Ascent of Boundary Peak on 2019-07-06

Climber: Anthony Wilkinson

Others in Party:Paul
Date:Saturday, July 6, 2019
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:4x4 Vehicle
Peak:Boundary Peak
    Elevation:13140 ft / 4005 m

Ascent Trip Report

My climbing partner/good friend Paul and I decided on approaching Boundary Peak via the Queen Mine route. We took the Queens Canyon road from US 6 up to the trailhead in Paul's Chevy Traverse (we did touch rocks a few times on the undercarriage, so better clearance would be preferable). The canyon road isn't maintained (it was rough and heavily rutted), but we found it passable all the way to the saddle.

From what we had researched previously, a lot of people plan to drive to Queen Mine and then walk the rest of the way up on the road to the start of the trail itself at the saddle. We found the roughest part of the road to be actually below Queen Mine. The mining road is increasingly narrow and steep, however, above Queen Mine, so for someone unaccustomed to or uncomfortable driving mountain dirt roads, the mine would be a good place to park.

The hike itself up Boundary Peak was beautiful, with snow lingering from the heavy winter on various sections of mountain. I did bring gear in case of need (crampons, ice ax), but it ended up being unnecessary. We only took a few easy steps across a snow band at about the 13,000 ft elevation.

There were a few spots where the scree/talus became a pain, especially along the ridge line approaching the summit. A time or two we gave in to the urge to scramble up to the ridge line itself, but would have avoided annoying scree (the three steps forward, two back on a steep slope kind of scree) had we just continued on the right side of the ridge all the way to the snow band.

The general unmarked route was easy enough to follow through the scree/talus, but I feel it would be improved by the addition of a few cairns (I only saw 2 or 3). I know it's a touchy subject these days, but with an obvious and clearly visible use trail already blazed by humans up this fairly remote desert peak, I don't feel that the addition of a few rock cairns to mark the best route would do anything to degrade the wilderness quality of Boundary Peak. Rather, it would improve it by reducing the spread of human impact that's currently over a wider area.

The conditions on the summit block itself were the mildest I think I have ever experienced atop a 13,000+ foot mountain. It was almost completely calm, with only an occasional mild breeze moving through. The air was cool and fresh, the visibility excellent... a truly beautiful place to be on a Saturday morning in July.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:3340 ft / 1018 m
    Round-Trip Distance:10 mi / 16.1 km
    Route:Queen Mine Route
    Trailhead:Queen Mine Saddle  9800 ft / 2987 m
    Grade/Class:Class 2
    Quality:6 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Snow on Ground, Scramble
    Gear Used:
Headlamp, Ski Poles, Tent Camp
    Nights Spent:1 nights away from roads
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Time:4 Hours 15 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:2 Hours 55 Minutes

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