Forum Index > Trip Reports > Getting down off those pesky peaks - A journey to the center of the earth
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meltedlegs
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meltedlegs
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PostMon Jun 03, 2002 4:18 pm 
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After lots of peak bagging in Washington, my eyes started wandering to closed contours further away and in more desolate, harsh locations. So I put together this plan and attempted to execute it. I'm happy to report that our climbing team successfully tagged off this most elusive and arduous point! But en route we discovered the lowest point we could imagine...

Getting there: Take Southwest Hairlines to Las Vegas NV, and walk to the rental car counter. After taking your money and signing your life away, they whisk you away (but don't sweep you off your feet) to their secret hideaway a few miles from the airport. Hop in your car and drive north on Hwy 95.

Our journey up this auspicious highway was frought with  danger due to 70 mph crosswinds. We witnessed a tractor-trailor rig on its side. But just like on our expedition up Mt Everett, we passed the fallen comrades on the shoulder with a bit of a shudder. Since the only thing that matters is tagging the elusive closed contour, we kept on, heads low and nose to the wind (except when we closed the windows and used air conditioning).

After passing the megopolis Indian Springs, and Lathrop Wells, then Beatty and Scotty's Junction, we took the west road 267. This road dropped and dropped and dropped. We realized that we were losing precious elevation. Yet we kept driving on, eager to discover new surroundings no matter what the
conditions.

The road turned south and travelled through sand dunes and arduous rolling terrain, finally flattening out in a large valley. After hours of painstaking footwork on the gas and brake pedals, and dealing with hardened "dead ends" (boy are car seats uncomfy), we reached the trailhead.

We hopped out of the sedan and into the 92 degree air. With howling winds and delicate hairdos, this was quite difficult to endure. However, the only thing that mattered was adding another point to our list of closed contours.

We walked the 50 paces, down a few steps to the mysterious and feared "Badwater". After staggering the last 10 paces, we finally reached our goal. Mouths parched, feet burning, lungs compressed from the air pressure, we tagged the sign and gloriously wept tears of relief. Once again, we had cheated death and surmounted the... er... descended to the lowest point in the US -- at 280 feet below sea level.*

Few can pull the resources from deep within to persevere against dropping gas tanks, dwindling supplies of sody-pop, and itchy bottoms. Yet we can say we have accomplished what few can say. We have hit the low point of our climbing careers.

____

* Yeah, I know the lowest point is -282', but you try to find it! It's flatter'n a mouse pad down there! Even the ranger didn't know where they are (two points have been measured at -282'). We dropped to our knees and figured that lost the 2 feet... and we were close 'nuff.




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polarbear
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Joined: 16 Dec 2001
Posts: 3683 | TRs
Location: Snow Lake hide-away
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PostTue Jun 04, 2002 8:00 pm 
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Did you drink any of the bad water?  Would you recommend a water filter in this low locale?
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Forum Index > Trip Reports > Getting down off those pesky peaks - A journey to the center of the earth
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