Getting after itAfter climbing up Tobin Mountain (thanks in part to my truck), Eric and I decided to car camp near a hot spring. Big mistake as about 1 a.m. a noisy group came in and shouted and had a good time until the dawn. Then they left and I had kissed half of a good night's sleep goodbye. Lesson learned.
Our goal for the new day was Tholen Benchmark Peak, a peak that had 8276 of elevation and was on our radar thanks to the fact that it was one of Nevada's peaks that had over 2000' of prominence. With almost 2200 feet of prominence, it was the 135th most prominent peak in the state and was thus very appealing to two guys who were actively chasing that list.
We drove from our car camping area near Leach Hot springs on a decent county road (dirt) to Spaulding Canyon (See benchmark mapbook) and at a key fork, we took the right portion of the fork and headed north, going past a ranch that is just a little past the fork mentioned. I continued up the road and it deteriorated a bit but never enough to deter me from driving up to a saddle and parking there at the 7050' level.
That saddle is located just to the east of point 7388 and we started our hike from there (elev. 7050). The road from the saddle dropped down past Cherry Spring and would hook up with the road that Dennis and Ken mentioned in their peakbagger trip reports but we felt that we'd be well served to hike from our saddle where the antelope play. We contoured around the north side of point 7388 and Eric went up and over Peak 7991 while I countoured around its south side, a mistake I wouldn't repeat on the way back. After we joined up again at the saddle below Peak 7991, we made our way over towards Tholen which was still a good mile and a quarter away. It seems like we entertained the local cattle as they followed our every movement with a chorus of loud moo's. Up to this point we had sidehilled a lot and finally we could just go straight for the summit.
This was pretty country, with a nice coat of green everywhere and the temperature was just right for hiking. As we made our way over to the base of the mountain itself, we had a series of ups and downs that we sidehilled as much as we could. On our way back, we just went over the top of the ridge and minimized the sidehilling which is what we should have done in the first place on our ascent.
Finally, after a rest break at the base of the mountain where it dips down to a saddle located at the 7500' level, we knew that another 800' of effort would bring us to the summit so that renewed our energy and up we went. Eric made it to the top first and I joined him a few minutes later. We found the benchmarks and was intriqued by the fact that the witness marker was labeled "Tholen" but the central benchmark was labeled "Inskip". We found the register and signed in and then proceeded to take pictures in all directions but the sky particularly to the south and west was really hazy from a fire that was probably located to the south.
After a relatively short time, we were headed down again and this time we skipped the sidehilling and just went down over the crest of the ridgeline whenever we could. Eric had the long trip back to Las Vegas to make and the sooner he was able to get back to his vehicle, the sooner he could start that drive.
Rarely visitedThe register we found on the summit held just a few names.
John Vitz placed the existing register and it had the following names in it:
John Vitz 5-14-2006
Brad Boester 4-10-2010
Mike Beyer 5-1- 2011
Dennis Poulin 5-27-2011
Ken Jones 4-29-2012
Ron Moe 5-27-2014
Dick Kendall 5-27-2014
Eric Kassan 6-08-2014
Dean Molen 6-08-2014
Peakbagger also lists Gordon MacLeod on July 11th 2004 but the usual register with his and Barbara Lilley wasn't the one we saw. So, from 2004 to 2014, only 11 of us had visited the top of this seldom visited summit and 4 of us were within two weeks of each other in 2014.