Mummy Mountain, Potosi Mountain
21-Jun-97 (Private Trip)
By: Linda McDermott
For a good time, call Tom Sumner. He'll take you to places with an all-night water drill (generator-type noise)? or a place with rifle-range practice, cars and burros to keep you up all night.
Tom needed Mummy Mountain, and I needed Potosi, so we teamed up for a climb June 21-22. My fear was the heat in June, but all turned out well.
We met on Friday at the San Fernando Road off ramp on the Antelope Valley Freeway (14). By leaving around 12:30 in the afternoon we got through Vegas before the afternoon traffic. Vegas is becoming a real city with real traffic - try to avoid the rush hour there if possible. Note that the distance to the Kyle Canyon turnoff from the intersection of the 15 and 95 highways is about 16 miles, not 14.3 as in the guide.
We pulled into my favorite free camping area just before the right bend of the roadhead for Mummy. We unpacked then discovered the noise. At first it was just annoying, then I explored a bit to find out what was going on. We had picked the one night that the water company was drilling for water. Apparently they weren't having much luck, and expected the drilling to go on all night. The DWP workmen needed ear plugs, so this didn't look good. At some point Tom looked up and said, "This isn't going to work." He looked a bit apologetic, so I assured him it didn't matter to me at all if we moved, though I was sure to send him off alone to pick the "perfect place. He found it and we moved.
Next morning we were off by· 6:30 am for Mummy. The trail had no snow, and we easily found the water trough. I found the scree slope and we scampered (probably not the term Tom would use) up the slope, the toughest part of the climb. I led the way up the use trail. then up the far chute to the peak. We were on top by 9:30 am, and spent a good hour because of the beautiful day and weather. Tom was elated - #95 for him!
We were able to get to the roadhead for Potosi in early afternoon, then found shade to read, sleep and quilt (no Tom didn't quilt, only me!). Of note is a short, particularly bad downhill stretch of dirt road just before the roadhead (at 4.1 miles on the dirt road). Several 2WD cars wisely turned around just above the spot Aftcr several times saying how wonderful and quiet it was out there, we were first invaded bq two separate cars with adults, kids, an ATV (all terrain vehicle) and rifles. The group closest to us couldn't see us, so after a bit of consulting, Tom ventured out (notice it was Tom, not me) to let them know we were camping nearby and not to shoot our way. Two cars continued to have shooting matches until dark (about 8:30). We thought this was a good thing until the burros started appearing. As soon as you fell asleep, another would start braying. Then kids came by shouting from cars at 1:00 and 2:00 am.
After intermittent sleep. we started about 5:30 am for the ridge to Potosi. It was down right cold, with a blustery wind blowing all the way up the ridge to the peak. Tom did an excellent job leading, with his last experience up Potosi being in a rainy, cold white out in January. He had agreed to take me up only because he wanted to see what it was like at the top We didn't spend much time on top and got back down around 10:30 am. On the way home, Tom kept turning on the traffic station to give himself grief I could hear a sigh of relief when each accident happened whcre we had just been, and not where we were going.
My thanks to Tom for a great time and lots of laughs, despite noise, gunfire and braying (the burros, not Tom).
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