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Telescope Peak??

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Telescope Peak??

Postby justintoronto » Wed Jan 30, 2013 2:07 am

Hey there. I am planning on climbing Telescope peak in Mid May of this year... I have a lot of endurance, enjoy long hikes etc. I've always wanted to get more into mountaineering since I have an incredible passion for mountains, enjoy skiing and so forth.

I haven't done much climbing though... I have climbed Mount Marcy (don't laugh) and done some similar smaller climbs in the Morrocan Atlas range.

I'm going to be in the las vegas area in mid-may so was hoping to have 4-5 days to do some back country exploring. I'm planning on climbing Telescope peak (in death valley) and
was wondering if you folks think that I could handle it.. I'm 31 years old and physically fit.. My only concern is high altitude and how I might react to it, given that the summit is above 11k ..

I have quite a lot of time to plan for this excursion so am beginning my research..

Any thoughts or suggestions? Does this seem to ambitious? I'd hope not.

Thanks!!
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Re: Telescope Peak??

Postby mrchad9 » Wed Jan 30, 2013 2:27 am

Are you talking about doing it from Mahogany Flat or the valley floor?
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Re: Telescope Peak??

Postby justintoronto » Wed Jan 30, 2013 2:30 am

I'm open to either. I think though that if I can rent a decent SUV i'll try from mahogany flat.
Quite a hike from the valley floor as I understand.. But I will have about 5 days free so should be able to fit it in and enjoy the scenery
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Re: Telescope Peak??

Postby mrchad9 » Wed Jan 30, 2013 2:39 am

If you do it from Mahogany Flat it is just a hike. You are in shape so it won't be an issue for you at all.

If you have 5 days, then could do something more with the rest of your time. Pyramid Peak is nice, as is Tin or Dry Mountain. Other probably have better suggestions too. Or you could check out all the other attractions. Tons of stuff out there.
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Re: Telescope Peak??

Postby justintoronto » Wed Jan 30, 2013 2:43 am

Yeah taking a closer look at maps and from mahogany it doesn't look too crazy.
I'll look into some other things to do as well, thanks!
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Re: Telescope Peak??

Postby bscott » Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:34 am

Check out Charleston Peak and Mummy Mountain. Both are just outside of Vegas. There is an easily accessible campground right near the trail heads. I mention these because you said you have good endurance and enjoy long hikes.
Don't try to argue with idiots. You aren't the dumbass whisperer.
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Re: Telescope Peak??

Postby fedak » Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:59 am

> Check out Charleston Peak and Mummy Mountain

Just as a precaution, the standard approach to Mummy may still have avvy danger in May.
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Re: Telescope Peak??

Postby mrchad9 » Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:19 am

Mattski wrote:Climb it via bad water basin, it is a riveting hike over the salt flats.

Especially when you have a great companion with you!
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Re: Telescope Peak??

Postby SeanReedy » Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:36 am

If I were staying in Vegas, mid-May, I'd research several surrounding options and then keep an eye on weather forecasts and snowpack conditions once May rolls around. Telescope isn't my reason for that; it will very likely be great at that time and is worthwhile. However the rest of Death Valley might be blazing hot and there are other great hikes and mountains that are of similar or lesser drive time from Vegas than Mahogany Flat.

I'm not sure if you've been before, but Zion National Park would be closer than Mahogany Flat, and not as hot as Death Valley. Nearby, this would provide a spectacular adventure off the beaten path: http://www.summitpost.org/canaan-mountain/363242

Charleston and Mummy, very near Vegas were mentioned. Also keep in mind that Lone Pine, CA and the Eastern Sierra are just beyond DVNP to the west. In a low snow year, hikes from Horseshoe Meadow Campground to the gorgeous Cottonwood Lakes or even peaks like Cirque or Langley might be possible (altitude and equipment needs may add complications, especially if summitting a peak is important).

If you luck out and hit a cool spell, Death Valley has great canyons and fun dunes. Many sites or hikes are short enough that you can see them without leaving air conditioning for long. Longer hikes might be doable early in the mornings, and at least it is a dry heat. Mosaic Canyon, Golden Canyon, Zabriskie Point, Artists Drive, Badwater, Dantes View, and the Stovepipe Wells Dunes are all quick and scenic. Marble Canyon, Fall Canyon, and Palmer Canyon are great mid range hikes away from crowds if it is cool enough. Pyramid Peak is relatively near some of the tourist sites mentioned, but be careful not to be there afternoon in a heat wave. Dry and Tin are a bit far out northwest and long hikes, but scenic, and you could stop by Ubehebe Crater, or even the Racetrack while out that way. Also out to the north, Eureka Dunes and Last Chance Mountain are interesting backcountry spots and you could even loop back along the Sierra via Big Pine/Big Pine Road if time permits. Besides the scenic driving along the Sierra, there is great hiking from Big Pine Creek, Onion Valley, and (again) Horseshoe Meadow.

Telescope Peak is likely to work out well for you that time of year, regardless of what else you are able to fit in. All of the lower peaks and hikes have a chance of being toasty, so be cautious and hydrated. I think 100 is average that time of year down low and the sun will likely be intense.
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Re: Telescope Peak??

Postby MoapaPk » Wed Jan 30, 2013 2:57 pm

fedak wrote:> Check out Charleston Peak and Mummy Mountain

Just as a precaution, the standard approach to Mummy may still have avvy danger in May.


In most years, the standard approach to Mummy, by the scree slope, is barren of snow up to the ridge by May. Late in the spring, even in El Nino years, the snow is typically very consolidated on S-facing slopes (the scree slope is only about 30 degrees), if it exists at all. Once one hits the ridgeline, stay right on the rock (the N side of the ridge may still have deep powder).
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Re: Telescope Peak??

Postby yetibob3 » Wed Jan 30, 2013 4:21 pm

As others have said, from Mahogany Flats it's just a nice hike, 7 miles each way. In recent years the road has been well maintained and 4WD was not needed; friends and I generally do it in April, check with the park service. Years ago I climbed it from the east side valley floor via Honapaugh Canyon, it was brutal,11,000 feet of gain, don't count on any water along the route and the lower part is VERY hot in May. We had a car with plenty of beer waiting at Mahogany Flats. This was a predawn start and ending well after dark. Had we been able to start from the west side road (closed at the time) it would have saved a couple of hours. Have fun.
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Re: Telescope Peak??

Postby Fletch » Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:03 pm

I hiked Telescope Peak a few years back in April (from the flats). Epic day. Be prepared for it all. I haven't been back in CA for a few years, so I dont know the local beta, but stay humble on this one. The weather that day kicked our asses all over that mountain (ice, snow, whiteout, sand storm, wind, etc).

But, very cool peak. Have fun!
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Re: Telescope Peak??

Postby justintoronto » Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:32 pm

fedak wrote:> Check out Charleston Peak and Mummy Mountain

Just as a precaution, the standard approach to Mummy may still have avvy danger in May.


Hmm yeah that sounds a bit dangerous, i may be solo as well if my buddy bails
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Re: Telescope Peak??

Postby SeanReedy » Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:38 pm

weather.gov can be used for point forecasts a week out--Telescope Peak: http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?lat=36.169949&lon=-117.08922239999998&site=all&smap=1&searchresult=Telescope%20Peak%2C%20California%2C%20USA

As noted, while not likely, a storm could hit during your visit. More likely would be cold winds or blowing dust. A small passenger car may be fine for everything mentioned, but high clearance, 4WD, and sturdy tires (with a spare) decrease chances for problems, especially if doing more than Telescope and major tourist sites/hikes. Besides calling the park, Death Valley Road Conditions are available via Facebook or via the Death Valley Morning Report.
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Re: Telescope Peak??

Postby MoapaPk » Wed Jan 30, 2013 9:20 pm

justintoronto wrote:
fedak wrote:> Check out Charleston Peak and Mummy Mountain

Just as a precaution, the standard approach to Mummy may still have avvy danger in May.


Hmm yeah that sounds a bit dangerous, i may be solo as well if my buddy bails


In 6 snow ascents, I have never seen signs of avalanches on the scree slope of Mummy. In 2005, our worst avalanche year (100 avalanches in the Spring Mountains), there were no avalanches on the scree slope (though there were many below, down around 8000').
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