Sarah and I (the 'belles of stovepipe wells') arrived at mahogany flats in the dark (as is typical). Great hike to the summit next day, light clouds, almost no one else on the trail. Nice gradual climb, even the switchbacks near the end weren't thigh busters. Amazing view of the salt pan in Death Valley from the summit. Outran impending thunderstorm on the way back down. Our fourth visit to Death Vally, and we finally climbed Telescope!
It was such a nice day that there was a small snake basking at the summit when I arrived. That's the highest elevation at which I've seen a snake. I would not have guessed that I would find a reptile above 11000 feet.
Nice walk with consistently nice views pretty much the whole way up. Bring plenty of water as it is a dry route and try it later in the day; Having the sun in the east does not make for the best pictures.
This was my 2nd ascent of Telescope. Quite A change from my first trip in the fall of 2002. Many parts of the switchbacks on the upper mountain we're buried in large snowdrifts. The weather was pretty dreary, with the wind ranging from gusting to non-existant, making for many layer changes.
1x Telescope Peak. This is what my idea of a mountain should look like. Great views from Mt. Charleston Peak top the east and Whitney to the northwest.
We summited in 2.5 hours, back to car in just under 2 hours. The snow had forced us back a month earlier so it was good to summit this peak. Overcast, hazy day.
We could not allow Telescope Peak to defeat us. Assuming that the last of the cool weather in the Death Valley area is coming to an end, we decided to make another push for the summit.
After setting up our camp site, we hit the trail. There were very small flakes of snow coming down. It looked as if we may be in for a repeat of last week. The snow didn't last long and we made the push.
It was a great day, and I summited at about 3:45pm. The view was amazing. I shall post some pictures later in the week.
There were many people navigating the snow without any snow gear. I used my in-step crampons, and was happy that I had them.
We started the climb from the Mahogany Flats campground. The sun was shining, and it looked as if we would make it up to the saddle before we would see much significant snow.
At about 9,000 feet, it started snowing. At about 9,300 feet, the wind and snow was very intense. We were still determined to push for the saddle. At about 9,500 feet, Mother Nature spoke with the sound of thunder. Without debate, this ended our summit attempt.
We returned to camp to find our tents under several inches of snow. We decided to ride it out and see what was going to happen.
About an hour later, the sun was shining again, and the exposed snow was melting. We got out of our tents and started brewing some tea. About half of an hour later, it started snowing again. Within about 45 minutes, our tents were burried even deeper than before.
We were not in a four wheel drive, so we decided to abandon the mountain while we still could.
It looks as if we are going to make another attempt in a few days.
Hiked with Marianne on 1st day of trip to Death Valley. Started @ noon from Mohagany Camp after hitching ride there w/ 2 guys in a 4WD (didn't get into the Park until 3.30 the night before- ouch!). Weather was great, and summited @ 16.15. Hung out, ate, and chilled until departing @ 17.38. Had great weather throughout day (just a little windy on top), and enjoyed one of the most spectacular sunsets I've ever seen on descent. Got back to Mahogany Camp @ 20.35, and back to Charcoal Kilns and car by 21.13. For some reason, either my feet or my boots had become 'unbroken in' sometime between then & an epic 19-hr excursion to Mt. Dana a 1/2 year ago (where they worked fine!), starting to irritate my feet sometime before 1/2-way up. By the time we'd reached the car, a substantial %age of both my heels had rubbed raw down to the flesh, necessitating my wearing sandals for the next 2 weeks!
Great escape from the heat in Death Valley.
Well, here is my story, as the brother of Mtntrail2, on our fateful climb.
We tarted out that day in Los Angeles where you have to go 60 miles just to get away from the houses. And believe it or not, there were street signs out in the desert, ready for new urban sprawl. On the way through the Panamint Valley, we stopped in Trona, CA for gas. "What do ya'll do here for entertainment?", says I. "Watch the rocks grow", says the lady at the counter.
We went in to Death Valley via the "back way", passed a group of cyclists, and drove around (north) to Stovepipe Wells and walked out on the sand dunes (cue R2D2 and C3P0 from Starwars, here). It is interesting how the good air quality affects depth perception out there and makes long range objects appear closer.
We went to the visitors center on the east side of Telescope, north of Badwater. Interesting thing here was the living area for the indigenous people (rangers), kinda run down. But the visitors centor was nice.
Later inthe day, we went up the drive to the camping area for telescope peak. Quite a rise in elevation without a clue to the affects of altitude sickness. We had brought a substantial supply of scrap wood with us for a campfire, although I suggested to mtntrail2 that he go ask the local tree hugger group camped beside us if they thought it OK to cut down a 5000 year old bristlecone pine for firewood. Hell, I'm from Mississippi. We burn pine trees all the time!
After the Dinty Moore Stew out of a can and a coulpe of rounds of COOM-BAH-YAH from the tree huggers, it rained and snowed and sleeted. By the way, it is not supposed to storm in the middle of the desert.
We got in the front of mtntrail2's Toyota pickup which, believe it or not, IS NOT designed as sleeping quarters for 2 adults. The beforementioned altitude sickness set in for me and, well, what a waste of Dinty Moore stew. I still can see it plain as day - two guys, in the desert, on top of a mountain, in a storm, one holding the other by the hair of his head while the victim hurls into the night.
Do you know what the phrase "ignorance is bliss" means? It means that you walk next to sheer drops without a clue as to the fact that you are doing so. This is what we did going up the mahogany flats route. We had a map, water, snack food, camera, compass, and a lot of wind blown fog. We made it to the top in a sleet storm, took a couple of pictures and came on down. The tree huggers couldn't believe their eys when they saw us coming off the trail. On to better things.......
My first mountain! Man....did I have a lot to learn about climbing. Here is a pic of me and my brother David on the summit. Here is a trip report.
Didn't quite get my 2 wheel drive pick-up all the way up the icy road to Mahogany Flat in February but came close. Once on the trail, with the enormous expanse of Death Valley to the east, it's easy to lose all ability to judge distance. Upon first catching sight of the summit, I thought I would be there in less than 2 hours. NOT! It was closer to 6 hours. All of the upper trail was snowbound so I just kick-steped up the ridge in firm snow drifts being careful to stay well to the windward side. To see the wind sculpted bristle cone pines against the deep blue sky was a great experience. After signing the summit register, the plunge step back down was excellent.
A pretty easy 14 mile round trip hike to the peak and back. Still lots of soft snow and awesome views to make it a great trip!!
The weather was perfect today. It was 32 degrees at 6:00am and there had been snow flurries at the 9000 ft level the day before. We were in between storms. The summit was a bit cool with the wind blowing. The view was clear towards Death valley, but obscured to the west and the Sierra Nevada.
The weather was beautiful as we left Mahogany Flat campground around 0830. As we neared the summit there was a little wind, but not bad. It was hazy (see my pics), but still awesome views. I humped my fat ass up there in 4 hours and down in 3. Guess I should drink less beer. NOT.
I did this trip in the winter because of the cool weather in Death Valley. I walked out to where I thought would be the lowest point in the U.S., then I started my long trek up. I followed Hanaupah road until it ends, then cross-country up a few ridges to the base of Bennett Peak. Here, I picked up the regular trail to the summit.
I met some mid-west hikers camping by the summit where I borrowed some water for the descent.
This is an all day and night roundtrip, about 15-16 hours. Be prepared with lots of water! Correct me if I am wrong, I think this hike is the most elevation gain on a mountain in the lower 48's
The heat was unbearable in Vegas on Saturday, so naturally, I decided to drive to Death Valley. My plan was to attempt the Badwater to Telescope peak trek, but I chickened out when I got there. Temps were in the 100's and the wind was howling. The actual hike looked very long and boring, and it seemed like more suffering than I was in the mood for.
So, I took the wimpy way up via Mahogany Flats. This was a very easy, 14 mile RT hike, although it seemed shorter than that. I only saw a couple tiny patches of snow along they way, but I did see some water far below in the canyons and drainages east of the Peak. These could possibly be useful on a trek from Badwater.
Reached the summit quickly with no snow on the trail in just under 1:15 and down in under one hour. Could see Mt. Charleston, near Las Vegas, which I climbed the day before.
Drove my "hot-rod"Lincoln to the steepest part of the road in the snow. Got stuck, slept the night in the car, at 10:25am, departed for the summit. I was about 1 1/2 miles below the campground where I started. The winds where howling. Once past Bennett Peak, the wind was blowing around 50 mph. with major snow driffs. Going was slow because I needed snow shoes. Once on the backside of the peak the wind was calmer. I new it would be bad on top when I could see the clouds go by in a matter of seconds. On top, I sign the registered as quickly as I could without getting frostbittern. I descended the same way mostly running to stay warm. Made it back to the Lincoln at 4pm. Two hours later I was able to pull my car out.