Ascent of Granite Peak on 2017-08-20

Climber: William Inman

Others in Party:Jon Wells
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Sunday, August 20, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Granite Peak
    Elevation:9732 ft / 2966 m

Ascent Trip Report

Jon and I got together again for our first Nevada County Highpoint since Mt. Charleston last year. We wanted to see the total eclipse of the sun, and our travels would take us through Winnemucca not far from this peak I'd been eyeballing for over a year. So we planned our trip to get us here a day before we would need to for the eclipse. There was such a high demand due to the eclipse and/or the weekend that all rooms were booked up in Winnemucca, so we stayed the night before in Lovelock.

The morning of the hike, we drove to Winnemucca, checked into our rooms (weird that they were available the night before the eclipse, but not the night before that), then headed up to Paradise Valley. Jon was a little apprehensive about taking on the road west of Hinkey Summit in his 2 wheel drive Envoy, but it was a trooper and got us all the way to the cattleguard, described by others as the best place to start. All snow on the road had melted off by now, although we hiked past a couple patches on north facing slopes during the climb.

We followed the north side of the fence, as suggested by others, but then crossed over and went around the south side of a false summit so as to avoid having to later lose elevation or get too close to the cliffs on the north side. In hindsight, after staying north on the descent, we believe this was a mistake, as we got tangled up in "talus hopping" sooner than we needed to. As we approached the final summit block and started up it, we began wondering about the person who said it was less than class 3. We went straight up the east ridge and needed our hands a lot. Again, we were a bit wiser coming down, but still needed our hands a bit. To me, it was class 3! Maybe there was a better route. The last little bit right before cresting out on top was a bit scary, too. Something else we had not expected from reading the other trip reports. There was a pretty steep (but not vertical) cliff on the north side that looked smooth (slippery) enough that if one started off that thing, it would be a painful landing on the bottom. A few feet further there was another one like that to the south, providing potential excitement in both directions! We had a wide enough area to crawl up with enough solid handholds etc, that it wasn't really too hard, but anyone with a fear of heights might have been a bit nervous in a couple of these spots.

We too had endless views of smokey haze, but at least the terrain in the immediate area was visible for, I'd say maybe 5 miles out. So we got to appreciate the views down the slopes and across to the next peaks. We couldn't see all the way to Paradise Valley though - or if we did, it was so dim through the smoke, we couldn't identify it. We think we could see down to the valley Hwy 95 runs though to the NW but couldn't make out the highway, either. I'm quite happy to have now bagged my 9th NV county highpoint, though! That finally puts me past halfway. :-)

(Descent time includes the time spent on top, which we didn't note - maybe 20 to 30 minutes?)
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1292 ft / 393 m
    Round-Trip Distance:2.8 mi / 4.5 km
    Route:NV.Co.HP . Hinkey Summit - E ridge
    Trailhead:cattle gaurd  8440 ft / 2572 m
    Grade/Class:class 2 and 3
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Bushwhack, Scramble
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Pleasant, Breezy, Clear
Breezy higher on ridge & top, clear except for smoke
Ascent Statistics
    Time:2 Hours 35 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:2 Hours 10 Minutes

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