Forum Index > Trip Reports > 20 peaks in Death Valley, Jan 27 – Feb 1, 2019
Previous :: Next Topic  
Author Message
Gimpilator
Member
Member


Joined: 12 Oct 2006
Posts: 1323 | TRs
Location: Edmonds, WA
Gimpilator
  Top

Member
PostSat Feb 02, 2019 5:31 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
I set out on a 9 day solo trip, with grandiose plans for working through the Blacks, Funerals, Grapevines and ending in the Cottonwoods.  It was cut 3 days short by a change in the weather.  Success in peakbagging requires some fluidity.

Jan 27
Noon Benchmark - 4239’

I stopped on the drive to Death Valley National Park to pick up a southern peak of the Nopah Range.  Good dirt roads provide near-proximity trailhead parking.  Short hike up the south slope and the southeast ridge.

Kingston
Kingston
Pahrump Point
Pahrump Point
Nopahs
Nopahs
Charleston
Charleston

Salsberry Peak – 4255'

Have been eyeing this one for several years now.  From an arbitrary point on the Jubilee Pass road I hiked north several miles across open desert to enter a complex system of washes and then the main canyon southeast of the peak.  Abundant colorful rhyolite deposits.  The upper north ridge had a few rock fins and minor scrambling before the top.

Epaulet
Epaulet
Salsberry
Salsberry
Ibex
Ibex
Brown
Brown
Sheephead
Sheephead
Longridge and Jubilee
Longridge and Jubilee
Funeral, Calico, Ryan
Funeral, Calico, Ryan

1-28
Epaulet Peak – 4764'

I spent the first of two nights at the Rhodes Spring cabins, with ample protection from a fierce north wind.  It is suggested to do this peak from the Greenwater Valley, which is shorter and more direct.  But all the interesting geology is on the south side of the peak and a prominent south ridge is just begging to be ascended.


Working around the east side of the major hill above the cabins, I entered colorful washes with rock formations, navigating indirectly toward the start of that primary south ridge.  The wind on the ridge was so intense, I used earplugs for relief.


The upper surfaces of Epaulet are scattered with black patina basalt, not the most pleasant medium to hike on.  I had been toying with the idea of traversing to Calico Peaks ever since the previous night, but intentionally didn’t bring enough food or water for such a massive loop.  I was trying to discourage myself from any excessive wandering, and therefor be more efficient with my time and energy.  But in the end, I just couldn’t resist the curiosity, so I spent the rest of the day rationing.  It would certainly be better to do Calico from the other side.

Desert Hound, Smith, Telescope
Desert Hound, Smith, Telescope

Calico Peak – 4173'

The ridge run was pleasant after the initial basalt boulders of Epaulet.  I made sure to visit both peaks and built a cairn on the lesser southwest peak.  The cost of my wandering was the fact that it was now a long way back to camp, perhaps 6 miles.

Calico
Calico
southwest peak and Epaulet
southwest peak and Epaulet
Greenwater Valley
Greenwater Valley
Charleston
Charleston
Funeral
Funeral
SW peak
SW peak
Epaulet
Epaulet

1-29
Ryan Benchmark – 5148'

The S shaped southwest canyon of this peak has numerous small dryfalls, all easy class 3.  Unusually good views for such an obscure peak.

Stealth Bomber
Stealth Bomber
Dantes to Perry
Dantes to Perry
Bat
Bat
Funeral
Funeral
Pyramid
Pyramid
Teles
Teles

cope

Dantes View Peak – 5704'

It had been 7 years and 11 days since the last time at Dantes View.  That was one of my first forays into Death Valley, and barely scratching the surface that time.  Since then it has become my favorite National Park.  Recently it came to my attention that the trail up Dante’s View continues further toward Mount Perry.

Badwater
Badwater
Telescope
Telescope
Bad Canyon
Bad Canyon

Mount Perry – 5716'

This ridge run is a classic!  Highly recommended.  Scenic, easy, amazing.  There are a couple narrow exposed sections near the end, but nothing major.

Dantes
Dantes
Perry
Perry
Schwaub
Schwaub

"False Coffin Peak" – 5500'

It’s long been thought that this peak is higher than the namesake peak, but newer ArcGIS data has the main east peak as 73 feet higher.  In any case, do both.  I found scant remnants of a trail going up towards the peaks.  On portions of the connecting ridge, it’s more defined.

Coffin peaks
Coffin peaks
Coffin
Coffin

Coffin Peak – 5490'

Coffin has stunning views overlooking the Coffin Canyon and Copper Canyon basins.  It’s odd how this peak is only slightly distant from Dantes View and yet has completely different scenery.

Coffin
Coffin
Dantes
Dantes

1-30
"Cork Peak" – 3689'

It was time for something more obscure.  I have been eyeing this peak for awhile, with the idea that it either hadn’t been done, or at least very seldom done.  No ascents to speak of on any of the online databases.  I parked near the start for Death Valley Buttes.  Hiked west behind the buttes and then north into a major canyon.

DVB
DVB
Corkscrew
Corkscrew
Cork
Cork
Cork
Cork
Peak 4800
Peak 4800

Exited canyon into smaller drainage on the northeast side of the peak and followed that to upper north ridge.  No cairn on the summit and no evidence of any previous ascent.  Who knows…  I have dubbed this peak “Cork” to go with the naming scheme of Corkscrew, which is the dominant mountain in the area.

Old Snifter, 4800, Corkscrew
Old Snifter, 4800, Corkscrew
DVB
DVB
Old Snifter and Point 4800
Old Snifter and Point 4800
Corkscrew
Corkscrew
Panamints
Panamints
Tucki
Tucki
Telescope
Telescope

Point 4800

On the hike in to Cork, my eye was drawn to a colorful rotten looking peak several miles distant.  I reasoned with myself that going off the plan for the day wouldn’t allow time for my itinerary and could turn out badly.  Furthermore, I only had half a day worth of food and water.  But my self didn’t listen to the good advice thoughts and I followed that connecting ridge all the way up to 4300 feet.

Cork
Cork
Point 4800
Point 4800
Corkscrew
Corkscrew
Cork
Cork

I was able to get slightly enough data signal to send a text to Fletcher and Jake.  I told them I was embarking on a potentially foolish route which looked loose and rotten, but I was able to explain in detail exactly where I was and to expect to hear back from me by 8pm.  It started out with the idea, that the ridge would probably go and it looked like the best way on the map, but around 4300 feet it appeared that it would not go at all.  There was one possible alternative.

ridge above
ridge above

A gap a the base of the cliffs on the left might allow access around the back side, but getting to that gap looked tricky.  I traversed a steep scree slope with loose-over-solid on a miniscule sheep path.  Cliffs below.  This sheep path had hoof prints in it and it was so narrow, that my boots were too big to get trustworthy purchase.


Beyond the scree I came to some awful rock and mudstone formations with bad run-out.  I could see where the sheep ambled across easily, but I just couldn’t do that.  Instead I descended slightly into a gully and then back up on the far side of the mudstone crags.  Now the gap was close.  Up some more nasty steep choss to an exposed overhanging scramble step and then I was in the clear.  Deep breath, wipe sweat off forehead, accept fear response, and hope for a better route down.


I scrambled to the top of Point 4800, which has nearly zero prominence.  From the map, I knew that the main peak was still a mile off, but at least with much easier terrain than what I just came through.  I found a small register on this sub-peak left by Sue and Vic.  They incorrectly labeled it “Little Corkscrew”, which is actually another zero prominence point, on a different ridge across the valley.  How in the world did they end up here?

Old Snifter
Old Snifter

"Old Snifter" – 5420'

Continuing further along the ridge was easy, but there was some more minor scrambling near the top of the peak.  No register or cairn present here either, but scraps of an old business card with advanced mathematics found under a rock.  So no FKA.

4800, DVB, Cork
4800, DVB, Cork
Corkscrew
Corkscrew
Titanothere Canyon
Titanothere Canyon
Thimble
Thimble

So, now I wanted to get down, preferably a different way.  Followed a ridge northeast, over a sub peak and then descended east along a narrow canyon, into a broader south facing canyon.  It was tempting to stay in this main canyon, but I suspected some major dryfalls, so I went up over the shoulder of a ridge on the east side of the canyon and then down steep choss into the lower canyon.

looking back at Old Snifter
looking back at Old Snifter

Sure enough, I had skipped one major dryfall, just where I suspected it, even though it doesn’t explicitly show on the map.  The rest of this canyon joined up with my approach route and made for a long but simple exit.

dryfall
dryfall

--------------
http://www.summitpost.org/user_page.php?user_id=25744
http://www.peakbagger.com/climber/ClimbListC.aspx?cid=2650&sort=elevft&u=ft&j=-1&y=9999

Keep climbing mountains and don't slip!
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
Gimpilator
Member
Member


Joined: 12 Oct 2006
Posts: 1323 | TRs
Location: Edmonds, WA
Gimpilator
  Top

Member
PostSat Feb 02, 2019 5:32 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
1-31
Peak 4403

It suddenly came to mind that with another 6 peaks, it would make 60 for the month, a good start on 2019, even with 14 non-hiking days.  Sure, why not?  I prepared myself mentally for another long day and no time for dillydallying.  Most of the nearby peaks were over a thousand feet of gain each.


Started in the northwest canyon off chloride City road, and then up a north ridge to the summit.

Daylight Peak
Daylight Peak
Corkscrew
Corkscrew
Peak 5000
Peak 5000

Peak 5020

Parked near a large water tank, then up a dog-leg northwest ridge to a west ridge and then summit.

Bare
Bare
DVB
DVB
Cork
Cork

Peak 5000

Up the main west ridge and then down the lesser west ridge to the north.  Two summits of nearly the same height, separated by 170 yards.

BM 93
BM 93

Peak 4660

Starting in the canyon between Peak 5000 and 4660, I ascended a water groove with numerous short dryfalls and slick slabs.  Super fun!  Then the south ridge to the summit, and descended the entire south ridge.

5000
5000
BM 93
BM 93
Daylight Peak
Daylight Peak

Border Monument 93 Peak – 5064'

This one looks interesting and the summit is right on the CA/NV border.  Parked just south of Daylight Pass.  Went up a minor draw to the east and around a bend until the peak was visible.  Movement above the draw turned out to be a coyote.  We watched one another and I got a distant profile photograph showing the ears.  The dog didn’t linger and was motivated to get away from my sight.  Even more isolationist than bighorn sheep tend to be.

Coyote
Coyote

Traversed to the base of the west face and up, passing rock formations to reach some class 2+ at the end.

Prospect
Prospect
previous 4 peaks
previous 4 peaks

"Prospect Peak" – 5055'

Time for #60.  Northeast ridge, chossy basalt boulders again, but stellar evening light, and the splendor of vast desert environs.  So happy to live just 2 hours away from this desert playground!  Loving life.

Daylight
Daylight
Flip Top
Flip Top
Sawtooth
Sawtooth
Bare
Bare

2-1
Daylight Peak – 5510'

From Daylight Pass parking area, up steep loose slopes to the east ridge.  Unexpected rock fin formations along the crest forced me slightly lower on south slope.  The summit is at the north end of a long topo contour.  Scrappy broken register needs replacing.  Direct descent on scree of the east face.

Prospect
Prospect
fins
fins

"Titanothere Peak" – 6136'

From Titus Canyon road I hiked south through dense sage, up a narrow wash, and to a pass.  Then ascending southwest onto the north ridge crest.  A false summit is riddled with gendarmes, but can be bypassed on the east side by exposed sheep trails.  Awesome views overlooking Titanothere Canyon

summit
summit
Telescope, Corkscrew
Telescope, Corkscrew
Old Snifter
Old Snifter
Thimble
Thimble
Grapevine
Grapevine
Titanothere Canyon
Titanothere Canyon
Flip Top
Flip Top
Pot
Pot

Flip Top Peak "Daylight Castle" – 6056'

One last hurrah.  Original plans dashed by extreme bad weather.  Heavy rain to start at 2am.  Time to go home and wait out the storm.  When the weather is bad in Death Valley, it’s going to be bad everywhere.

sub-peak
sub-peak
gap
gap

Flip Top aka Daylight Castle is shaped like X with four ridges.  The main summit is on the northeast arm of the X, but I had to traverse around or climb over the northwest arm and sub-peak of the X, which looked slightly formidable.  I was indecisive about which way to go, but settled on a combination of crossing over and traversing around.  I went up to a gap in the northeast ridge and then tried to traverse around the sub-peak on it’s east side.

main peak
main peak

Blocked by cliffs, I dropped down slightly and found a diagonal ramp to the bottom of the cliffs and traversed from there up to the center of the X.  Now the peak was nearby to the north, but looked somewhat technical.  Quartzite, I believe, some of it solid, but with a lot of loose blocks.


The south ridge looked none too appealing, so I traversed along the east side to a slanting slab, partially covered in loose blocks.  Above the slab I climbed a chimney and then found my way to the summit.  No register, so I placed one, the last one I had left.


--------------
http://www.summitpost.org/user_page.php?user_id=25744
http://www.peakbagger.com/climber/ClimbListC.aspx?cid=2650&sort=elevft&u=ft&j=-1&y=9999

Keep climbing mountains and don't slip!
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
raising3hikers
Member
Member


Joined: 21 Sep 2007
Posts: 1960 | TRs
Location: Edmonds, Wa
raising3hikers
  Top

Member
PostSat Feb 02, 2019 7:24 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
60 pks this month and 14 non hiking days? You're really taking advantage of your days. Thanks for your tr's

--------------
Eric Eames
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
Eric Hansen
Member
Member


Joined: 23 Mar 2015
Posts: 292 | TRs
Location: Wisconsin
Eric Hansen
  Top

Member
PostSun Feb 03, 2019 7:00 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
I think the Bob Packard (Flagstaff), in your first peak's register, is one of maybe 25 people who have walked the Grand Canyon end to end. Memory has him one of a handful who have done that on both sides of the river.
https://www.grandcanyonnews.com/news/2015/jun/03/guest-column-twenty-fourth-person-walks-through-g/

The ridge walk north from Dantes View is fabulous
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
  Display:     All times are GMT - 8 Hours
Forum Index > Trip Reports > 20 peaks in Death Valley, Jan 27 – Feb 1, 2019
  Happy Birthday RobfromFLA!
Jump to:   
Search this topic:

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum
   Use Disclaimer Powered by phpBB Privacy Policy