Brown Peak, Corkscrew Peak
By: Dan Richter, Asher Waxman
Myself, Asher Waxman, Devra Wasserman, Erik Siering, and Randy Ragland met at Stovepipe Wells Saturday morning at 7:00 am. Also present was Al White with three of his high school students, Meyer Schwartz, J. R. Maldonado, and Tim Burt, Al teaches English in Orange county and the boys are some of his junior and senior students.
A short drive got us to the trailhead for Corkscrew and we started out under clear skies for the peak. We had a strong group and made the top via the standard route up the south east canyon in three hours. While on top Al saw a figure approaching us along the north ridge. A few minutes later Dan Jonason's head appeared up through the rocks at our feet. He had come up wet third class rock in the canyon that goes around the east side of the peak, to the ridge that comes up to the summit from the north. He looked like a leprechaun in green shirt and hat with a red beard. Dan joined us for the down climb. We descended the ridge east of the canyon we had come up. We avoided going all the way out to the first ridge the rises up from the desert approaching the peak, opting for the second closer to the peak which seemed a better choice.
On the way down to Shoshone we stopped at Furnace Creek to sample their date shakes, Badwater to give the students a geography lesson, and Tecopa for the hot springs and an impromptu tailgate party. Dan turned up at both Furnace Creek and Badwater which confirmed his leprechaun status. We spent the night at the Mud Hats at Shoshone.
Morning brought drizzle, but being an intrepid bunch, we drove to Deadman's Pass and set out across the desert on the standard route for Brown. The rain let up as we approached the summit where Randy and I saw a little rattler among the rocks. The sun broke through as we sat and talked and snacked on top.
We came down the "alternate" of route "A" which seemed a lot smoother that the way up. Tim, Meyer, and J. R. were like puppies bouncing along at the head and then collapsing and dozing at each stop. We all said good-bye early at the blacktop and Devra and I made a beeline back to Tecopa to sample the hot springs before the trip home.
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