With towering thunderstorms near the peak and thunder every few minutes I didn't have a lot of hope of making the summit but timing was all - I got there during a brief interlude of clear skies and lighter winds than I had on most of the ridge.
I took the South Loop trail up but soon lost the trail in the debris from last year's major avalanche so ended up bushwhacking up the canyon to the left of the waterfall on the west of Echo Cliff then ascended the ridge until I found the trail. I passed five groups of hikers (who evidently did not have my navigation problems) but saw only two people past mid-switchback level on the ascent and no one for the remainder of the trek.
I was treated to a hailstorm, 40 degree temperatures, 30 mph winds, some lightning and a lot of thunder but once at the top, the skies started clearing, it warmed up to the mid fifties and it was an enjoyable hike/run back down North Loop/Trail Canyon. 4.5 hours up, 3 hours down. BTW, despite other reports of distances, my GPS said this was 18.1 miles and 5,300' total vertical (due to the many ups and down on the route.))
This has got to be one of the coolest Mountains I have evr climbed. You go through so mant ecological zones on you way to the summit that it is staggering. Jennifer & I did this as an overnighter. We camped in a beutiful meadow surrounded by Bristlecone Pines just before treeline. The views were majestic espcially those of Mummy Mountain. When we arrived back in Vegas we mustered what energy was left in out "disco legs and boogied the night away at The Joint in the Hard Rock Cafe Casino. Now that's the way to end a mountain adventure.
Jam>Dire Wolf, Welcome to the Underground>Jam>Alligator, Again & Again> China Cat Sunflower> I Know you Rider
II. Jam w/ Elenor Rigby & Favorite Things tease>Deal>Casey jones, The Real Thing, Help on the Way>JamLucy in the Sky w/ Diamonds>Slipknot>Franklin's Tower
E:GDRFB, We Bid you Goodnight
Left Cathedral Rock Picnic Parking area at 6:30. Reached the summit at 11:00. Back at the car at 2:15. Perfect weather. Still some snow, but manageable. A great way to beat the Vegas heat.
We skinned up to Hidden falls where we put on crampons and used iceaxes to climb several hundred feet of steep sketchy snow. At top of cliffband we re skinned to Hour Glass chute untill skins were useless n cramponed to summit. Autographed the virgin snow in Hour Glass w/ splitboard and skis and traversed over to Big Falls for icy descent.
Oldest guy in the group was the fastest and he skied down on 70's era gear w/ a BIG smile plastered on his face!
Good times & great friends,
Started hiking at 8:15am on a beautiful July morning and reached the summit at 12:30pm. Back down at the parking lot by 5:00pm.
Hiking on the week day was definitely a good idea since this is the only cool summer spot in the whole area. We had the mountain all to ourselves.
Met only four people the whole day.
Two hikers on the south loop, who were already going back down from the summit. And two more people (some students) who were camping for the night and bird watching at the crossroads of North loop and Trail canyon trail.
Duane and I started this hike thinking that the weather was improving, only to find blizzard conditions on the summit ridge. The wind gusts nearly knocked us to our feet, and the frozen fog was collecting thickly on everything. By the time we returned to the car the entire sky was filled with the clouds, and upon learning the forecast we decided not to tackle any more of the ultra-prominence peaks we had on our schedule, and drove home instead.
Perfect weather: lots of sunshine and no wind on summit. Left the trailhead at 6:15 a.m. and reached the top at 11:00 a.m. Not a soul in sight! A great hike. My fourth time on the summit in six attempts since 2002.
Beautiful day, I had the mountain to myself.
Sunny but windy on the summit. Nice since most times I have looked at Charleston from Vegas it has been covered in clouds.
Took a day off from partying in Vegas and hiked up and ran down the peak. Ran into another ultra runner on top doing the full loop and we ran down together. A real pleasurable experience, the view of Vegas gave me a whole new perspective of the town.
I cross-country up the ridge-line nearest to Griffith Peak because there was a lot snow still. Since I was nearby I hiked up Griffith Peak first, then went over and did Charleston Peak. After watching some falcons mating or fighting, I headed down the North Loop trail.
To much snow, so I cross-country down to what later I found out to be Big Falls. Where I came out at in 8 hours.
One weird thing, is a lost dog tag with me at the start, and stayed with me the whole trip! Big Falls was kinda hard to negotiate with the dog. I returned her to the Ranger Station, who help me find the owners.
The south loop to Charleston is a great hike through thick pine forests, flowered meadows and bristlecone groves. The plane crash near the summit is a must-see.
Climbed with Jae, Kev, and Ryan. A really long day, after which we went to Vegas and attempted to party. We were all asleep by 10:30.
2003 September 21: South Loop trail. Some days you can see the Sierras from Charleston, and some days you can't. Today was a good day.
2004 August 22: South Loop trail.
2004 August 29: South Loop trail.
2005 April 30: Big Falls to east ridge snow climb. Trailhead to summit in 3 miles.
2005 June 25: Trail Canyon to North Loop. Still plenty of snow past Devil's Thumb; 2005 was a HUGE snow year.
2006 June 04: South Loop trail.
2006 June 10: South Loop trail.
2008 July 05: Trail Canyon to North Loop with DayHikerJr. My weight + DayHikerJr + all his stuff + my pack = 297 pounds.
I truly enjoyed the Bristlecone forest that extends for a couple miles along the top of the ridge as you make your way towards the summit. I had an interesting encounter with 4 deer who seemed amazed to see humans up there on this very windy day. I met three others who were using the south loop and three who came in from the north just as I was leaving the summit. The wind had to be hitting 50+ on the summit as I had difficulty staying upright. Tremendous views in all directions. WOW !!!
Great climb with good weather. Prelim was Griffith Peak the prior week. Over 100 deg in Vegas, cool on the summit.
Nice easy dayhike.
Fun day hike. Nice plane wreckage near the south side of the summit. Looked for Jimmy Hoffa's body.....no joy!
Great Hike! The meadows provided a great place to camp after a late afternoon starting time! (We didn't hit the trailhead until around 2pm) Quick jaunt to the peak from deep in the meadows. Left the packs behind and just brought water and some snacks. Considerably quicker descending. Watch the knees!
Reach the summit with Jim Boone. Up and back on South Loop trail. Took us 6.5 hours up, 5 hours down. Clear day but 50 mph gusts at summit. I used 2 liters of liquid.