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Telescope Peak??

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Re: Telescope Peak??

Postby fedak » Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:49 pm

Harlan- I didn't mean to imply that there was significant danger.

The OP initially stated that he had no mountaineering experience and was here inquiring about the class 1 Telescope trail.
Just wanted to throw in a word of caution since we were recommending an early season trailess scramble up what I believed to be a known avalanche slope.

SP has a habit of not tempering recommendations to the requester's experience level.
(For example, the recommendations for the Badwater start on Telescope in May)
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Re: Telescope Peak??

Postby justintoronto » Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:17 am

i've never been above 9,000 .. how likely is it to develop severe altitude sickness or stuff like HACE ? that's pretty freaky.
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Re: Telescope Peak??

Postby MoapaPk » Thu Jan 31, 2013 2:33 am

It's a south-facing, sub-30-degree slope in a very sunny area, with abundant bristlecones. This guy is talking about going in May, when there is usually NO snow on that slope. I have done it as a snow climb in late May in El Nino years, but by then, the snow is usually very consolidated.

Out here, the worst avalanche danger is typically before March. Our snow tends to get pretty consolidated by late spring, especially on south-facing slopes. The sun is pretty intense here. On the other side of the canyon, the north-facing slopes have more serious avalanche danger. I typically see lots of obvious signs in avalanche-prone areas-- bristlecone debris, bent aspens, lots of very young trees in the open areas. I'm not saying it can't happen, but this slope is not typically a good candidate in late spring. The north side of the same mountain has clear avalanche chutes.
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Re: Telescope Peak??

Postby MoapaPk » Thu Jan 31, 2013 2:38 am

fedak wrote:SP has a habit of not tempering recommendations to the requester's experience level.
(For example, the recommendations for the Badwater start on Telescope in May)


NO problem. I should use smiley faces.

Actually, the problem I normally see is people who plan to do Mummy in March, and are quite shocked to find there may be snow at all.
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Re: Telescope Peak??

Postby SeanReedy » Thu Jan 31, 2013 2:59 am

justintoronto wrote:i've never been above 9,000 .. how likely is it to develop severe altitude sickness or stuff like HACE ? that's pretty freaky.


That's a good question and good to be aware of the symptoms. Odds of that go up the higher you go, and the longer you stay up high (without gradual acclimatisation), but a dayhike from 8,000 to 11,000 feet is unlikely to go beyond mild AMS, if anything.

Absent acclimatisation, if you do any hikes in the Sierra above 12,000, or especially to 13,000 feet and higher, chances of needing to turn back before summitting will increase. Taking Ibuprofen if a mild headache develops near the summit may help. I don't see this in your plans, but spending a night above 10,000 feet (or especially higher) without gradually acclimatising first would also increase risk.

Stay hydrated. Avoid alcohol and caffeine the day before and day of your hike. Drink more water than you usually do (it will be harder to stay hydrated up high and in the desert). If you start peeing clear several times an hour, you may be overhydrating. Snack frequently or stop for meal breaks on the hike. You will probably notice some shortness of breath and difficulty keeping normal hiking pace. Don't race up the mountain as fast as you can. Don't let your breathing rate stay slow.

For Telescope, sleeping overnight for free at Mahogany Flat (8, 200 feet) before the hike could be helpful, but if you get a headache there, sleep lower down at Thorndike, or Wildrose. Sleep low after the hike to recover (unless you feel normal, then Mahogany Flat may be fine).

http://www.nps.gov/deva/planyourvisit/camping.htm

If you develop a throbbing headache and major nausea/vomitting, seek lower elevation ASAP. Here is an article with more details:

http://www.summitpost.org/expedition-medicine/675753

Edit: camping link added and repaired
Last edited by SeanReedy on Thu Jan 31, 2013 4:18 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Telescope Peak??

Postby bscott » Thu Jan 31, 2013 3:25 am

justintoronto wrote:i've never been above 9,000 .. how likely is it to develop severe altitude sickness or stuff like HACE ? that's pretty freaky.


This is exactly why I suggested Charleston and Mummy. There is an easily accessible campground (more than one, actually) near the trail head. Driving up and spending a night at elevation should make the trip relatively comfortable. You said you are physically fit and have good endurance. This means you should be able to handle the elevation providing you follow the other suggestions already mentioned (stay hydrated, no alcohol the night before, etc...)

The likelihood of HAPE or HACE is remote, but the general rule is that if you aren't feeling well,especially with a headache, just go down.
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Re: Telescope Peak??

Postby mrchad9 » Thu Jan 31, 2013 3:41 am

I went by those campgrounds last spring. Way overpriced. You could get a hotel room in Vegas for the same cost.

So instead I drove back down the road a ways. There are several dirt roads branching off and I found a nice quiet spot. The price was good too!
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Re: Telescope Peak??

Postby bscott » Thu Jan 31, 2013 6:40 am

mrchad9 wrote:I went by those campgrounds last spring. Way overpriced. You could get a hotel room in Vegas for the same cost.


for someone who routinely comes from sea level to climb, $20 is a fair price to pay for acclimatazation and a hot shower, especially when you still have the luxury of sleeping outdoors.
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Re: Telescope Peak??

Postby mrchad9 » Thu Jan 31, 2013 7:01 am

It's $29/night.
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Re: Telescope Peak??

Postby bscott » Thu Jan 31, 2013 2:56 pm

i guess it depends on where you stay. i pay $21.
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Re: Telescope Peak??

Postby mrchad9 » Thu Jan 31, 2013 3:07 pm

Today a room at Circus Circus is $20. Palace Station is $17.
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Re: Telescope Peak??

Postby MoapaPk » Thu Jan 31, 2013 3:41 pm

We've branched a lot in this thread...

There are lots of places one can pull off the road into a secluded area near Charleston Peak -- most are on the Deer Creek Road or Lee Canyon Road. Obviously, I'm not going to mention all of them on a public forum; but the Mack's Canyon Road (in Lee) is a start (2wd gravel for 1st few miles). A lot of "official" campgrounds will be closed this year so the USFS can upgrade plumbing.

Mahogany Campground on the way to Telescope is about 8200'. You won't really acclimate in just one night, but it will give you a feeling for the altitude. From there to Telescope, it's just a trail; at worst, there will be slippery snow spots. The grade is low for most of the trip.

Lots of folks in coastal CA live near sea level, and make the pilgrimage to the Sierra each weekend; yes, some do get high altitude sickness, but most don't.
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Re: Telescope Peak??

Postby fedak » Thu Jan 31, 2013 4:04 pm

> Today a room at Circus Circus is $20. Palace Station is $17.

Plus the resort fee on both of those I believe.
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Re: Telescope Peak??

Postby mrchad9 » Thu Jan 31, 2013 4:40 pm

Both the campground and the hotels are more expensive and less pleasant than the free options that abound near Mount Charleston and Mummy Peak.
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Re: Telescope Peak??

Postby bscott » Thu Jan 31, 2013 5:06 pm

mrchad9 wrote:Today a room at Circus Circus is $20. Palace Station is $17.


Today a room at Circus Circus is 2,000' elevation.

Now look, if you don't want to pay *anything*, then I get that, and it's pointless to have the discussion.

But for relatively the same price, I get to camp outdoors, which I like, work on acclimatizing (and when you're coming from sea level, spending half a day and all night at 8,000' helps a lot), not have to drive to the trail head in the morning, and I get a hot shower out of the deal.

I honestly don't know why you want to beat the hell out of "it's $17 instead of $21". You wanna camp for free? Great, more power to you. But the extra $4 I pay over a room is worth it to me, for the reasons listed.
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