JEFF DAVIS PEAK (8,990’) 2X June 1, 1985

This named volcanic plug is a listed peak for the local peak section when that was in existence. I had climbed it with another person in May, 1976, when we discovered that it was an easy rock climb. I scheduled it for the chapter as my first peak lead, and the sign-ups were worthless as climbing partners. I considered it easy, so I’d rope the novices up, but in leading the first pitch, allowed another person to second. She had claimed to doing “5.8,” but “freaked out,” due to the crumbling rock, by her, so turned back on the leap frog lead. I had promised an early return before most people had signed up, figuring no one would attend. So, I downclimbed, and we went to the Grover Hot Spring as scheduled.

In 1985, I had gained a hiking partner to do Mt. Patterson again in the Sweetwater Range. We carpooled there to find the approach road was snowed in. I knew there was a scheduled climb of Jeff Davis Peak that day, so rushed back to meet them. I took my hiker up the route to the base of the peak, and I looked for the group. Not to be found on the standard route, I circled about the summit rock to find one doing a lead on a new route. The rest of the group now had begun climbing the standard class 4 route, and I snapped photos. After they had climbed up, I asked for a belay, and they graciously gave me one. It was good to do this again, with a feeling for the solid holds.

We all topped out then, and I snapped a few photos. The view isn’t much, and it was windy and cold. There was a few names on scraps on top, so I placed a better register book. I downclimbed as I did, and the others did too.

Back to the base, I shot a few more photos, and then hiked back to the car.

In 1995, I wanted my 3X, so secured a hiker buddy to come along, him worthless on the rock climbing. He stayed below, and couldn’t even unclip the rope from the biner so I could haul up my camera. It was his proviso for no rock climbing, so I granted him that. I had to climb and downclimb essentially without a belay, feeling secure enough with my ability and experience. I didn’t fall, and had a victory shot of myself, all that he was able to do. We motored off to hike another peak that day, and in the usual light of Club disenabled hikers, I am not able to get another partner for my 4X.

I once met another peaker for him to propose a climb, even to lead for me, but as he refuses to leave an anti-peak chapter, I declined. I invited some OGUL seekers to climb it, but now, with my condition, don’t know if I can lead it again. This peak is the big stickler in my 4X list completion, so I pass on doing the other needed peaks. I hear guides want some big money, and the peakers, last I heard, urged delisting this summit, and have now all passed into oblivion.

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