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Mt. Charleston beta

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Mt. Charleston beta

Postby Princess Buttercup » Tue Dec 01, 2009 1:12 am

Anyone seen this/been up since the past weekend's storms? Will be heading that direction Friday night to hoof it as far as i can, conditions determining progress.

Thanks in advance,
-Laura 8)
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Postby Alex Wood » Tue Dec 01, 2009 1:15 am

I'll be heading there in a week an a half so any beta would also be appreciated. Any suggestions for a nice winter route?
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Postby MoapaPk » Tue Dec 01, 2009 2:16 am

Check the ski area reports:

http://www.skilasvegas.com/winter/index.html

During the day, check out the cam at Lundy Elementary in Kyle, which looks S to the Griffith-Charleston ridge:
http://www.instacam.com/showcam.asp?id=MTCHA&size=S

Right now there are a few inches on areas above 8000'. If they don't get more snow, the trails (especially SLT) should be OK with gaiters, changes of socks (e.g. neoprene), weather-appropriate clothes, and consideration for the short days. If you have them, boots with gore-tex/eVent liners and/or significant rubber rands up the sides will be useful.

Check out moon-rise/ moonset times and have a good headlamp! It's a 16+ mile RT by the south loop (SLT), with an accumulated elevation gain of well over 4000', since the route undulates on the ridge. I've done the RT in 6 hours in moderate weather, but you will be slower with a bit of snow.

I've had a bum ankle for 17 days, else I would join you.
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Postby Princess Buttercup » Tue Dec 01, 2009 4:45 am

Thanks for the links, Moapa. You know, I might know a few good tape jobbies to help with the hobbling.

A whole few inches, huh? Maybe I should break out the snowshoes for training weight. Headlamp, check. Change of socks, check. Summit sandwich? To be determined. I saw a trip report of a few more peaks in the vicinity, so maybe those will be in reach, too. May as well use the 5 minutes of daylight we have this time of year.

It's early in the week: let me know if you'd like to come and play.

-Laura 8)
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Postby MoapaPk » Tue Dec 01, 2009 5:39 pm

According to the ski area, a "few inches" is 9" at 8600', but you know how much we can trust ski reports.

Griffith is on the way by the SLT, and is an easy consolation prize if you must bail; it's just 450' vertical from the saddle (just stay near the ridgeline -- one official trail cuts off right as you head up Griffith, and avoids the summit.

Lee is another easy bag from the NLT; the S side is easier than the NE side.

Mummy is on the same ridgeline, and is actually a nicer and more challenging summit, via the NLT; plus it's a much shorter hike, with no gratuitous ups and downs. It does have that obnoxious steep 550' vertical talus slope, which may be a wee but slick right now.

I've been up Chaz by NLT with just this much snow, just booting it; wasn't bad, but more snow, and the stretch S of Devil's Thumb gets a mite scary.

A few days of sun and >32F at altitude, and a lot of the snow on S-facing slopes will burn down, but it looks like the highs will hover at the freezing point.
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Postby Princess Buttercup » Tue Dec 01, 2009 11:21 pm

That's perfect, thanks. I'll grab a topo tomorrow and take a peek at things. I had actually hoped to ski it, but sounds like not quite enough there yet. Weather reports look good, at least so far, and I can always bail to Red Rock. I seem to remember a pretty good winery in Pahrump, too... :roll:
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Postby forjan » Thu Dec 03, 2009 6:14 pm

Hey Laura and Alex,
Why don't you wait another month or so and try the East Face of Mt. Charleston? I've done it 3x and it is the shortest way to the summit. Bit of routefinding though. Sorta have to go with someone who has done it before....like Snow Creek. Hard to describe the approach to the East Face. Here are my trip reports:

http://miguelforjan.ucoz.com/charleston2.html
http://miguelforjan.ucoz.com/charleston3.html
http://miguelforjan.ucoz.com/charleston4.html

I can be talk into going a 4th time up this route, but probably when there is more snow coverage.

--Miguel
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Postby MoapaPk » Thu Dec 03, 2009 6:34 pm

Not quite sure what you mean by the east face route -- is it the winter route that goes by big falls?
http://hwstock.org/chuckwin9/

Snow conditions are hard to predict; a lot of the gullies are avalanche chutes. Some years they consolidate early, other years they are pretty dangerous up to April. Some years there is so little snow that the exposed cliff bands are a pain.

Around here, the route that we used to call "east face" has been hampered in past years by avalanche debris, but I'm guessing that's a different beast.

When the snow is deep, it's too darn hard to reach Chaz by the SLT is a short winter's day. But when the snow is less than a foot deep, it's still a pretty fast way. Often the S-facing slopes on the high ridge (between Griffith and Chaz, 10600' to 11400') burn and blow clear.

2006 was a low-snow year. Hard to say how this year will shape up. On Jan 01/2006, people just booted all the way up SLT to the top of Chaz.

NB: the SLT itself switches back and forth a lot, and is a pain with any significant amount of snow, before you reach the ridge just west of Griffith Peak. It's a N-facing route, and stays cold and dark longer than the NLT route. Often people go directly up the Griffith avalanche chute, or on the ridge just W of the Griffith chute, to avoid the switchbacks.
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Postby Princess Buttercup » Thu Dec 03, 2009 8:31 pm

I could be talked into waiting: I am heading to Vegas to cheer on my bro in the RnR 1/2 Marathon Sunday, and was looking for something on the way to play for Saturday. Of course, I could always do it AGAIN, as well. I've got no rule for only one time up a hill, especially if it's via separate routes.

Migs, just lmk and I'm in. It's a pretty easy drive from here. :wink:
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Postby MoapaPk » Thu Dec 03, 2009 9:36 pm

There some nice scrambles in Red Rock -- from Redcap (I've made it to the top in 19 minutes) all the way to Bridge Mountain. No snow there.
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Postby Princess Buttercup » Thu Dec 03, 2009 9:39 pm

RR is definitely somewhere I need to explore further, but I kinda have this 10K thing going right now, although I've beaten my record from last year by two weeks so I could stop anytime now... but why? Guess we all gotta have goals.

Besides, I wanna climb RR and hang 7 adults from two bolts like Migs did a few weeks ago... :twisted:
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Postby MoapaPk » Thu Dec 03, 2009 10:02 pm

OK, I promise I won't give any more suggestions... after this.

Loops over Kraft Mt have the advantage of starting from a no-fee area in Calico Basin, on the right (N), a few miles before you even get to the Red Rock Visitor Center. You pass by some bouldering areas covered with chalk, where you can test your skill. The loop over Kraft never need be worse than class 2, but get off route, and it will become worse. It's pretty, and takes a lot less time 'cause you don't have to contend with the one-way loop.
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Postby Princess Buttercup » Thu Dec 03, 2009 10:05 pm

Suggest away! I'll put them on my to-do list. 'bout time I climbed in another state, at least... :wink:

I can always refer back to this thread in the future. You've been tremendously helpful! :D
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