Manly Peak, Needle Peak
By: Bill T. Russell, Duane McRuer
Our group comprised 20 people in ten 4wdr vehicles. We met at 0700 at the foot of Goler Wash where we left two 2wdrs. The trip up Goler Wash and over Mengel Pass went just fine, which showed that we had real drivers because this route has a lot of real 4wdr road. We drove to Willow Spring, the usual trailhead for Needle and climbed that peak. George Pfeiffer turned back so 19 made the summit.
We then drove to the broad saddle 3 km north of Manly Pk to camp. This spot is just outside the DVNM boundary so we were able to have a cheery campfire using four manufactured logs. They have an amazing heat content. About 0100, a strong gusty wind came up and a small amount of snow came down. This caused quick activity by those sleeping outside or those who had loose light objects waiting to be blown.
Sunday morning, 18 of us were underway at 0705; George Pfeiffer started climbing in the dark at 0530 and Wes Shelburg left for home. There was a dusting of snow at our camp and one to two inches higher up. A cold wind came in gusts but occasionally sunlight sneaked between the low clouds. We hiked south up and along the ridge to Manly Peak. The route is mostly class 1 with some class 2 at rocky points along the crest. The summit block was a bit wet and snowy which discouraged all climbers, except Tom Randel and Dan Richter, who made the utter summit. Our descent included some very enjoyable down running in the soft dirt. On the drive back to Mengel Pass , we talked to a man who turned out to be a DVNM employee who lives in the area and who is a caretaker for the cabins at Russell Camp, Greater View Spring and Anvil Spring. All three locations are available to the public on a first come, first serve, basis.
It was a fine outing with the excitement of unpredicted snow showers. Participants were Bill T Russell, Willy Richter, Bob Wyka, Bob Meader, Pat Russell, Asher Waxman, Tina Stough, Jeff Koepke, Duane McRuer, Tom Sumner, George Pfeiffer, Barbara Eyerly, Eric Siering, Edna Erspamer, George Toby, Howard Eyerly, Dan Richter, Tom Randel, Randy Ragland, and Wes Shelberg
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