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Month: May 2017

Murdock Mountain, Nevada, Elko County

Murdock Mountain, Nevada, Elko County

For work I did a writing retreat to a friend’s off-grid remote cabin in the Murdock Mountain region of Nevada, Elko County. Not only did I get an incredible amount of work done revising my book manuscript, but I took a few hours to tag the local peak. I approached from southwest, up a jeep road. I hit the saddle west of the false west summit and the wind was just ripping over it. It was gorgeous though. Along the ridgeline up to the west summit, then down and up to the main summit – views for days. From there, I continued east for the descent and looped some other jeep roads back down. It was possibly the most remote adventure run I have done. I was the first person to sign the summit registry since 2015! Ha! I’ll go back and do the full ridgeline someday.

Looking up the jeep road to the summit ridgeline


Just east and above the saddle that sits at the top of the jeep road, down and west of the false west summit


The entire summit ridge was covered with bright orange lichen – so pretty


Murdock Mountain summit looking north towards Idaho


Murdock Mountain summit looking east towards Utah


Murdock Mountain summit looking south towards the Toana and Pequop Ranges
Full Mt. Mahogany Ridgeline Traverse

Full Mt. Mahogany Ridgeline Traverse

I have been eyeing Mt. Mahogany for a while – from the freeway, while climbing up Grove Creek, from Timpooneke Rd., etc. I decided I needed to do a full traverse of the ridgeline – in preparation (hopefully!) for a full Timp ridgeline traverse later this year. MVH came with, and it was a great day on the mountain!

We started at the Grove Creek Trailhead. To climb this south end of Mahogany, most take the Grove Creek Trail up to the bridge, then go straight up the scree north of that. That leads to the southernmost end of the Mahogany massif. For a cleaner “ridge” approach, we went straight up the SW ridge that begins at the Grove Creek trailhead.

It was steep, but fairly straight forward. There were a number of “trails,” and game trails. At the occasional cliff-band, stay left (north) and they are easy to skirt around. Steep though. 3,000 ft. climbing in 2 miles.


Looking SW down the ridge as we climbed
Climbing up the SW ridge, p/c MVH
At the top, near the south end of the massif, looking east towards the Timpanogos massif. WOW!

Once at the top, you are met with a beautiful set of verdant meadows – amazing spots for camping,  though it would be a haul with lots of gear!

MVH coming up the ridgeline towards the summit (quite a few false-summit bumps along the way). Down and to the left you can see the area around Grove Creek Springs and the aspen climb up to Chris Fisher Flats. Sagebrush Flats – just out of frame to the bottom left – looked amazing.

The summit was great, but I’m always amazed at how ridgelines that seem to only have one main pitch, always have multiple climbs. They are always steeper and longer than they look from the valley floor.

So THAT’S how he flies up the mountains so fast – he’s got wings!
Mahogany summit, looking west

Coming down off the summit, continuing north, there was some fun snow to glissade down.

Father along the ridgeline, looking back south and up towards the main summit


Slip sliding away

We made our way to the northern edge of the ridge where it drops down into American Fork Canyon. I jogged up and to the right to bag the north summit. Views for days. The descent down the NW ridge was steep – my knees didn’t like that.

Along the far north end of the ridge, looking northwest down into American Fork Canyon. there were some scary huge cornices up there!
At what people call the “North Mahogany” summit (the terminus of the trail that goes up from Cedar Hills golf course on the NW ridge), looking towards North Timp


Me up on the North summit, p/c MVH
Exploring the Little Baldy Foothills

Exploring the Little Baldy Foothills

Above the Orem Gun Range there is a great set of squiggle trails that lead up to Trail Nr. 051. Between there and Little Baldy I have noticed a series of green meadows that lead up in between the trees and have long wanted to explore them. So, I did. I did the climb out of the gun range a couple times, and messed around in those little meadows a bit. So quiet – I didn’t once see a single person up in them.

I found a Horned Lizard (2, actually)
I shwhacked over to the Little Baldy Ridgeline to look down into Dry Canyon – found some cool cliffs
Nice little glen