December 11-12, 2011 Mopah Plateaus
It seemed that the west side of Kettle Plateau would be the best approach but we ran out of time when we attempted this. The next day we attempted to ascend the south plateau. Rain showers started early and lasted all day. The break in the cliff rim from the west proved to be an easy access to reach the top of the cliffs at the south rim. From there we could see the Whipple Mountains in the distance and nearby the top of Kettle Plateau and the Mopah Peaks.

Mopah Peak

December 9-10, 2011 Whipple/Mopah

We whooped and hugged in celebration. We had found a huge saguaro cactus, a western outlier of a grove of twenty six which may be the most western in California. This grove was last documented fifteen years ago by helicopter. On our walk out we were monitored by a bighorn ram.

Trip Report
Photo Album


November 9-12, 2011 Whipple N-P Stagecoach Road

Night was falling fast and the wind was blowing while I advanced up a steep, rough, rocky slope. There was a small narrow area protected by a vertical ledge. I dug out rocks, leveling a sleeping area, then set up camp. As I relaxed I was greeted by a fuzzy view of the Moon and Venus as they appeared through thin clouds. The gusts of wind settled down about the same time that I did.
Fishhook Fruit

September 12-14, 2011 Toiyabe Arc Dome

From Columbine Campground, 8600’, to the crest, 11,300’, and returning the next day from 8000’ to 10600’ we followed the Swahili advise on climbing Kilimanjaro: Polepole kama kinyongaSlowly, like a chameleon. We found a two day route that circumnavigates Arc Dome, 11,773’ on the Toiyabe Crest. We used long-disappeared trails between the Crest Trail and the trails along North River and South River in the valleys to the east. Down was easy; coming back up had unpleasant aspen bushwhacking on a steep side hill.

Arc Dome

August, 12-14, 2011 Stillwater Two Falls

In Mississippi Canyon, one of the longest in the Stillwater Mountains, we found intermittent streams, flowing waterfall and a potential route to the crest. In Ramparts we located a second way around Ramparts Waterfall.  A pronghorn posed for us as we left the trailhead.