north of Bridgeport.  I hadn't gotten around to climbing it since generally I if I'm going to drive up there during the summer I'm going to go into the Sierra and snow can make winter access a problem.  Now I was getting closer to finishing the DPS list and so felt a bit more motivated With the lack of snow we thought we had a decent opportunity and Kristen and I set off Friday night for the long drive.

Brown Peak DPS From Deadman's Pass

November 2nd, 2014
Brown Peak (4,947’)
[Pics] [Map]

Brown Peak is yet another peak on the Desert Peak Section List and one I'd originally planned to climb back in 2010 when I did Corkscrew for the first time.  That didn't happen when a storm hit big enough to cause everyone to flee the park due to flooding concerns.

So when Paul said his list finish was going to be on Corkscrew it seemed like the perfect opportunity to pick up a peak that was left hanging out there on it's own and really wasn't difficult enough to warrant a trip of it's own.

Corkscrew Peak & Little Corkscrew Death Valley For Paul Garry's DPS List Finish

November 1st, 2014
Corkscrew Peak (5,084’)
Little Corkscrew Peak (4,720’)[Pics] [Map]

I'd done Corkscrew peak waaaaaay back in 2010 to flesh out a multiple day M-Rock provisional.  It had always stood out among desert peaks as one of those that just look awesome from a distance and are pleasant to climb.  If you've ever driven over Daybreak Pass you've probably noticed Corkscrew due to it's distinctive summit.

I was here to do it again because Paul Garry's Desert Peak Section List Finish meaning he'd climbed all 99 (-ish) peaks on the list.  In Sierra Club land this is an excuse for a summit party (not that we really need that much of an excuse...)