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Charleston, Wheeler & Jeff Davis, NV

14ers in California and Washington state or any other peak in the USA
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Charleston, Wheeler & Jeff Davis, NV

Postby Aubrey » Mon Jun 13, 2011 10:28 am

Hey, it's been a while since I've posted on here ... miss you all ...

Wanted to see if anyone here has done one or both of these climbs:

Mt. Charleston (aka Charleston Peak) in Nevada via the Devil's Thumb Shortcut (off the North Slope / Trail Canyon trail) - If so, what's the scrambling like? How solid is the rock? What does it compare to in Colorado?

Wheeler Peak and the Jeff Davis Traverse (Nevada's Wheeler)- If so, do you know how much distance and elevation gain Jeff Davis adds? Is there a good loop, or after traversing over to Jeff Davis, is it best to just head back to Wheeler and then hike down from there?

I would appreciate any input on either of these.

Thanks!
Aubrey

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Re: Charleston, Wheeler & Jeff Davis, NV

Postby RenoBob » Wed Jun 15, 2011 12:03 pm

Aubrey:
Good to see you on the the site, hope all's well in Wash. When are you coming to Nevada?

Mt.Charleston - If your talking about leaving the standard Trail Canyon Trail at Devils Thumb and following the ridgeline to summit you shouldn't have any problems, but I can't find any reference to that route in the local trail descriptions. I suspect it will be mostly Cl.2-3 with scree and talus.

Wheeler - Jeff Davis traverse - Yes, you can loop this route. It's a little over a mile to Jeff Davis and you'll have a 700+ ft. drop from Wheeler(13,064) to the lowest saddle (12,338) below Jeff Davis. There will be a lot of scree and talus. I'd suggest you drop down Jeff Davis via the North Face Route to the Bristlecone trail and that will take you back to your car at the trail head.

I've got some regional hiking guides and could scan/email you some of the basic route descriptions if you think they'd help. PM me if your interested.
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Re: Charleston, Wheeler & Jeff Davis, NV

Postby kaiman » Wed Jun 15, 2011 1:30 pm

Aubrey wrote:Wheeler Peak and the Jeff Davis Traverse (Nevada's Wheeler)- If so, do you know how much distance and elevation gain Jeff Davis adds? Is there a good loop, or after traversing over to Jeff Davis, is it best to just head back to Wheeler and then hike down from there?


I did this loop last summer and am planning on doing it again in July on my way to CA to climb Muir/Whitney. I climbed Wheeler first and then traversed over to Jeff Davis Peak and down (and highly recommend doing it this way), but I know that others do it the opposite way. There are a few loose places (scree/talus) coming off of Jeff Davis and back down to Wheeler Lake, but nothing technical at all. Round-trip I think it's about 8-9 miles.

Here's a page on SummitPost with info on the traverse: http://www.summitpost.org/wheeler-peak-traverse/162110

Have fun it's a beautiful area!

kaiman
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Re: Charleston, Wheeler & Jeff Davis, NV

Postby Aubrey » Thu Jun 16, 2011 7:50 pm

Thanks for the info, kaiman and RenoBob! I'm looking forward to these peaks.

Based on what I've read about the Devil's Thumb Shortcut on Charleston, it's hard to tell what it's really like. Some people call it class 3 and some say class 4; some describe it as loose and sketchy (but that's very subjective); some say routefinding is very difficult (also subjective); and some use rope/webbing on downclimbs. We'll probably just go for it and see what it's like, and I guess I'll bring 30' of tubular webbing just in case we encounter something dicey.

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Re: Charleston, Wheeler & Jeff Davis, NV

Postby nyker » Fri Jun 17, 2011 5:27 am

Hey Aubrey,

The Wheeler Peak climb was really very nice. I just did it from the standard trailhead (10mi r/t +3,000ft), but definitely worth doing. It rises out of the desert and is a real pleasant change in scenery from the Great Basin below. We saw a Golden eagle that day as well. Spend some time in the Bristlecone area down lower and also prepare for wind once you hit the saddle. My notes tell me it was blowing to 70mph the day we did it (early June 2007).

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