Ascent of Telescope Peak on 2014-06-22

Climber: Rob Woodall

Others in Party:Alan Bernier
Date:Sunday, June 22, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Telescope Peak
    Elevation:11048 ft / 3367 m

Ascent Trip Report

After an easy late-morning ascent of Mount Pinos and Sawmill Mountain we drive north, stopping off in Lancaster to stock up on groceries and for some internet research.

Late evening we stop at the small town of Trona which has fuel and (as far as we could see) for food just a small burger joint where we get supper - and a dramatic sunset. We ask about the direct road to Wildrose and are told it's probably closed due to washout. Sure enough when we reach the intersection there are Road Closed signs so we turn L and go the long way round. The road to Charcoal Kilns parking lot (no camping) is paved except for the last 2 miles which are good dirt. The remaining 1.5 mile stretch is posted High Clearance but has been quite well graded and our Toyota Corolla makes it to Mahogany Flat campground (N36.23001 W117.06828, 2470m) without difficulty. This will save us significant distance and ascent in the morning.

Sunday we set off at 7.37, taking the trail, which starts immediately L of the gated road which serves the Rogers Peak comms installation. We sign in at the register at the start then follow the excellent trail as it steadily climbs, passing east of Rogers, with views R down into Death Valley. The trail crosses the Rogers/Bennett saddle (N36.21409 W117.08916), descends a little and bends L, passing west of Bennett Peak, mostly level or downhill, and we jog a fair bit of it. Telescope Peak straight ahead looks good (and much closer than it is), with a long ridge and scattered pines.

The main trail keeps L of the ridge on the way up, with a couple of minor variations keeping to the crest over a couple of bumps lower down. The trail steepens and zigzags up to the crest which it then follows for a short way to the summit. On the way up we meet a guy working at the nearby Ridgeline airforce base. The only others we see are two women we pass on our descent.

The summit (N36.16982 W117.08920, 3362m) has three outcrops of approx equal elevation. The northernmost used to have a trig or benchmark: we find traces of cement on the rock, and two USGS reference markers pointing at the exact spot. The view famously includes Death Valley 3400m below us and Mt Whitney 1200m higher than us, just visible 60 miles to the NNW: the lowest and highest points in the USA lower 48 States.

After half an hour we head down, jogging much of the way. We divert off the trail to summit Bennett Peak (N36.20656 W117.09284, 3014m, loose pile of stones) and Rogers Peak (N36.21790 W117.08556, 3042m, level gravel area by masts, no fence or access issues).

We make a rough shortcut scree descent to the access road which we then follow back to the trailhead. Timings are 2h17 up and 4h25 round trip including the two extra peaks. A nice circuit on a good trail.

We next head for Hayford Peak which we plan to climb tomorrow, followed by Charleston Peak.

Telescope Peak photo album
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:3644 ft / 1110 m
    Total Elevation Loss:3644 ft / 1110 m
    Round-Trip Distance:12.7 mi / 20.4 km
    Grade/Class:YDS 1
    Quality:8 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country
    Weather:Pleasant, Breezy, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:2944 ft / 897 m
    Distance:6.1 mi / 9.8 km
    Start Trailhead:Mahogany Flat campground  8104 ft / 2470 m
    Time:2 Hours 17 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:3644 ft / 1110 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 2944 ft / 897 m; Extra: 700 ft / 213m
    Gain on way out:700 ft / 213 m
    Distance:6.6 mi / 10.6 km
    End Trailhead:Mahogany Flat campground  8104 ft / 2470 m
    Time:1 Hours 41 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Rob Woodall
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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