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Little Berdoo Peak, Bernard Peak, Belle Mountain

Mar 1959 (Exploratory)

By: Trudie Hunt

In spite of threatening clouds and radios reporting savage storms, 17 stalwarts met at Jumbo Rocks Campground to caravan to the southern reaches of Joshua Tree National Monument where the Blue Cut road threatens to disturb the peace of Pleasant Valley.

Using a contour map, and with Walt Wheelock, Bill Crookston, Tom Hunt and others taking on the roles of leader and scouts, we made our way up a canyon to a saddle from which the peak could be viewed. Here the group divided into two camps, those favoring a drop to another canyon, then a direct climb, and others favoring an upward contouring approach along a ridge. Since we could not agree, we split into two groups which arrived within 5 minutes of each other at the peak, where Edmund Yeager and Forrest Keck's father had signed the register in the early 20's and another party in the early 50's. All climbed an adjoining peak, Mt. Bernard, before cold winds and liquid fog sent us scurrying to Twentynine Palms for plastic rain protection.

On Sunday five braved the cold and threatening rain to climb Belle Mtn. which the Geodetic Survey had chosen aptly in their sightings for a view of the Pinto Basin, Queen Valley, and the vast magnificence of the little appreciated wonders of Joshua Tree National Monument.

We shall return!

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