Ascent of Telescope Peak on 2016-10-08

Climber: Andrew Kirmse

Others in Party:David Sanger
Date:Saturday, October 8, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Telescope Peak
    Elevation:11048 ft / 3367 m

Ascent Trip Report

After Double Mountain, we made the long drive to Death Valley National Park. We stopped for dinner at Panamint Springs on CA route 190, one of the few signs of civilization on the route. The road up to Mahogany Flat campground turns right off the main park road just before the entrance kiosk, so no park entrance fee is necessary. The last few miles of the road are dirt and some rocks, easy enough with high clearance. There were still spots at the campground when we arrived just after dark.

The next morning dawned cool, but not nearly as cold as we expected. We started at a trail sign reading “Telescope Peak, 7 miles”. The trail climbed steadily as it worked its way around the south side of Rogers Peak, up to a saddle marked “Arcane Meadows” on the topo map. The next few miles contoured around the west side of Bennett Peak and were nearly flat. The trail began steepening here and eventually resorted to switchbacks near the peak. At various points we passed geology students from a 15-member party from Pasadena City College, as well as a surprising number of other hikers. On Telescope Peak itself we passed many large bristlecone pines. The view from the top was excellent, encompassing the highest Sierra peaks on one side, and Death Valley on the other.

On the way back we left the trail to go cross-country straight up 400 feet to Bennett Peak. Here there was an ammo can with a broken hinge containing some paper registers, and an orange metal can with laminated pages and a typed explanation that this was a register from the RockAtomics Stamp Club, perhaps dating back to the 1950s. From here we went downslope back to Arcane Meadows, then cross-country again up to the communications equipment on Rogers Peak. One of the buildings here is signed as an Air Force installation. We walked the access road back down to the campground.

Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:3815 ft / 1162 m
    Total Elevation Loss:900 ft / 274 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
    Gear Used:
Tent Camp
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:3815 ft / 1162 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 2915 ft / 889 m; Extra: 900 ft / 274m
    Loss on way in:900 ft / 274 m
    Distance:13.9 mi / 22.4 km
    Start Trailhead:Mahogany Flats Campground  8133 ft / 2478 m
Descent Statistics

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