Ascent of Mount Grant on 2012-09-08

Climber: Daryn Dodge

Date:Saturday, September 8, 2012
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Grant
    Elevation:11280 ft / 3438 m

Ascent Trip Report

Climbed Mt. Grant via Walker Lake during the Mt. Grant Challenge, currently the only legal way for civilians to ascend the peak. This was the second year of the Challenge, held on the Saturday nearest 9/11 to honor first responders and others that died on that day.

The Challenge can be done as a relay, or as an 'ironman', in which you cover the entire 16.2 miles and nearly 7000 ft of gain on your own. Most walk the event on the well-graded dirt road to the summit. I was to participate in a 2-person relay, but my partner sprained his ankle the week before, so I was on my own and did the ironman. There were a total of 75 participants this year, 17 of which chose the ironman division.

The ironpeople took off at about 6:30 am when the canyons were still well-shaded. I started out with a fast walk, but my old competitive nature got the best of me at mile 5, so I started running (more like jogging) every other mile after that. Only stopped briefly 3 times at the aid stations to get water and some Gu, and also stopped another time to move a snake off the road (the snake appeared to be a harmless foot-long rubber boa).

Got to the finish line in 4 hrs and 4 min. My calf muscles and hammys were in pain. That last 2 miles really hurt and it took me 20 min before I could get up and move again. Kieth and Paul showed up a little later, having participated in the relay. We then headed off to the actual high point, about a quarter mile away and 200 ft higher than the finish line.

One would think such a well-graded dirt road to near the summit would lead to something. There was nothing. No radar facility, no microwave antennea, no nothing! Maybe that's a good thing. We got a ride back down in vans (no one is allowed to walk back down) after a short visit to the high point. The loaded van and lack of a really low gear challenged the vans' brake system. The smell of burning brakes in the morning does not smell like burning brakes. We stopped to see a herd of mountain sheep on the way down, which also gave the brakes some time to cool down.

Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:7080 ft / 2157 m
    Grade/Class:class 2
    Quality:4 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Scramble
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:7080 ft / 2157 m
    Distance:16.2 mi / 26.1 km
    Route:Dirt road from Walker Lake
    Start Trailhead:Walker Lake  4200 ft / 1280 m
    Time:4 Hours 4 Minutes
Descent Statistics

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