Note: Most of the links are no longer valid. I will get them updated when time permits.
Memorial Day found my hiking companion, fellow SP member Dennis Poulin. and I finishing up a great hike and climb of Middle Sister of the Sweewater Mountains, located south of the Carson City / Gardnerville area. We'd had a perfect day and enjoyed the
360 degree view from Middle Sister's summit. We had also
picked off the the Lyon county highpoint found a little lower on the NE side, close to a border marker at the 10,570 foot level.
From the top of Middle Sister, we had looked to the SE and had a good look at Boundary Peak off in the distance.
Back in the vehicle, we headed south towards Bridgeport where we had a late lunch (or early dinner) and filled up our tank with the $2.99 gas that they were selling.(that was really high back in 2004) We were a little chagrined when we found that it was selling for ONLY $2.79 in Lee Vining which is about 25 miles south of Bridgeport. Oh well. We made our way to highway 6 and had some great views of Boundary Peak from the Nevada highway We soon found the turnoff, located across from the JR Ranch (up for sale) Queen Mine, situated at over 9000 feet. We decided to camp there for the evening and take our chances with the road leading up to the saddle at 9700 feet in the morning. It turned out to be a good choice since it was flat enough for a decent tent spot and we had cell service amazingly enough from there. Hmmm, why didn't I order some pizza? The road up to the Queen Mine is drivable in a passenger vehicle (true in 2004)and Dennis's vehicle was not a high clearance SUV.
The morning brought more good weather and so Dennis decided to see if his vehicle could make it up to the saddle. You would have thought he was driving a rental vehicle instead of his own.....
It did, barely but I wouldn't attempt to take my Honda Accord up it as high clearence is a necessity. Finding the trail was easy and led us up to the ridge a thousand feet higher. We did make the mistake of following the "trail" into the trees and found that we had missed the rather indistinct turn off that led directly up to the ridge so we backtracked and intercepted the correct use trail a little higher up. The ridge topped out at 10700+ and from there it is about a mile and a half along the ridge (south side actually of this ridge) to Trail Canyon Saddle, where the trail coming up from Trail Canyon intersects the one we were on.
From this saddle, it is up the junky scree pile with many choices of use trails to pick from. A thousand feet higher, we crested a ridge and found ourselves staring at the imposing yet beautiful summit of Boundary Peak. A quick rest and then a traverse along the sidehill to the east (but on the west side of the small hill there) found us on the ridge that we would follow pretty much to the summit, a thousand feet higher. Some parts of this ridge require a little scrambling but there is nothing technical about it and can be done by most hikers who use common sense about route finding. Once around the first blocky section, getting to the ridge top provides the best route until you encounter a kind of false summit, which we by passed on the south (left) side. Finally, we found ourselves on the summit, which is a very pleasant one and the view was a killer. Wow.
A register is tucked under the summit boulder and is an interesting read if you have the time. An empty Sierra Club register sits nearby as does a wind shelter for those times when the wind is really howling up there.
Montgomery Peak is a tantalizing short scramble away and after a quick lunch, Dennis went for it. I was content to lounge around on the summit taking more pics and reading the register. Our time up was a little over 4 hours from the TH.
About an hour later, I got a cell phone call and it was Dennis, as pre-arranged on Montgomery's summit. I took a few telephoto shots of him and gave him my congratulations.
After his return from Montgomery, beat up and bloody because of some crusty snow he had to posthole through, we headed down. Too bad I didn't take pics of him, he looked like a survivor of a car wreck. Now to the other half of a "climb", the down part. It is important to not be in a hurry on the descent as the
junky stuff you have to deal worth could turn an ankle very quickly. Even being careful I took a few spills as rocks or footing slid out from under me. Still, it was a great day on the highest point of Nevada and even more amazing that we did not see one other person the whole day. A day in paradise and not soon to be forgotten.