May 24, 2011

North Shore Peak 05.18.2011

4 miles loop hike, elevation gain 1,300ft (peak is 3,329ft), 3 hours hike, difficulty 2/3, class 3/5. This is located around the lake mead. After passing the fee entrance, drive to 19 mile marker area, there is a parking off to the side of the road. There is a bathroom. Nice amenity to start a hike I thought! :D

Destination is on the right mountain!

I must admit that hiking up to our destination NORTH SHORE PEAK was whole a lot easier than I thought. The trail was very gradual incline, rocks are not so loose that it was easy to maneuver around and to climb on. The foot of this mountain is full of short desert shrubs. As we walked through, we heard rattle snake! We couldn't see where it was hiding but we had to be really careful. This time of the year is neither cold or hot. It must be the best time for them to hang around. This is the 3rd rattle snakes we encountered. The last two were at the Fortification Hill hike. (I have to blog this hike.. )
This area is where I heard the rattle snake
Big step rocks but it's easy
 After going up this wall of rocks, we were on the flatter ground. Then hike up the gradual hill and there, the Peak! In 45 minutes, we were already atop. Every peak has a sign-in sheet. This place was no different.

 We take a quick group picture.

Ok. NORTH SHORE PEAK is actually the 1st peak and turned out to be the easiest part of our hiking today. There is one more peak we have to accomplish. From this point, I can see the other peak. But first we have to go down, then up, then down and up. The last "up" part is the most technical part, the knife edge.  This is how it looks to the 2nd peak.
first descend from the peak
it will get more technical at the knife edge, but not TOO bad though
closeup of rocks upon descending
standing on top of  one of the small peak
3 steps to the right is edge to the bottom
dark cloud was coming in
By the time we go to the 2nd top, we had to hurry down because the dark cloud was bringing some rain. It is not safe to be on the mountain top especially with the kind of cloud that could contain some lightening and thunder. It was a loop hike so we descended from the backside of the 2nd peak.  It was very hard going down. Very very loose rocks and the hill is so steep. I actually couldn't feel the solid ground because the rocks were piled up so thick. I was trying to hop-step-jump by finding solider rocks. Instead of mud slide, it was "ROCK SLIDE".
close up to the rock slide
bigger picture. just try not to get caught in "rock slide"
We look so small in this mountain side
So this last picture was the hillside we were trying to descend on from the 2nd peak. Can you tell how big the hill was compared to the size of human I circled? At that time we were getting some side raining. Lesson of the day: Always have wet gear such as rain jacket available in your backpack! 
Going downhill all the way, it lead to wash to hike through. Walking toward the road took us to the dead end. We just had to climb out of it and back to the paved road. Shortly after we were back to the parking lot!

I don't wish we get rained on all the time. But it was the first experience walking in the gloomy weather condition. It was kinda fun! Sure enough, my husband and I went to R.E.I after the trip wanting to purchase some rain jackets. We walked out the store with $300 worth of purchase, but WITHOUT the rain gear! Couldn't find the size,, too expensive,,, blah blah blah. Oh well. NEXT TIME!

May 10, 2011

North Peak via the north peak wash 05.03.2011

Let me tell you this. GETTING to the trail head was the worst experience for me!!! The hike is inside the redrock loop, passing the lost creek and picnic area. The dirt road will have a turnoff to the right to La Madre Springs, but we keep going straight. The road gets narrower and bumpier! Here, HC (high clearance vehicle) is required and definitely 4x4 if we had to keep driving to where we did! We were driving 4x4 dodge truck. This truck is TOO BIG for this road! Anyways, I was scared to death as if the car was gonna tip over or something. 

It took us about 45min from the entrance of Redrock to the North Peak trail head. 

This is a hike to North Peak by climbing wash in the back of the mountain. When you say "wash" you think of big boulders laying around and hike up by maneuvering them. Well yeah, we started off doing that, but at one point, that was over. And after that it seemed that we were climbing on one big rock straight up for like 1 1/2 hour. STRAIGHT UP! The hiking description said that this peak is the 2nd highest in Redrock and that we would gain 1300 ft in less than 1100 yard!
The steepness goes on for a while
view as we climb the wash

Just climb climb climb. I was on hands and knees on most parts that I felt as if I were a spider. Good hiking shoes required! Good grip of the hiking boots helped me without slipping.

The view from the top was stunning. I had never seen the view from this side of the park. This peak being the 2nd highest sure makes it a great scenery.
Not a single cloud!
Hi Cheeze!
On the way back, we took a different trail down. And we found this interesting picnic site. Obviously someone? or group of people? have built this.  It is well built by the way.
This is a flat top of the mountain. Whoever built this, found the good spot! We walked around the area to check it out before further descending. Don't wanna be playing or getting too close to the edge because..

This is how it looks below the edge line. I had to extend my short arm to take this picture. Scaarry~
Descending on loose rocks was certainly tough part. It puts so much strain on knees and feet. I can see why people with bad knees really have hard time descending when no problem ascending.
All in all, it was very fitness hike.  Definite alternate to gym day.

May 7, 2011

About ME

Hi Everyone!
I have totally forgotten to introduce MYSELF first. Who am I and why I blog about hiking. Until I met my husband, I was NEVER an outdoor person. I grew up in the city, had no business with mountain, forest, river, camping etc...  I had never thought in the million years that I would love outdoors. SO! Just briefly, my husband and I have been married since 2006. We are just an average couple with full time job, no kids, oh, 3 boys... furbabies though! We don't have a whole a lot of money so we've always liked to do things that we BOTH can have fun without spending too much money. Living in las vegas, we are surrounded by mountains, and fortunately they are national parks which are loaded with hiking trails and camping grounds (have never camped YET!) where we can visit for outdoor experience.

So we started going out to hikes on our days off, which was good exercise and mainly, it was our time together doing something away from everyday matter. Then we joined the gym to stay healthy. We gradually uped the level and frequency of hiking. We explore trails we've never done before. Recently we joined the local hiking meetup and we are having so much fun!

When it comes to exercise, it is either gym or hiking, or some other outdoor stuff that can be a workout for the day. We have canoes too. We want kayak next time, and then boat and maybe jet ski! Our list is long.
Hiking is a hobby and an adventure both me and my husband have discovered the passion together!


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