Page Type Page Type: Trip Report
Location Lat/Lon: 41.20797°N / 118.55243°W
Date Date Climbed/Hiked: Nov 3, 2018
Activities Activities: Bouldering, Scrambling, Canyoneering
Seasons Season: Fall

King Lear Peak, Western Approach from McGill Canyon

Me and the Gator tried to get to the summit using the Eastern approach back in the spring of 2010, but we weren't prepared for a late season snowstorm that turned us back before the summit. This time we were ready and hit perfect early November weather -- cool and crisp with no wind or snow. We learned that the Western approach via McGill canyon is much, much longer than the Eastern route. But it's much more visually dramatic to approach from the West, with the face of Lear looming over you. McGill canyon is narrow and tangled with dead cottonwood trees, tall sage, thorny bushes and tumbled rocks. There is no real trail except for cattle and deer tracks which meander about and often end in impassible thickets. The heavy rains from two winters ago have left a mark -- unimaginiable torrents must have run down the canyon. A narrow (4 foot wide) creek seems to run year round and at times was the best route to proceed. Keep pushing up and you'll get to the saddle -- about 5 hours for us of steady slogging -- and look back on the Eastern route, Jungo Flat and Winemucca off in the distance. The peak looks very imposing from the saddle -- especially when snow covered -- but if you choose the right route, you'll be on the summit in an hour. Epic views of the Black Rock Desert to the West, Secret Playa and Gerlach. I first laid my eyes on Lear back in the '90's at Burning Man. It just has an epic and forboding look to it -- our own little Mordor in the Nevada Desert. It took more than 20 years, but it was a very satsifying peak to conquer. Ol' Lear's no slouch -- don't let your guard down, it'll make you pay!


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McCannster - Nov 20, 2018 7:35 am - Voted 10/10


I also first laid eyes on King Lear from Black Rock City back in the day. I'll get up there one day. Thanks for the cool video.

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