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Hiking Kraft Mountain

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View of Red Rock, from a Calico Basin peak
Top of Kraft Mountain

I went on another hike last night with the Las Vegas Trailblazers. It was a small group again, of about 6. Melissa came this time, and I’m glad she did. She is an amazing hiker, and was beating us all to the top by a huge lead.

This hike was more challenging, but it was worth it because there was so many things to see. We started at Calico Basin, at the end of the road, and hiked up and around a steep, steep trail to the top of Kraft Mountain, aka “Pink Mountain”, which is part of Red Rock. Pink Mountain gets it’s name because it’s mottled red and white rock, which looks pink from a distance. After half an hour we arrived at the top, I was really out of breath. The picture above is a view from the top. The scenery was awesome; we were treated to a gorgeous evening vista of red rock and valley not visible unless you make the hike.

After the climb, we stopped for a minute and then began starting down. We had to maneouver over and around some giant boulders, that descended steeply and suddenly. This part, although not physically tiring, was kind of scary for me because the rocks are so smooth, it is easy to slip. Fortunately, my awesome Keen hiking shoes have wikked tread, and therefore a solid grip on the rock, so I was able to descend without falling.

I’m such a novice hiker, and it’s apparant when hiking with Melissa. Not only is she in amazing physical shape, she trusts her balance and the capability of her feet completely, rarely using her hands to balance. I, on the other hand, was often using my hands to help me over some larger rocks. I aspire to be like her, where I can just cavort around the rocks with no fear of falling.

20 minutes later, we reached a narrow valley, which was an old dry river bed cut out between the giant red boulders. The rocks are white, striped with iron oxide that turns it red. It is some type of porous rock, like sandstone. The stripes really remind me of bacon. In some areas, the iron oxide is concentrated in dark red dots against the pinkish rock, making it look like the mountain has a horrible case of chicken pox. There’s also iron sulfide in the rocks, which is yellow. Very gorgeous colors all around.

We traipsed through the narrow river bed, ever downward, and crossed over a few large, steep drops of river-warn, smooth rock. It was a fun challenge to figure out the puzzle of how to get down these big drops. Luckily there were other experienced people to help me out.

We broke out of the rocks and onto a dirt plateau overlooking Las Vegas, which was neat. We walked around the mountain, and back towards the little village of Calico Basin. This was my favorite part, it was so amazingly gorgeous because you could see all across Red Rock Canyon. I don’t have any pictures of that, really, tho, because it was near dark and I knew the pictures wouldn’t come out without a tripod. I hope to go back and do this hike again, earlier in the day, so I have more light for photos.

This was the hardest, but also the best hike I’ve ever done. Afterwards, we drove to the Outside Inn for dinner. We had a good time. I love hiking!

View of Red Rock, from a Calico Basin peak
View of Red Rock Canyon from the top of Kraft “Pink” Mountain. Here you can see the striped red/white rock on the left which reminds me of bacon.

Climbing down Kraft "Pink" Mountain
Descending

Red Rock Lower Gateway
View from the narrow river bed, known formally as “Lower Gateway”

View of Calico Basin in Red Rock
Here’s a view of Kraft Mountain, taken from Muffin Rock. It’s the pink mountain in the foreground. We started on the left and climbed around all the way and circled back from the right. In total, it took about an hour and a half/two hours.

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Currently listening to: office gossip and the fax machine

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Written by pocheco

April 25, 2007 at 4:17 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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