Lone Mountain

There is a little bump of rock that sits in the Las Vegas Valley east of the Red Rock Conservation Area and literally an arm’s length from the 215 AKA Beltway freeway. It can bee seen from all over the valley, sort of by itself. Thus the name, I would conclude. I never had a reason to want to hike around there. But a friend mine who lives on that e4nd of the valley has always wanted to do it just to ay he did.

Lone Mountain

Lone Mountain

So Saturday we set out. It was early and windless and quite a nice morning to be out. The thermometer was predicted to be in the triple digits but I was not worried. My research had told me that this was a half mile hike that would end up with a 600 foot elevation gain. I figured a short burst of work, a peek around the valley and back down.

We headed up and it was a bit steep as I thought it would be.

First Leg

As often happens, at least for me, the ultimate top of a hike is not visible from the bottom of it. From this perspective I thought there would be this first stretch and another short one. Because it was 1/2 mile……right? WRONG!!!! As it turned out we had not taken the short route as described (a bit incorrectly) by the source I looked up. Instead we were on track for steep and long.  About three miles.

saddle

We took a nice view of the valley northeast of the rock while we were at the saddle. From here there were additional steep sections to attack. My friend is not a real avid hiker. He was happy I gave him my trekking pole since he wore court shoes. The steepness was work going up, but coming down proved to be more work. Lots more. My quads went from hot fire burning globs to jelly like puddles that were useless for anything from being fired the entire return trip. But I get ahead of myself.

benchmark

We hit the benchmark and at the top got a hazy morning view of the entire Vegas Valley. We had run into another hiker who uses this as a training hill. That seemed to be the norm there…lots of people powering up and down to get fit. We spoke with the one guy who said in the summer there are lots of gnats at the top of the hill. But it was not gnats, it was FLYING ANTS! They were everywhere and as a result the stay at the top was not really very fun.

SKULL TOP

Appears that one guy didn’t get out of there before the gnats got the best of him!  You can see the hazy day over Vegas in the distance. It did clear some as time went on. But it also got hotter fast!

This little suburban hike was a great test of hiking in less than aesthetic surroundings and sticking with it in the heat, gnat attacks and even during what was a bit of heat over exposure to complete the task. I realized that two years ago my Everest experience had built my endurance mentally. This was certainly more for getting to the top than enjoying the trip. Though it was fun to make sure my boots were performing, which they did in stellar fashion! This was not near as steep as day two in Machu Picchu will be, but it was a nice test run for fitness gains. My kettle bell challenge is actually showing good fast results in the strength department, that was clear!

View west

After we returned to the care in triple digit temps, my friend had felt a sense of accomplishment for doing what he had wanted to do for many years. But he doesn’t hike…….at least he didn’t used to!

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About WhelanTrek

The mountains are in my blood and Everest has been a symbol to so many areas of my life. I blog about adventures and life in between.

Posted on May 21, 2014, in Hiking, Hiking in Las Vegas, Machu Picchu and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. I love reading your adventures!

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  2. Karen, I have just completed reading your blog from your preparation for Everest Base Camp up to the present. What a great read it has been! and what wonderful experiences you have had! And what gifts you have brought to others.
    I’ll be following along now as you prepare for Machu Picchu. Good luck with your training.

    Like

    • Thank you! That means a lot coming from a teacher who I respect. I have always loved to write. most of my blog entries have been strait from head to “paper” without much refinement. Maybe one day I can pull all the events together and actually craft a good book out of them. Especially the Everest, Mane Sherpa stuff.

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  3. Good trip report Karen! The flying ants didn’t sound like fun …

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  4. Don Carmignani

    Yet another adventure! Glad to see you are living your life to the fullest! Fascinating blog. Thanks for keeping me posted!

    Like

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