Ascent of Charleston Peak on 2015-08-15

Climber: David Hart

Date:Saturday, August 15, 2015
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Charleston Peak
    Elevation:11916 ft / 3631 m

Ascent Trip Report

The day started in Las Vegas, after having climbed Telescope peak the day before. I did not know at the time today would be a double Ultra Prominent summit day.

I started driving to Mt Charleston at 6am driving to the Las Vegas Ski and Snowboard Resort. Left the car parked outside the closed ski area gat at 7am. Hiked up under the right hand, western ski lift to the top, a 500' gain. A short dirt road climbed east into the main gulley I would follow for an additional 1,500' at the top of the ridge. I stayed in the prominent gulley, same as Rob Woodard's route. A bit scrambly and loose near the top. I arrived at the main Charleston trail at 8:15am. From there the fun begins. Beautiful views and easy ledge walking brought me to the summit by 9:25am. I spent 20 minutes on top, and headed down at 9:45am. I hiked up Lee's Peak on the way back, on top by 10:40am. Though the sign on this peak said Mt. Barel. Hmmm. I was back at the car by 12:10pm. A bit slow descending the gulley since I didn't have ski poles and wore just running shows. Something a bit more rugged might have been a better choice.

I started the drive to Wheeler Peak, NV at 12:30pm, 350 miles to the north. I arrived at the Wheeler Peak trailhead at 6:30pm hoping to find a campsite for the night. Unfortunately, all campsites were filled. Rather than drive 30 minutes back to Baker and look for a campsite for the night, I decided to hike the peak this evening. I had a quick snack and packed my day pack, throwing in extra clothes for the chilly wind up high. I left the car at 7:15pm. The first hour was easy hiking without my headlamp. By 8:15 I was at the 10,800' saddle and turned on my headlamp. The hiking was easy, but increasing wind and darkness made travel slower than normal. I reached the top by 9:25pm and took a 30 minute rest out of the wind admiring the Milky Way and utter darkness. I headed down just before 10pm, taking my time to avoid stumbling. I ran into a couple star-gazers a mile from the car taking night time photos. I arrived at the car right at midnight. 4:45 hours round trip.

I quickly pitched my tent in the bushed above the parking lot and slept until 7am, then drove back to Las Vegas for my flight back to Anchorage the next afternoon.
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