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Wichita Mountains

14ers in California and Washington state or any other peak in the USA
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Wichita Mountains

Postby kiddrockies » Thu Dec 14, 2006 7:48 pm

Anyone heard of them? Oklahoma's Wichitas are pretty fantastic, especially if you like rock climbing on good clean granite. Some nice multipitch routes - you might be surprised. They are a small scale Yosemite/Eldorado, and it's quiet and wild. Good guidebooks are available. Don't miss the Narrows.
Merry Christmas!
The Lord God is my strength, and He will make my feet like hind's feet, and He will make me to walk upon the high places.
Habakkuk 3:19

And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up the mountain by himself to pray.
Matthew 14:23

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Postby tshesky » Thu Dec 14, 2006 9:26 pm

I might have heard of them... Are they in the southwestern part of the state? By Lawton? I had a job interview in Lawton 1.5 years ago and my potential employer kept touting a hilly/mountainous area to the north that I could use for an escape. I'll have to google them...
For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

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Postby glad2Bme » Thu Dec 14, 2006 9:35 pm

The Wichitas are just an hour or so away from me. Quality rock and a very special place.
~f
Alpinists are just optimists with lousy short term memory

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Postby MtHurd » Thu Dec 14, 2006 9:59 pm

Yep, climb there all the time. In fact, I was there last weekend climbing on Voodo Wall one day and hiking the Charons Garden Wilderness the next. A fantastic place. Elk and Native American Buffalo roam free. SummitPost has all kinds of info on them. Here is a pic of fellow 14ers.com member Alan Ellis on the summit of Mt. Mitchell last Sunday. Below that is a pic of a stream running through the wilderness taken in June a few years back when the wilderness is green. For info on rock climbing get the book "Oklahoma Select" by Tony Mayse.

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Image

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Postby JayMiller » Fri Dec 15, 2006 9:39 am

I've heard of the Wichita Mountains. I grew up and lived most of my life in Wichita Falls, Texas. I climbed Mount Elk as a Boy Scout and again with both of my two daughter when they were around 7 or 8. Mount Scot is a great climb since we non-technical climbers can get some great 3 and 4 scrambling in and its WARM (ok maybe Hotter-n-Hell).

Oh, I skateboarded down the road up Mt. Scot when I was 16 or 17. Dang near wore the soles of my tennis shoes smooth off.

Love those mountains.

Oh by the way, if you are a bicycle rider, try the Hotter-N-Hell 100 in Wichta Falls in August. During the peak yaers of the ride there were around 12 - 13,000 riders. Last year there were around 9 - 10,000 Riders. http://www.hh100.org
My Philosophy on Life: If you wake up alive and well ... Shut the heck up.

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Postby mrtex » Fri Dec 15, 2006 12:10 pm

probably my favorite place to escape within 3 of dallas (thats not saying a whole lot, but still). the wichita mountains are a true freak of nature in my opinion. they have absolutely no business being where they are and prove to be an incredible place to scramble around and get lost.

the charons garden area, which is the only part of the refuge where backcountry use is allowed, is a really impressive place and will challenge anyones orienteering skills (everything looks the same, the good news is, its so small, all you have to do is walk two - three hours in any direction and you hit a road or fence). this place is a rock climbers paradise, plenty of walls and house size boulders to conquer. it is also great for the wildlife enthusiast. as raven said, buffalo roam freely, and i have seen elk there in the backcountry as well too. i recommend it to anyone.

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Postby emiller » Sat Dec 16, 2006 8:08 am

Isn't there a lot of reported bigfoot sightings in that area?

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Postby JayMiller » Mon Dec 18, 2006 4:36 pm

There have been Bigfoot sigjtings. I know for a fact that Bigfoot Sanders roamed that area a few years back.
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wichitas

Postby brent brown » Tue Dec 19, 2006 9:16 pm

The wichitas have a lot to offer. hiking, road cycling, wildlife watching and climbing. Solid though often smooth ancient granite. Check out this photo of "crabeyes".

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Brent Brown

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Postby bern0416 » Wed Dec 20, 2006 9:48 am

i agree that it seems out of place. it is almost as if it has just been dropped there. Charon Gardens is a great place to climb and scramble. it can be difficult to get a permit though as they are very careful about how many individuals they allow at a time into the backcountry. i think no more than ten individuals at a time during a three day span. that is a total of ten, not just in your party.
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If you get off of the Elk Moutain Trail proper then expect to have a difficult time finding water. There isn't much water in Charons Garden as it is. And be aware it is easy to lose ones bearings there as it all looks very much the same.
Also keep in mind, if you are taking small kids, that there is a significant boulder field along the trail that somemight find intimidating.

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Postby MtHurd » Wed Dec 20, 2006 2:37 pm

You only need a permit if you are spending the night. I have found plenty of water all over the wilderness. It will obviously need filtering but it is there. Here is a place with a lot of water called Post Oak Falls.

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Postby Alan Ellis » Wed Dec 20, 2006 7:08 pm

Agree with Barry, but frankly, I wouldn't drink a drop of water anywhere in the Wichitas. There are way too many large animals (bufalo, long horn cattle, and elk) pooping near the water sources. The wilderness is not that big so you can carry all your water in there easily.

No matter what time of year, wear long pants. The thorns and scrub oak will play havoc on your legs. In spring or early morning summer, watch out for rattlesnakes.

Otherwise, the place is a gem. I feel lucky to have it only 1.5 hours from my house.
Sack up and climb.

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