Little Devil Peak & Lead Mountain

DB heading up one of Little Devil's east ridges

In my very casual quest to hike all of the named peaks in southern Nevada's Spring Mountains, I found time to tick off a couple more.

Approaching from the area of Devil Canyon and the Christmas Mine, Little Devil Peak is an easy ascent with views that get better and better and you climb. The spring wildflowers were in bloom, and the gentle terrain of the mountain's east face give way to views of the precipitous and imposing west face.

Gaining the south ridge a couple hundred yards below the summit, we walked the aesthetic ridge to the highpoint. A snack and a beverage were in order.

After a nice break, we wandered the south ridge toward Little Devil's saddle with Lead Mountain. A very obscure peak, I might not have even noticed Lead Mountain existed (no visible from any paved road (or even a house, I suspect) had I not once read in the Devil Peak register that someone had climbed it the day before Devil.

Just before the saddle, I saw a giant lizard flee as I rounded a short rock band. Racing over to where he'd been, I found the 18" chuckwalla hiding in the crack, staring back out at me with his dark, little eyes. I tried to snap a couple pictures, but the lighting wasn't good.
Approaching the south saddle, Lead Mountain lies at the western end of the rugged ridge

Continuing on to the saddle, DB elected to wait there for me while I made the traverse out to Lead Mountain via its east ridge. It looked to be a tedious affair involving many significant ups and downs and a handful of gendarms.

And that's exactly what I got!

The hike to Lead was rather interesting. Not only was the route-finding challenging at times, the ups and downs in the mid-day heat weren't helping matters. Eventually reaching a point where I thought I'd have to turn around and try another day, I stumbled across a steep, airy arete that I could climb partway up and then step right across an exposed gap to a ledge that allowed me to continue on.

Soon enough, I stood atop the highpoint. There was a cairn but no register.

The return was uneventful. But what a route! Hidden ledges, ramps, steep, loose gullies to climb up and down and out of. A wonder of route-finding...and a very good desert peak (at least by this route).