Bridge Mountain and North Peak
When I emailed our friend Shin in Las Vegas for information on climbing Bridge Mountain, he took it a step further and offered to take Dinah and I up it. He also invited some of his friends: Malia, Jon, Jerry, Marianne and Andy.
There are a few approaches for Bridge Mountain, but Shin chose a less popular route whose trailhead is a few kilometres up Rocky Gap Road. The road is too rough for regular cars, but Jon and Jerry drove us up in their high-clearance vehicles.
After hiking up the road a short way, we left it to ascend a wash. After scrambling up the steep wash we reached the ridge crest. Here we got our first view of Bridge Mountain, although still far off. A long hike and plenty of downclimbing lay ahead before we arrived at the base of the summit, but not before losing nearly 200 m of elevation.
We scrambled up a crack in the rock face and then traversed left to reach the arch. After going under the arch, we climbed to a high point before the summit. Much to everyone's amusement, Andy skinny dipped in a large tank below the summit.
After Andy's dip, we continued to the summit of Bridge Mountain. We lingered long under cobalt skies in warm weather before starting back. But en route we took a side trip to climb another peak. Although North Peak is a few metres higher than Bridge, it calls for little effort since we had to regain 200 m to the ridge crest. Afterwards, Shin led us down a trail to the cars.
Bridge Mountain was everything Dinah and I expected and more. And we count ourselves fortunate to have climbed it in good company.
Dinah and I got a lift in Jerry's Hummer
Going up the wash
Marianne helps Malia climb up.
Dinah hauls herself up.
Stopping to regroup
Continuing up the wash
Looking down the wash
We need to go around a canyon (yellow rock) before we can go left to Bridge Mountain.
Bridge Mountain is still some distance away.
Jon jumps down.
Behind is the rock face we just descended.
We'll ascend the vertical crack above Shin.
Starting up the crack
Climbing alongside the crack
Shin walks over the arch while the rest of us go under it.
Past the arch, we climb up the left side.
Looking down at the arch
Starting up from the arch
Andy skinny dips in a tank below the summit.
Descending towards the hidden forest
The final climb to the top of Bridge Mountain
L to R: Me, Dinah, Malia, Jon, Marianne, Shin, Andy and Jerry
Marianne stands on Andy's shoulders.
Heading back down the crack
Making our way to North Peak (above)
On North Peak
La Madre Springs 1:24,000 Topo (7.1 mi, 7041 ft, 1745 ft)