Leaders: David Eisenberg, Frank Goodykoontz
This was a Pathfinder's weekend. We climbed all of these peaks by an alternate route.
We met Saturday morning at 7:00 am and caravanned into the Jawbone Canyon area. We stopped at the normal trailhead for Cross. Our plan was to climb Chuckwalla first and then traverse over to Cross. While the route looked good on the map, we were aware that this was an exploratory route and that there was a possibility of unknown conditions.
Immediately after passing the gate, we headed toward the first wash on the left. (The topo shows a road traveling toward the White Rock Mine.) Preferring a cross-country route, we stayed to the left of the road until the bend at elevation 3000'. The canyon ahead looked attractive, with steep side walls and interesting strata so we took this route. We went up the ridge to the South when the canyon floor became brushy. When we gained the ridge, we contoured around until we were on the part we later decided that we should have gone up. (See hiking directions below.) We ran into a motorcycle track which we followed towards the saddle between Chuckwalla and 4762'. We ascended Chuckwalla when we were directly north of the summit, traveling straight up the scree slope.
From Chuckwalla, we followed Route 2 for Cross as shown in the guide. We took the scree slope down and returned to the cars by 3:30.
Doug Hatfield, Duane McRuer, Frank Atkin, Carol Smetana, Evan Samuels, Joe Young, Roy Stewart, and John Southworth returned home. David Michels, Martha Flores, and Ruth Armentrout joined us for dinner at Graziano's before going home. Only Jennifer Lambelet, Joy McKinney, and Tom Moumblow stayed the night with Frank and I.
Sunday, we were joined at the meeting place by Tom Neely. We caravanned to the starting point for our Butterbredt pathfinder.
We parked where the word Road is written in square 32 on the topo. We climbed the ridge, passing over the bump at 6409'. This gave 1600' gain over about 1 mile. As we started up, we saw a car drive up and a hiker start running up the ridge. It turned out to be Jim Schoedler. Our hiking time was 1 hr, 10 minutes to reach the summit.
For Mayan, we took an easier route originally scouted by Lew Amack. We drove up the jeep road which starts at the normal trailhead. We continued to where there is a fork in the road (located directly under the words "Mayan Peak" on the HPS map). We contoured around to where the PCT meets a motorcycle track which comes up from the SW. From here, we headed towards the SE side of Mayan. This route involves only 1100' of gain spread out over a longer distance. It is ideal for those who wish a minimum of steep scree as the route is gradual for all but 500' of gain at the end.
We had thoughts of doing Skinner, but it was getting late and Frank wasn't sure he could make it! So we went home.
Directions for hiking Chuckwalla:
Start at the trailhead for Cross Mtn (route 1)
Pass the locked (or roped) gate and walk 1/4 mile to where the White Rock Mine Road goes up the canyon to the left
Continue on the road 1/4 mile past the bend to the SE at elevation 3000'. There is a major wash heading South at this point. On the map, the road crosses the boundary between Section 27 and 34.
Go south up the gully and then up to the ridge to the south.
Continue along the ridge until you reach a motorcycle track.
Follow this track to the saddle between 4762' and Chuckwalla.
Head up the slope to Chuckwalla. (You may climb up anytime after you are on the North slope of Chuckwalla.)
2500 gain, 3 miles. Hiking time should be about 2-1/2 hours.