Putting up with Potosi

28 Sep 2009 - by Steve Eckert

See the trailhead page for climbing and driving waypoints

We didn't investigate the DPS Guide Route B trailhead (probably at or near waypoint POTBTH), which leads you to a powerline that will be mentioned below. The powerline looks like the most straightforward way to climb, but we wanted the shortest climb no matter how long the approach drive took, so we continued to Route C. I left my car 2.6 miles from Hwy 160 at Potosi Pass (waypoint POTPAS) where there is a gravel parking area, and bummed a ride in Daryn's Jeep.

With only one wrong turn, we drove to a turnaround where the road suddenly gets much worse (waypoint POTCTH). We considered this the Route C trailhead, at 5.7k and 7.8 miles from Hwy 160. We hiked up what's left of the road from there to an old cabin (waypoint POTC03 at 5.8k) where we took the left (north) canyon fork. There is a waterfall at POTC04, but it doesn't present much of a challenge. On the way up, we tried to climb left out of this canyon. On the way down we decided the ridge to the right of the canyon was far better, so I'll describe our preferred route (which I don't think matches the DPS Guide).

The ridge we came down, not quite DPS Route C (taken between POTC05 and POTC06)

Leave the wash at around 6.2k (waypoint POTC05), gaining the ridge on the right. On the way down, watch out for the ridge fork at 6.9k (waypoint POTC06). Climb the ridge to Point 2234 (wapoint PT2234) but NOT to Point 2431. Instead, traverse to the saddle east of Point 2431 where all three routes join (waypoint POTABC, at 7.8k).

We took a major break at this saddle, wondering why there are huge powerlines that come up the north side (Route B?) and apparently go nowhere. Then there are the cables lying on the ground, which might be live but appear to have been cut down and abandoned. From here to the top, it's not really much of a wilderness experience. Follow the ridge east to Point 2583, then south where you'll encounter a easy 10' class 2-3 section on your way to the 8514' summit of Potosi Mtn (waypoint POTOSM).

Sign the register and run, taking care what you walk in front of. You can get a huge dose of microwave radiation by walking in front of a ground-level dish antenna - mounted far lower than any I've encountered before. Having studied electromagnetic fields in college, I chose to retreat quite some distance from the antenna arrays before having lunch. We spent 3 hours climbing, less than 2 hours coming down, and violated my rule about hiking more hours than I spend driving.

With so many non-list peaks in remote and pristine places, why are industrial dumps like this on the list?


To file a trip report, please fill in the Report Entry form or contact the webmaster.