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Joshua Tree National Monument

27-28 February 1971

By: Bob Van Allen

Leader: Bob Van Allen
Assistant: Various

Each year since we started this annual trip to J.T.N.M. we have changed the date, trying to find the best time for conducting such an outing. This year was about as good as you could ask for (except perhaps for the night time temperature which could have been a bit higher and probably no one would have complained.) Friday night it was 12° and Saturday night about 23°. Both Saturday and Sunday provided beautiful climbing and hiking conditions. There were many newcomers on the trip as well as some who wanted some refresher instructions on Saturday. In the morning we had practice in unroped third class climbing. After lunch a good part of the afternoon was spent in rappel practice conducted in 3 stages. Enough people brought wood so that we had a good campfire laced with plenty of stories about past trips and plans for conquering more killer peaks in the future. As scheduled, the Sunday events divided the group so that the late sleepers could take a leisurely scrambling type hike to the vicinity of Little Pine Tree Mountain. The early-rising, gung-ho type group participated in the announced exploratory trip from Hidden Valley Campground (actually the start of the Barker Dam Trail) to Indian Cove and return, traversing the Wonderland of Rocks. We started this group at 7:00 a.m. and returned at 6:30 p.m. just after dark. While it is difficult to estimate mileage and gain, this trip has to be one of the most strenuous one day trips scheduled by H.P.S. The approximately 10-12 miles and 2000 or so feet of gain don't really tell the story as all but about 2 (including lunch) of the 11.5 hours of the trip is involved in second and third class bouldering. The scenery was superb (including one Big Horn Sheep). Many of our people would enjoy the area although the round trip would be too much for a non-restricted trip. However, it would be possible to set it up as a one way trip. Maybe next year for our J.T.N.M. annual we can.

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