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John Morrow
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John Morrow
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PostThu Nov 24, 2016 11:23 am 
I'm back in Death Valley!!!  A quick first TR for a 10 day stint in this fantastically sublime and diverse National Park.  Starting with this series of dayhikes, I joined my friend and coworker Victoria for a combination of dayhikes and a, practically epic, 50 miler backpack.  This is our first few days.


November 12:


But first, I went into the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area above Vegas to the west for a quick summit hike to 10,252 feet on Fletcher Peak via the North Loop Trail.

A well maintained trail start at 8000 feet quickly brought me into the famed bristlecone forests with views of majestic limestone peaks...a few of my favorite things!

First Bristlecone
First Bristlecone
Mt. Charleston Wilderness, NV
Mt. Charleston Wilderness, NV
Cockscomb below
Cockscomb below

A good way trail departs the North Loop Trail for the summit in another mile.

Griffith Peak
Griffith Peak
Mummy's Toes, Mt. Charleston Wilderness, NV
Mummy's Toes, Mt. Charleston Wilderness, NV
Cockscomb below Charleston
Cockscomb below Charleston
Mummy Peak across
Mummy Peak across
Harris Mountain
Harris Mountain

Back to the Raintree junction with the waytrail and down.

The "Raintree"
The "Raintree"
Vegas Lights
Vegas Lights
Love these sentinels!
Love these sentinels!
Even snags are special
Even snags are special
Back at Fletcher Peak
Back at Fletcher Peak
Frenchman lights up over Vegas
Frenchman lights up over Vegas
Back among old friends
Back among old friends

The trail starts/finishes in some stately Ponderosa pines making me feel right at home.  I camped below them 300 yards from the TH.  So great to be at altitude again!

November 13:

After restocking and resting, I drove to Death Valley National Park.  I arrived in time to drive up to Dante's View of Death Valley at over 5000 feet, and then run up the adjacent Dante Peak 5704'...a whopping .3 miles...with time to watch the Supermoonrise!!!!

Dante's View!
Dante's View!
Mount Perry for tomorrow; golden hour
Mount Perry for tomorrow; golden hour
View south to Smith Mtn
View south to Smith Mtn
Pyramid Peak distant
Pyramid Peak distant
Funeral Mountains Wilderness
Funeral Mountains Wilderness
Death Valley Wilderness, CA
Death Valley Wilderness, CA

November 14:

After happily rendezvousing with Victoria at Texas Spring campground, I convinced her our first hike should be to run the 4.5 mile ridgeline "out and back" from Dante's View to Mount Perry 5716' in celebration of the 2nd night of the supermoonrise.  We timed it for a final mile return back over Dante Peak to the moonlight!  (No pics...too dark).  Great start to our Death Valley time.

Death Valley National Park
Death Valley National Park
Death Valley National Park, CA
Death Valley National Park, CA
Death Valley National Park, Dante's View to Mt Perry
Death Valley National Park, Dante's View to Mt Perry
Victoria finds some scrambling
Victoria finds some scrambling
A ridgerun!
A ridgerun!
Death Valley Wilderness, Death Valley National Park, CA.
Death Valley Wilderness, Death Valley National Park, CA.
Colors on top, Mount Perry
Colors on top, Mount Perry
Gotta go back there
Gotta go back there

November 15:

"Peaks or canyons?", we asked ourselves this day.  Canyons it was.  We started with the classic Mosaic Canyon, hiking a combination of narrows, dryfalls, and bypasses to reach the "fourth narrows" prior to the canyon taking an open steep run up Tucki Mountain.  Bypasses are required but are cairned with very wide tread.

Victoria starts up Mosaic
Victoria starts up Mosaic
Interesting walls
Interesting walls
Crazy forms
Crazy forms
Death Valley National Park, CA
Death Valley National Park, CA
A dryfall scramble
A dryfall scramble
More scrambling
More scrambling
Death Valley National Park, CA
Death Valley National Park, CA
Working a bypass
Working a bypass
Big mountains over bypass
Big mountains over bypass
Mosaic canyon narrows, CA
Mosaic canyon narrows, CA
Death Valley National Park, CA
Death Valley National Park, CA
Tightening
Tightening
Death Valley National Park, CA
Death Valley National Park, CA
Denied again!
Denied again!

We returned above the canyon on the complete bypass trail on the southside of the canyon.

Death Valley National Park, CA
Death Valley National Park, CA
Clouds forming
Clouds forming
Last look at Mosaicy walls
Last look at Mosaicy walls

Then it was on to Natural Bridge Canyon for a view of its famous Natural Bridge, and an attempt to go beyond.  We got a short ways before we did a sketchy "ball-bearings on glass" bypass that still refused permission to re-enter the canyon.  Oh well...a pretty bridge.

To Natural Bridge
To Natural Bridge
Natural Bridge!
Natural Bridge!
Bridge view
Bridge view
Beyond the bridge
Beyond the bridge
Pretty fall
Pretty fall
Attempting another fall bypass
Attempting another fall bypass
Can't get back in!
Can't get back in!
Death Valley National Park, CA
Death Valley National Park, CA
Backlight bridge
Backlight bridge

Coming up: a great extended loop backpack over four days, followed by more daytrips with Victoria and then solo.

--------------
“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”-Mary Oliver

“A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.”
― MLK Jr.
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sticky buns
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sticky buns
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PostThu Nov 24, 2016 9:25 pm 
Darn, had I known you were going to be there so soon, I would have left a message and stash of goodies.

The colors in DV do surprise me. And the snags, ahh, the snags. So much character!

Looking forward to seeing the rest of your reports and maybe someday being in the same place at the same time.

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John Morrow
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Joined: 03 Apr 2007
Posts: 1496 | TRs | Pics
Location: Roslyn
John Morrow
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PostFri Nov 25, 2016 10:37 am 
sticky buns wrote:
Darn, had I known you were going to be there so soon, I would have left a message and stash of goodies.

The colors in DV do surprise me. And the snags, ahh, the snags. So much character!

Looking forward to seeing the rest of your reports and maybe someday being in the same place at the same time.

Just out from 4 nights at Emigrant Campground!  Because of your tip I went up Wildrose Peak for the infamous view of the highest and lowest points from the same vantage in the 48 US States!  Maybe next November for a Mojave/Sonoran desert experience?

john

--------------
“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”-Mary Oliver

“A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.”
― MLK Jr.
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ree
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ree
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PostFri Nov 25, 2016 1:05 pm 
Mosaic Canyon is truly one of my favorites.  What a textural crowd pleaser.  I've never make it to tuck in Tucki.  Looks like you had a bit of route finding at the head of the canyon?  Was there a bootpath to the summit?

Dante's View... Stunning shots.  Esp. moonrise.  Wonderful stuff.

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John Morrow
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John Morrow
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PostSun Dec 04, 2016 2:34 pm 
ree wrote:
Mosaic Canyon is truly one of my favorites.  What a textural crowd pleaser.  I've never make it to tuck in Tucki.  Looks like you had a bit of route finding at the head of the canyon?  Was there a bootpath to the summit?

Dante's View... Stunning shots.  Esp. moonrise.  Wonderful stuff.

Hi Ree,
Not sure I fully understand your question, exactly.  But we didn't make the summit of Tucki, not even close.  We made it to what is commonly called the "fourth narrows".  To get there requires exiting the canyon and reentering on a scramble downclimb.  A full width trail has developed now on the south side of the canyon ( left looking upcanyon).   It bypasses all dryfalls.  From there it would be a steep scramble on much loose gravel on one of the ridges, either side of the main canyon, to get to the summit.  Does that answer it?
John

--------------
“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”-Mary Oliver

“A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.”
― MLK Jr.
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ree
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ree
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PostMon Dec 05, 2016 10:27 am 
Yeah, I thought you made it up to the top of Tucki.  That would be a very long hike indeed.   Last time, we made it to the place you exit top of the canyon on the right and drop back down.  We went past that and turned around.  I guess I was wondering if you could make it all the way from the canyon mouth to the summit.

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