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TR - Boundary Peak 13,143ft. - Nevada

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TR - Boundary Peak 13,143ft. - Nevada

Postby RenoBob » Tue May 15, 2007 10:45 am

Boundary Peak 13,143 ft.
When: May 12, 2007
Where: Boundary Peak Wilderness Area, White Mountains, Nevada
Who: Bob Bowles, Leslie Benson
Route: Standard route from the Trail Canyon TH, elevation 8800 ft.
Distance: 8 miles RT
Elevation gain: 4,300+

The up side to this hike was that Les and I have now summited all the 13ers in Nevada…both of them. The down side was that TalusMonkey and USAKeller were to have joined us. Boundary is the high point of Nevada and one of the goals of TalusMonkey. We’re going to make sure the TalusMonkey is in the summit register.
I do not own a GPS, can’t take pictures worth a damn and don’t know how to add graphics, lines and colored arrows to this TR. So I apologize for not being able to provide you with the visual details that so many others can.

Directions to the trail head:
Most of the current directions in print are wrong. The “old” route to the TH crosses private property and is now closed off. It really bites to find this out the hard way and have to back track. Access is to the west off of SR 264, in Fish Lake Valley, on a well identified and visible dirt road marked Trail Canyon. From the south, go 16.5 miles from the tiny town of Dyer, from the north it’s 100 yards (approx.) past the junction of SR264 & SR773. Boundary on the right, Montgomery on the left from SR773.
Image
Go 12.7 miles to a small pond in Trail Canyon, the road is well maintained to this point. From the pond go another 1.6 miles on a defined single track to the identified TH and park. A passenger car can make it to the TH in one piece.

Standard Route:
From the TH, follow a defined path up Trail Canyon. The canyon bottom is choked with dense brush and willows, think of the Bierstadt willows on steroids. Don’t go there. The trail starts out on the north side of the creek, quickly crosses over to the south side and manages to stay out of the jungle. At 1.75mi. approx., the creek/springs vanish in a wide, open sagebrush covered bowl and so does the trail. Your destination is the Trail Canyon Saddle which is the obvious low point on the northwest horizon. Pick your way across the bowl as best you can following any number of wild horse and game trails. Angle to the north side of the canyon as it makes its way up to the Saddle. There is no defined trail here, so bushwhack your way up by the route of least resistance. The Saddle crest is 2.5+ miles from the TH and the elevation is 10,800’. You’ve got some great views of the Sierra Nevada range to the west and looking back down 5,500ft. at the Fish Lake Valley floor to the east.
At this point you’re facing a nasty #@%*$ scree and talus slope. You’re going to gain 1200+’ in .7 miles. Image
Think of the Trough on Longs only longer. Try and stay on the most defined climbers’ trail you can find, there are several to choose from. Stay high to the climbers’ left and angle right to a small pass on the northwest ridge in front of you. This is really ugly terrain, TalusMonkey refers to it as “hellish scree”. It was hell. Just never ending scrunge rock; two feet forward, one foot sliding back. I wasn’t a happy hiker. I have to admit that I started thinking about quitting half way up. Les said “You’ll hate yourself if you turn back”. She was right.
At the top of this god forsaken climb, you cross over a small pass at 12,000’. From here the view of the north face of Boundary is awesome. Slabs, spires and sharp rock faces make a much welcomed view from the seemingly endless talus below.
Image
The remainder of the route is another .7 miles and 1100’ to the summit, following the north ridge to the climbers’ left. The entire route is in view from this point. This section wasn’t much fun either, we’re both tired, morale is low and we’re going really slow. Les talked me out of quitting again. “We’re too close to quit now, plus we want to get there for David too ”. The little bit of ridgeline snow helped make this part of the ascent easier, otherwise it’s more @#$% scree and some larger rocks to negotiate. Try and stay on or as close to the apex of the ridge as possible.
Image
When you get to the last gendarme (oops, forgot, no French terms) the route descriptions say to pass to the right. There was a very steep snow bank of about 20 yards long on the left with a well beaten path and we chose that route. When the snow’s gone, it’d be very dicey going left. From there you’re just 100+ yards to the summit. “Thank-you Jesus!”
Now you’ve got a view! The Sierra Crest to the west, the Owens Valley 9,000 feet below, endless desert mountain ranges to the east, Mono lake to the north and Montgomery Peak at 13,441 ft. directly behind you to the south. If you’re feeling really, really strong, you can attempt to climb Montgomery Peak. But be warned that most of this route looks like it’s got a lot of class 4 sections. If you’re not comfortable down climbing Cl.4, don’t try it. It’s taken us 4:45 hrs to summit. This was the second hardest hike we’ve ever done after Longs.
Image
Image
We signed the register “This climb’s for you, David” & “TalusMonkey was here”. We left a bizarre little plaque with instructions on “How to resuscitate a Lizard”. It’s got a 14er’s decal on the back with David’s name and dates. Knowing how much he liked all things outdoors, we figured knowing how to give a lizard CPR would be right up his alley.
The descent took us three hours. We were dreading the descent back through the scree. I now know why trekking poles were invented. I’ll never go anywhere without them again.
The car never looked so good and the champagne never tasted better. The only regret is we didn’t have the TalusMonkey and USAKeller to share it with.
Last edited by RenoBob on Tue May 15, 2007 11:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby RenoBob » Tue May 15, 2007 10:50 am

problem fixed
Last edited by RenoBob on Tue May 15, 2007 4:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby BillMiddlebrook » Tue May 15, 2007 11:10 am

Bob,
I fixed them for you. You almost had it, there were just hard returns before the close [IMG] tags after each photo url.

Great report and NICE DAY!
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Postby RenoBob » Tue May 15, 2007 11:16 am

Bill:
:D
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Postby mtgirl » Tue May 15, 2007 11:24 am

Great job on the high point and on the trip report. On the upside, it looks like you had terrific weather. I'm sure David was watching from above with a huge smile on his face. Thank you for sharing this with us !
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Postby RenoBob » Tue May 15, 2007 11:51 am

mtgirl wrote: On the upside, it looks like you had terrific weather. I'm sure David was watching from above with a huge smile on his face. Thank you for sharing this with us !


mtgirl:
The weather couldn't have been better, needed lot's of sun screen. David was there, we just couldn't keep up with him.
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Postby mtgirl » Tue May 15, 2007 12:00 pm

RenoBob wrote:The weather couldn't have been better, needed lot's of sun screen. David was there, we just couldn't keep up with him.


And David was probably enjoying that "*%$#&ing Talus" slope that you described !
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Postby USAKeller » Tue May 15, 2007 12:04 pm

Bob- nice trip report! I wished that day that David and I could have been there. I would like to get out there sometime this year though to climb it.

I'll be soloing Mauna Kea in about a week- Looking forward to Culebra with you! I hope they'll let us on that peak.
Last edited by USAKeller on Fri May 25, 2007 11:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby RenoBob » Tue May 15, 2007 12:17 pm

USAKeller wrote:Bob- nice trip report! I wished more than anything that day that David and I could have been there. I would like to get out there sometime this year though to climb it. It's really starting to sink in these past few days how much I miss him and how we won't be able to do these things together.... :cry:

I'll be soloing Mauna Kea in about a week- another thing we were supposed to do. Looking forward to Culebra with you! I hope they'll let us on that peak.


Caroline:
Thanks for the kind words, I know that his absence is a huge void for you and everyone else. We'll just have to always bring him with us when we climb. Think Drought for Culebra.
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Nevada 13ers

Postby Greenhouseguy » Tue May 15, 2007 1:27 pm

Nice scenery - most people probably pass through Nevada and think that's it's nothing but sagebrush, jackrabbits, and the Mustang Ranch. I was impressed by the scenery up around Virginia City when I visited a few years ago.

Your report got me interested in the etymology of scree, so I Googled it and found that it's derived from the Norse word for landslide. I'm sure that we can't display (or read!) all of the special characters in the original Norse word. Talus was named for Talos, a giant brass automaton from Greek mythology who threw rocks at ships to protect the island of Crete.

One definition says that talus is scree that is larger than a human head. Another definition says that scree and talus can be used interchangeably. Most folks who have ever hiked with scree in their boots probably have their own definition!
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Postby Aubrey » Tue May 15, 2007 3:55 pm

Thanks for posting that TR, RenoBob! I’m happy to find out that snow wasn’t much of an issue, and that the trailhead was snow-free and accessible. Although, Jen and I are planning on taking the Queen Canyon Mine route, so we’ll see.

We also want to get Montgomery, as long as we’re feeling good and weather is clear. God knows TalusMonkey would’ve zipped over and hit that peak while he was there!

We’re looking forward to being there in just 11 days! And White Mountain the following day. We're due for a butt-whoopin'. :YY

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Postby RenoBob » Tue May 15, 2007 4:08 pm

Aubrey wrote:Thanks for posting that TR, RenoBob! I’m happy to find out that snow wasn’t much of an issue, and that the trailhead was snow-free and accessible. Although, Jen and I are planning on taking the Queen Canyon Mine route, so we’ll see.
Aubrey:
From what I know about the Queens Canyon route, you'll ascend to a northeast running ridge at about 10,800 and traverse south over to the Trail Canyon Saddle. Then the fun begins. Don't know what access to that TH is like or how to get there.

We also want to get Montgomery, as long as we’re feeling good and weather is clear. God knows TalusMonkey would’ve zipped over and hit that peak while he was there!
Yeah and we all know the TalusMonkey had super human traits. Be advised it looks tough.
We’re looking forward to being there in just 11 days! And White Mountain the following day. We're due for a butt-whoopin'. :YY
Be sure and post a White Mtn TR because Les and I are going down there later this summer. Did you call the Bishop Ranger station about White Mtn. access?
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