Ascent of Charleston Peak on 2012-07-08

Climber: Lee Newton

Date:Sunday, July 8, 2012
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Charleston Peak
    Elevation:11916 ft / 3631 m

Ascent Trip Report

A free day in Las Vegas, what to do..... well, climb a peak of course, what else is there to do in Vegas...

For once the jetlag worked in my favour, the heat in the desert in July means getting an early start is not optional. Waking naturally at 2.30am I found breakfast with people having late supper, many of whom stared at me in my ron hills and wicking top. At 3.30 I drove along the strip and out of town on I-95. Eschewing the longer routes from Mount Charleston village I drove the empty Lee Canyon road to the ski centre at the end. Leaving the car at 4.40 in the half dark, it was nevertheless easy to find the route from the description on summitpost. Just don't drive the road to the very end, the path leaving from there doesn't go to the hill... On the final bend a gate blocks the road down to the ski centre cafe. Once past this it is easy to find and follow the right hand of the 2 main chair lifts to its top. Several deer jumped and ran on the way, startled by my presence, although I had made a special effort to be quiet... 20m lower than the top of the chairlift, the little side road heads round to the left, stopping by a still running stream. The way up the stream bed is full of spiky plants, but a bit of judicious balancing along fallen trees eased matters greatly. High up on the left it is easy to see the little rocky outcrop which hides the gully which accesses the main ridge. THis was loose and scrambly but faint traces of a path are becoming apparent in places. 1.5 hours saw me to the ridge line and from there it was trivial to follow the north access to Charleston in the bright early morning sunshine. Arriving at the top at 7.50am after 3 hours 10 minutes I had seen no one all day, but that changed as I left the summit 20 minutes later to find 3 blokes just below, who had left at 3.30am on the longer trail (still a good effort).. They planned a complete circuit of the ridges, the downside of using the Lee Canyon approach is that varying the return route was not obviously feasible. I reached the car after 2 hours 20 minutes of descent and was glad to have started so early. The temperature at the ski centre had risen from 14C to 26C by 10.30 in the morning. By the time I got back to Vegas it was 43C, highly unpleasant for a Scotsman. Application of a cold beer to the affected parts, and a very early night, completed a wild time in Vegas....
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:4203 ft / 1280 m
    Extra Gain:450 ft / 137 m
    Round-Trip Distance:8.4 mi / 13.5 km
    Route:Lee Canyon
    Trailhead:Lee Canyon Road (near ski centre)  8613 ft / 2625 m
    Grade/Class:Class 3
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Open Country, Bushwhack, Scramble
    Weather:Hot, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Time:3 Hours 10 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:2 Hours 20 Minutes

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