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Bare Mountain
Near Beatty, Nevada
April 17, 2011

Distance: 5.5 km (3.4 mi)
Cumulative Elevation Gain: 713 m (2339 ft

Hours after landing in Las Vegas, I came down with a cold, so Dinah and I had to dial back our climbing ambitions for the following day. Instead of a tall mountain, we would ascend a modest desert peak: Bare Mountain. Although small in stature, it's the highest point on the Bare Mountain massif. And Harlan Stockman praised the class 3 climb on his website. Using his directions, Dinah and I drove up the rugged road to the trailhead and parked our rented SUV. As I surveyed the mountain, Dinah suddenly cursed. She had left her boot inserts at our hotel suite! Going back for them was unthinkable: we had driven over two hours to get to Bare Mountain. Dinah had to make do with wearing two pairs of socks.

With Dinah wobbling in her ill-fitting boots and me wheezing from a cold, we hiked up the road, following it until it melded into a wash. After eyeballing the terrain ahead, we set off on a likely-looking course. We continued up the wash until it wended left. We left the wash here and headed to a low point on a ridge in front of us. After going over the ridge – more of a rib than a ridge and one of few ribs apparently – we started climbing. When the grade steepened, we angled right and traversed another rib. After more climbing, an inviting broad, open slope appeared on our right, so we crossed over yet another rib to reach it. From there, we easily gained the west ridge that leads to the summit.

For the most part, the ridge crest was too rugged to tackle directly, so we kept to the south side. And despite my cold and almost 30C heat, I enjoyed the climb. After passing through the "gunsight" – a notch formed by two rock buttresses rising from either side of the crest – and over a false summit, we reached the top of Bare Mountain.

After surveying the desert views around us and eating lunch, we retraced our steps back down the mountain and drove to Beatty. Beatty sports the largest candy store in Nevada, and we decided our effort deserved some goodies: we bought ice cream cones.

KML and GPX Tracks

A side road leads to the base of Bare Mountain

After parking, we hiked up the road

After the road ended, we made our way to the nearby ridge ahead

Great basin collared lizard

We'll go through the opening at the end of the ridge

On the other side, we started scrambling up

The slope opens up

Steep rock had us angling to the right

Our car is barely visible, just a dot by the road

More scrambling

We left the ridge and headed to an open slope

From here, we easily reached the ridgeline and followed it to the summit (brown rock)

For the most part, we stayed on the south side of the ridge

On the ridgeline

The summit comes into view

Looking back along the ridge

Bare Mountain offers plenty of loose rock

Gunsight notch ahead

This stretch of ridge was was especially gentle

Heading to the notch

The summit is a short distance past the notch

Dinah makes her up to the notch

Last stretch before the summit

The summit

Standing on the summit

Heading back

Carrara Canyon (3.4 mi, 6293 ft, 2339 ft)

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