Nice break from the heat below
Had a day to kill in Vegas, so I got the heck out of that s###hole and hiked up the tallest mountain I could find.
Up and back from Trail Canyon and North Loop this time. With Abby, wonder hiking dog, who scored jerky from a kind lady on top. 7:10 am to 4:00 pm car to car, with some leisurely time on top (no wind!). Last year (August 5, 2011) came and went from South Loop; August 29, 2009, did the loop up the north and down the south. The exposure on the north gives me pause, I can't imagine doing it in snow. But the views are stupendous and the bristlecones awesome. Much less traffic than south loop. The new parking lot and bathroom at Trail Canyon are dandy :-)
This was my first, real strenuous solo summit. Construction at the picnic area had me starting at the "wrong" trailhead and I ended up hiking Cathedral Rock by accident...but the extra 3.5 miles and 1000 ft of elevation didn't stop me from heading up Charleston, too. :) Beautiful and serene hike to the summit, grueling and draining hike down left me dehydrated and cursing. Overall, worth every minute! :)
Easy long hike on the south trail, with Griffith Peak on the return. Couldn't be bothered to do the north loop due to a flight out from Vegas that evening, but ended up having time. Better to enjoy the fountains and atrium at the Bellagio for an hour or so.
2011 too much snow - on the ground and new snow overnight. 2012 almost no snow. Camped on the ridge near Griffith Saddle, went to the top the next morning. Cool, windy, cloudy. Climbed with Todd
Went up the south loop trail and stopped at Griffith Peak on the way to Charleston Peak. After Charleston Peak I took the north loop trail and hiked up Mummy Mountain before taking the canyon trail back. Both trails had manageable amounts of snow.
Hiked about a week after a big snowstorm in the Spring Mountains -- atypical for this area so early in the fall. Went up the S. Loop trail, which was covered from bottom to top in slick, hard snow. The meadows were clear. Very sunny on top, very little wind. Descended N. Loop which, for the first half, was also covered in snow. Not many people out this time of year so I had to stomp my feet into the snow in the switchbacks near the summit to make sure I didn't slide down the mountain. Very strenuous and long day, and I got back to my car at S. Loop trailhead as it was getting dark.
This was my first summit of any real mountain (being from Minnesota), and I was awed by the strenuous climb and rewarding views once we made it to Charleston Peak. Climbed with my best friend/former college roommate - one of the best days of my life, and every little step and gasp trying to keep my lungs full of air was definitely worth the effort. I'm hooked... but need to stay in shape for climbs like this - very strenuous on my 43 year old body. I was sore for 5 days after!
Hiking mt Charleston alone is a good conditioning run; 20-degree cooler temps, trail has a gradual rise over run, and not too far outside Vegas. But when combined with 2 other peaks shared on its range, it becomes a climbing journey for the entire day. Mummy's Tummy and Griffith Peak add good views, ridge-line routing, and both have survey markers/registers. N Loop & S Loop trailheads are connected by a 1 mile stretch of pavement.
1st of now 4 ascents.
Awesome pot luck lunch hike organized by Tom Hawley. Not sure what there was more of - good weather, good food, or good company. 4 hours to summit via Trail Canyon/NLT and 3 hours down via SLT - new personal best for me.
Third time to reach summit (and third attempt). This time it was part of a 3-summit day with Mummy Mountain and Griffith. Done as part of training with Las Vegas Mountaineers Club.
still snow on trail making difficult, for my first time, following trail. got lost several times. took south loop up, got griffith, then charleston. took north loop down and got mummy. kicked my ass. long day, but great day
Along the meadowy ridge to the summit. Found the summit to be anti-climactic though. But a very nice day.
On the day we hiked up Charleston, the sky was murky with high clouds, obscuring the distant views. I definitely want to do this one again to get the brilliant views that I saw from Griffith and Mummy Mountain on later trips.
Climbed up from both the South and the North. They're both great and have their own personality; The South has more overlooks I'd say. Trail canyon is nice way up too and you can loop over to the South so you don't have to shuttle.
Have been up a number of times via south/north and up over big falls. Have attempted as day hike in winter but was unsuccessful.
Up South Loop (with a detour to Griffith)
Down North Loop/Trail Canyon
Aspens turning on the slopes of Mummy Mountain and nice and cool compared to Vegas.
Pics and trip report here.
I started at the South Loop trailhead around 11:15am, group break at the saddle (10,000') at 3:30pm, then I summitted at 5:15pm. After a nice 20min late lunch on top in light winds and 55F temps descended with 2hrs hiking in the dark. Down at 9:15 just when the 1/2 moon was rising! Spectacular views, an old aircraft wreckage, and nice ridge trail.