Saturday, July 7, 2007

Mummy Mountain

The Las Vegas Hiking Meetup group tackled Mummy Mountain, the 2nd highest mountain in southern Nevada at 11,542 feet above sea level. The path to the summit is 8.5 miles round trip with nearly 4000 feet elevation gain. I figured that if I could do Griffith Peak, which is longer and just slightly shorter, that I could do this peak as well. Here's a picture of our starting and ending points, taken from the top of Griffith Peak two weeks before.

Ten of us started at 8:50am. Immediately, I was exhausted. The others in the group were obviously experienced hikers because the steepness of the trail didn't phase them. When I begin a hike, I can tell if it's going to be a good day or a bad day. Today was going to be a bad day, but I was determined to be able to say that I conquered this mountain. So I trudged on. After about 2 miles, the Trail Canyon trail intersected with the North Loop trail. Here, everyone caught up and briefly rested.

After hiking the first two miles alone, I realized this was not going to be a social group hike. So I got out my iPhone and played some shows from the Living in Las Vegas Podcast. 1.25 miles after joining with the North Loop trail, we came to 500 foot steep scree route up an avalanche slope. It is really hard to describe in words what this slope was like, and the picture below definitely doesn't do it justice. Imagine climbing a black diamond ski slope covered in gravel. For every four steps I took, I would slide back three. It must have taken at least 30 minutes to get up this slope.
Here I am halfway up the slope. Don't let the smile fool you, I was not enjoying myself.
Once we got to the top of the slope, we trail was entirely on limestone. The hike was not very steep at this point, and the views were incredible, so this was my favorite part of the hike. In less than a mile, we came to a 200 foot class 2 chute that would bring us to the peak.
After three and a half hours of strenuous hiking, we made it to the top. I signed the register and was very honest: "Never again!"
Randon and Nicole had brought Toblerone on our Griffith Peak hike, and I thought that was the perfect way to celebrate a summit. So I froze two bars to share with our group.
This is the view of Griffith Peak from Mummy Mountain.
Here's our group at the summit.
Here I am at the summit with Mt. Charleston in the background. The summit was weird because, as you can see here, it was flat and sprawling. Notice that I am wearing a jacket. The temperatures in the valley were near 115, but it was probably 60 or 70 on the top of the mountain with cold winds.
After a good, long rest we started back down the mountain. Usually, I hate the part going down, but it was a nice change after the steep climb. The only bad part was the 500 foot scree slope. I would take one step and slide down five feet, with rocks above my boots. When I got to the bottom, I had to empty out the numerous rocks that had joined my feet in my boots. Even from there, we had a long way to go, as you can see by this picture.
We made it back to the cars by 3:30, for about six and a half hours of hiking. I am very proud to have made it to the top of this mountain, but I can say with confidence that this was my first and last hike to the summit of Mummy Mountain!

Click here for more pictures.

1 comment:

Scott from Living In Las Vegas Podcast said...

Thanks for the mention, Cheryl! We'll be sure to mention your blog on an upcoming show.


-- Scott
Living In Las Vegas Podcast