Chemehuevi Peak, Stepladder Mountains


By: Darrell Lee, Ed Lubin


We car-camped Friday night at the roadhead for Chemehuevi Peak. The power line dirt toad leading in from US 95, was driveable by low clearance car. No other place along it was suitable for camping. The site was nice and there was space far a large size group. The lines nearby, did not seem to bother anyone.

In the daylight Saturday morning, Chemehuevi dominated the skyline. We set out for the Peak about 8:15; carrying a topo, Guide directions, and Desert Sage report for the January 23-24, DPS climb, led by Larry Tidball and Barbee Hoffmann.

They wrote of having gone up the wrong canyon. Darrell and I resolved not to make the same mistake. We still found ourselves at the foot of the high waterfall they had described. We crossed the low south ridge into the proper canyon, which is located at the peaks base. The footing in places from thereon, was poor. I wondered what separated C1 2 rated Chemehuevi from being a C1 3 peak.

The weather was mild, and the sky clear, so we leisured on the summit, enjoying the excellent views of Lake Havasu, and jagged ridges of the Stepladder Range; the first time climbers seemed to in particular. Due to the moderate pace, the hike took most of the day. The strong climbers patiently stayed with the group,

Upon returning to our cars, we headed for Turtle Mountain Road. We drove about 5.3 miles on the signed and well-graded dirt road, to the first turn out that we saw. It is located on the east side of a wide, very shallow, all sand wash, and has Tamarask trees that may act as a partial windbreak. There is also room here for a large size group to camp; and a fire ring that shows heavy usage.

We set up serving tables and had a sumptuous potluck dinner by a nice fire, which was enjoyed by all. The effort of Darrell and the other participants in making it a success is truly appreciated. As part of the festivity, we celebrated the seventieth birthday of DPS leader and friend, Paul Bloland.

We were happy to have Randy Bernard with us; he has contributed so much to our Section, Randy brought an acquaintance of his from Mexico, Pedro Galcana. He was able to practice his English, and we to brush up on our Spanish.

Steve Durkee, Kaye Rowley and John Thomassen eventually headed for Laughlin, NV; which they later claimed took under one hour to reach. Some of us gave them money to gamble with, and received the big dividends on Sunday morning.

It was raining when we arose at 5:30am, and the outlook for the day seemed very bleak; so the climb of Stepladder Mtn was canceled. Many of us re-congregated for breakfast at Vidal Junction. For such a remote location, it was a crowded place. No complaints were heard from anyone about the food or prices.

Some of the group drove to the roadhead by way of US 40, and returned home using US 10. There does not appear to be a significant difference in the mileage or a time saving using either route. Some visited the Store Outlets in Barstow, where a North Face store will be opening; and in Cabazon, where there is an Eddie Bauer. Listed below are the names of those who were on the fine trip:

Randy Bernard, Steve Durkee, Phil Reher, Paul Bloland, Richard Farrar, Kaye Rowley, Ruth Bloland, Pedro Galcana, Tom Schaffer, Donna Cheslick, Darrell Lee, Rheta Schoeneman , John Cheslick, Ed Lubin, Eric Sieke, Evelyn Chadwell, Witold Martynowicz, John Thomassen, Helen Thompson, Robert Cmelak, Marlen Mertz, Kim Corrick, Ken Pezreshk, and David Welbourn

Detailed information for visiting one or more peaks mentioned in this article can be found in the
Desert Peak Section Road and Peak Guides

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