Forum Index > Trip Reports > Desert Peakbagging ~ CA and NV ~ December 2020
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Fletcher
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Posts: 1658 | TRs
Location: kirkland
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PostTue Dec 29, 2020 6:59 pm 
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Well, as I suspected going into the fall this year, Inslee shut it down once again and I found myself, once again, unemployed. Instead of sitting around rainy Seattle bored and depressed, I decided to take a trip down to the desert to bag some classic peaks and do some rock climbing. I left Seattle on 12/9 and drove down to Death Valley over the course of 2 days. On the third day of my road trip I did my first hike of the trip, Telescope Peak in Death Valley NP. I had planned on doing Mount Whitney on this day but decided to bail because of a frigid and windy forecast in the Sierra.
Telescope Peak
Telescope Peak
Whitney off in the distance
Whitney off in the distance
Telescope
Telescope
a big bristlecone
a big bristlecone
Telescope summit
Telescope summit
summit reg
summit reg
Telescope summitshot
Telescope summitshot

After Telescope, I met some friends in Lone Pine and spent a few days climbing in the Alabama Hills. A decent place to hang out, but the rock climbing kinda sucks. We should have went up to Bishop instead. On the 14th, I was on my own once again, and went to go bag some more peaks in Death Valley. On this day, I had 3 separate shortish hikes planned. Corkscrew Peak, Death Valley Buttes, and Manly Beacon were all on the menu. Corkscrew was up first.
Corkscrew
Corkscrew
approach wash
approach wash
really pleasant hiking
really pleasant hiking
summit
summit
fresh snow in the distant Sierra
fresh snow in the distant Sierra
Telescope
Telescope
Cannon Hole
Cannon Hole

After Corkscrew, I cruised down the road a mile, parked again, and spent 90 minutes doing Death Valley Buttes per Adam Walker's recommendation. Good stuff!
Corkscrew from DVBs
Corkscrew from DVBs
DVBs
DVBs
views
views
views
views
Corkscrew again
Corkscrew again

After Death Valley Buttes, I drove over to Furnace Creek to do Manly Beacon. Our late friend Jake Robinson loved this hike, so i had to do it. Very unique place.
the Beacon
the Beacon
my shadow
my shadow
Manly Beacon summitshot
Manly Beacon summitshot

That night, I drove into Las Vegas to pick up my girlfriend Hannah and we would spend our next few days cragging at Red Rock.
Dante's Wall, an awesome crag
Dante's Wall, an awesome crag
Hannah at Dante's Wall
Hannah at Dante's Wall
Red Rock from Dante' Wall
Red Rock from Dante' Wall
Sunset
Sunset

On Hannah's second day in Vegas, we went to Arizona Hot Springs, also per Adam Walker's recommendation. Amazing place. We even saw a ring-tailed cat there.
hiking to Arizona Hot Springs
hiking to Arizona Hot Springs
hiking to Arizona Hot Springs
hiking to Arizona Hot Springs

Early on the morning of the 17th, I dropped Hannah off at the airport, and cruised over to Lake Mead to climb The Sentinel. After doing the Sentinel, I decided to traverse high on ridges over to Mystery Cairn Peak and Redstone Peak. The Sentinel was awesome but Mystery Cairn and Redstone were chossy piles. I was awarded with an amazing perspective on Sentinel though, that I would not have gotten had I not decided to do that.
hiking through open desert to Sentinel
hiking through open desert to Sentinel
the other Red Rocks looking up at Sentinel
the other Red Rocks looking up at Sentinel
up this wash
up this wash
Sentinel
Sentinel
crazy veiw from Sentinel
crazy veiw from Sentinel
crazy view of Sentinel
crazy view of Sentinel
whoa
whoa
big horns
big horns
looking back at Redstone
looking back at Redstone

The following day, I decided to do Mount Wilson in Red Rock Canyon via First Creek. This ended up being my favorite hike of the trip. Really fun hiking and scrambling up First Creek.
Wilson
Wilson
Wilson and First Creek
Wilson and First Creek
scramble crux in Frist Creek
scramble crux in Frist Creek
general terrain
general terrain
looking back down First Creek
looking back down First Creek
summit area ahead
summit area ahead
awesome views
awesome views
Potosi to the south
Potosi to the south
Charlestone to the north
Charlestone to the north
Vegas
Vegas

The 19th was my last day to hike and I had a bigger day planned but I woke up feeling unmotivated and just did Potosi via its west ridge instead. Not the coolest peak of the trip, but it was fun. Potosi was my 100th ranked summit of 2020.
cliffs of Potosi
cliffs of Potosi
scramble step
scramble step
summit ahead
summit ahead
radio towers on the summit
radio towers on the summit
Potosi summit shot
Potosi summit shot
Telescope way out there
Telescope way out there

On the 20th, I met up with Dustin Trails and enjoyed 3 more days of climbing at Red Rocks. Good times!
Dustin leading Running Man 5.11c
Dustin leading Running Man 5.11c
the money pitch on Black Orpheus
the money pitch on Black Orpheus
Dark Shadows
Dark Shadows
expsoure on Dark Shadows
expsoure on Dark Shadows
Vegas from Mescalito (top of Dark Shadows)
Vegas from Mescalito (top of Dark Shadows)

On the 23rd, I left Vegas at 230am and drove all the way home to Seattle. I love the desert and Ill be back.  cool.gif  up.gif
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Brushbuffalo
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Joined: 17 Sep 2015
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Location: there earlier, here now, somewhere later... Bellingham in between
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PostTue Dec 29, 2020 7:22 pm 
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Fletcher, looks like you had a refreshing winter trip. The desert is awesome.
Fletcher wrote:

That's almost a full curl!

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Passing rocks and trees like they were standing still
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raising3hikers
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Joined: 21 Sep 2007
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Location: Edmonds, Wa
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PostTue Dec 29, 2020 8:08 pm 
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Nice selection of peaks!  Looks like great weather but the most impressive trip, is the long haul back home in one push

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Eric Eames
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Gimpilator
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PostWed Dec 30, 2020 4:30 am 
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Nice trip!  Pretty cool you and Dustin climbed Black Orpheus.  up.gif  up.gif

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https://www.youtube.com/c/Zogador
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http://www.peakbagger.com/climber/ClimbListC.aspx?cid=2650&sort=elevft&u=ft&j=-1&y=9999

Keep climbing mountains and don't slip!
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Dustin Trails
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Location: Ashford, WA
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PostWed Dec 30, 2020 11:57 am 
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Fletcher, thanks for the trip report.  Those Death Valley and Lake Mead area peaks were definitely not on my radar (maybe because many are less than p400), but they look so cool! Now I have some ideas for my next trip down there.

Gimpilator wrote:
Pretty cool you and Dustin climbed Black Orpheus.

That one was pretty high on my list for a while!  Some of those Lake Mead area peaks that you recommend look awesome.

raising3hikers wrote:
but the most impressive trip, is the long haul back home in one push

It hurts my neck and hips just thinking about it.

Here are a few more pics from climbing:

This 5.7 liebacking pitch may not be the "money pitch" for the movement, but in my opinion was the most aesthetic:


Then a few more from Dark Shadows:

dangle the pack and squeeze!
dangle the pack and squeeze!
nice chocolate varnish
nice chocolate varnish
underrated quality pitches
underrated quality pitches

I had previously climbed Dark Shadows, but only the first four pitches (where most parties rap from).  The upper pitches are less popular, perhaps due to the involved descent?  But they are worthy of being climbed and make for a great adventure outing.  Most of the upper six pitches are longer than 30m, my favorite thing about adventure climbs.
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Riverside Laker
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Joined: 12 Jan 2004
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PostWed Dec 30, 2020 12:29 pm 
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You desert peakbaggers might enjoy ree's new book about the first European-descent people to stumble into Death Valley. Here's the map of their route. We did a lot of research by looking down from some of the peaks you mention.

Did you see Carol Lombard's airplane remains on Mt Potosi? It's not on the summit. It took us a couple tries to find it. Trip report on NWhikers
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Matt Lemke
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Joined: 15 Jul 2010
Posts: 1978 | TRs
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PostWed Dec 30, 2020 3:20 pm 
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Ahh I love Manly Beacon!! Good choice

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The Pacific coast to the Great Plains = my playground!!!
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Forum Index > Trip Reports > Desert Peakbagging ~ CA and NV ~ December 2020
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