Chuckwalla Mountain, Cross Mountain
By: Barry McCormick
Barry McCormick, David Eisenberg
Thirteen people were a fine turnout for this mid-week provisional hike to familiar Chuckwalla and Cross peaks. We parked south of Chuckwalla and made the 1500 ft assent of that peak first. Nothing like "out of the car and straight up" to get the blood pumping! Initially, the weather was fine, but it soon deteriorated to mostly cloudy with drizzle and a touch of snow. Undaunted, we climbed down into the wash south of Cross and huddled for lunch in the old cabin. The saunter up the wash was followed by scrambling up the "pink and white" buttress to the cold and windy ridge of Cross. A minimum of peak time, and then the exciting slide down the scree. Several of us had never done this long a scree descent - breathtaking! We had planned the day well, and the waning sun saw us at the cars we had left at the gate on Jawbone Canyon Rd. The logistics of unscrambling the three-point car shuttle caused some delay, but soon we were snugly installed in the much-deserved hot tub at the leader's house - hot mulled wine in hand.
Provisional hikes are always memorable. I want to thank the hearty souls from the HPS and the Antelope Valley Group for braving the cold to hike with me, and especially David for his patience and advice. I look forward to many HPS "leads" in the future, but will always remember Chuckwalla & Cross - my first.
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