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#11445 - 03/10/11 08:24 AM The Dog and Cat Death Valley TR 2011
Bulldog34 Offline


Registered: 11/12/09
Posts: 1254
Loc: Atlanta
When I planned this trip to DV, I really had no clue how much fun it would wind up being. My winter getaways to Death Valley have always been solo in the past, but that was getting kind of boring. As it happened, I met John Whitworth (catpappy) several months ago through the WPS and WZ boards. John lives just a few miles from me in the northwest burbs of Atlanta - talk about the power of the boards to bring people together! Over the fall and winter we went for a few hikes at a local mountain and before long this DV trip had turned into a joint adventure for the two of us.

We flew to Vegas together on 3/2 and before nightfall had our camp set up at Texas Springs in Death Valley. The next morning we headed for the charcoal kilns and the Wildrose Peak trailhead. We were geared up with snow boots, full gaiters and micro-spikes in case the snow got deep as we went above 9000 feet. As it turned out, we were able to handle the snow in just boots, so the gaiters and spikes stayed in our packs. The last mile to the summit the snow was fairly deep, at least to my Georgia sensibilities (6-8 inches), and we had to search for the trail at times. John has more experience in snow than I do, so a running joke began with him referring to it as "patchy" and me seeing it as "pretty damn heavy".

As we were coming from the east with zero acclimation for 9000 feet, we took it slow and steady, topping out on the summit about noon. We were almost immediately joined by two women, Carla and Sheila from Massachusetts and Oregon, who were right behind us. As best as we could tell, we were the only four on the mountain that day - we encountered no one else all day long. The four of us had lunch on the summit and enjoyed the crystal clear, stunning views of Badwater and Mt. Charleston to the east and the Inyos and snowy Sierra to the west. I spotted Bob R and Kevin R in the summit register, which was neat.

The following day, we were joined at our campsite by Laura Molnar (MooseTracks), Chris Sistrunk (SoCalGirl), Jim Freeland (SierraGator) and Harlan Stockman (not on either Whitney board, but a member of SummitPost - a very strong climber and wonderful guy). Jim's presence was a nice surprise. I had not seen him since finally meeting him at the Portal last summer, but we've been Facebook friends since and have sparred good-naturedly all winter about SEC football (the Bulldogs and Gators are bitter rivals, for those of you unfamiliar with that particular dynamic - another testament to the power of the mountains to bring people together). Chris has also been a FB friend for quite a while, so it was great being able to finally meet her in person. One helluva sense of humor! John was finally able to meet Jim and Chris. He had met Laura during the Kent Ashcraft memorial hike and cookout a few years back, so they were finally reunited! Chris had come up from San Diego, Harlan from Las Vegas, Laura from Bishop and Jim from Lake Isabella - there were quite a few miles driven (or flown) to make this little party happen!

Sidebar: Joe Quillan (quillansculpture) was originally slated to join us for this weekend, but honey-dos apparently got in the way. Joe, we missed you - and you missed a great time!

The next morning we all headed for Corkscrew Peak to meet Tom Brown (tomcat_rc) and Bob Pickering. The group gathering this day was primarily the result of a Facebook chat Laura and I had a few weeks back, and Tom's presence was also arranged through a FB chat. John is not a member of FB, but after this trip I expect to see him set up an account soon (be-friend him, folks - he's one helluva guy). It was great seeing Tomcat again! Bob Pickering and I had been corresponding by e-mail for quite a while, and it was a pleasure to finally meet him in person. He drove from Reno to join us, and I appreciated that greatly - especially since the next day was his wife's birthday and he had to turn right around and drive back to Reno after the hike. Bob surprised me by sporting a Georgia Bulldogs shirt for the hike, which confused the hell out of John, who was wearing his Georgia Tech gear. Add Jim's signature Florida Gators cap, and we had quite an interesting group with four of us outfitted in southern college football attire! Did I mention something about the power of the mountains overcoming other obstacles? Laura just shook her head .

As we were gearing up, we were surprised when Bob Rockwell arrived, along with Dave Gillanders and Arold Green. Sheer coincidence, but it was great meeting Bob R, fresh off his Kilimanjaro summit last month. I've really enjoyed the narratives that Bob has made available (in particular, his first Whitney summit story, his Denali experience, and his race to the Whitney summit against the younger ultra-marathoners), and it was an honor to finally shake his hand.

Our two groups headed across the desert towards Corkscrew, but between adding layers, removing layers, stopping for photos, pacing, etc., we were soon spread out into several groups. Jim, Harlan and Tom wanted to tag Little Corkscrew first so they went to the left while the rest of us bore to the right. The weather was great and it was a very enjoyable morning.

After about 2000 feet of gain, my legs were feeling a bit fatigued, especially after Wildrose two days prior. I have a problem in approaching western gains in that I have a naturally quick hiking pace. That doesn't present too much of a problem here in the south where a hike is typically an up-down-up-down-up-down kind of thing: gain 1000 feet, lose 400, gain 500, lose 300, etc. The consistent uphills of the west can't be replicated here locally, so I try to consciously maintain a durable pace when I'm approaching something like Corkscrew's 3500-foot gain in just over 3 miles. The problem is I'll get going in deliberate granny-gear, then my mind will wander (or my mouth starts flapping) and soon I realize I'm going too fast and my legs are burning. John and Bob P both noticed this and commented about it during the hike. John can drop into 1st gear and go on seemingly forever. Maybe some day I'll be able to as well, if I can ever discipline my pace. The last, really steep 1500 feet of gain on Corkscrew came with a number of 20-second rest stops, which royally pissed me off. Some day I'll learn. Maybe.

We stopped at the keyhole below the summit for about a half hour. Jim, Tom and Harlan had re-joined us by that point and there were a number of great photo ops as they climbed to the top of the window and posed every which way for shots. Jim, of course, insisted on my getting a pic of him doing the Gator Chomp up there. Not long after that we were all on the summit eating lunch, taking photos and just generally having a blast. Bob R managed to position his camera for a timed group shot, which is in his Flckr album of the hike. There was a wonderful sense of camaraderie on the summit that day, and it made the hike that much more special. The only disappointment was that someone had absconded with the summit register and box (or thrown it off the side).

Another sidebar: this particular hike took a toll on Chris. It was a little tougher than she might have anticipated, and she hit a wall about 1500 feet below the summit. She did, however, persevere and got a standing O when she topped out. She showed a great deal of resiliency and determination in summitting, and maybe learned a little something about herself. Kudos Chris! Just the beginning!

After about a half hour enjoying the experience and views on the summit, we headed down, taking a different route to exit at the drainage to the north of Corkscrew. It was time for my downhill-racer persona to materialize, and I really enjoyed scooting down that mountain, scree-ski and all. We eventually all met up at the cars and enjoyed a nice, celebratory brew (or two) before parting ways. Bob had to return to Reno, and Jim and Tom headed back home to Lake Isabella and Ridgecrest respectively. Laura, Chris and Harlan would camp one more night with us at Texas Spring.

John's patient (and tedious) backwoods fire-building skills granted us a blazing campfire with the wood that we had trouble igniting two nights before - or it may have been the big Duraflame that Harlan used. Laura, Harlan, Chris, John and I enjoyed a hilarious evening around the campfire, toasting anything that moved and rolling with laughter at John's stream-of-consciousness chatter that a few strong Porters seemed to generate. We laughed so hard it hurt. By the time we rolled into our tents, I felt it had been the best all-around day I had ever spent in the mountains. A fun hike, great scenery, beautiful weather, all shared with a wonderful group of like-minded people - most of whom had a significant BAL by day's end!

Harlan had to leave us the next morning, taking a quick detour to climb Death Valley Buttes (The Butts, as we called them). John and I planned to do the same the next day. We hung out at the campsite till about noon, BSing some more, then we saddled up and drove to Panamint Springs for a nice lunch. Laura and Chris then headed for their respective homes while John and I continued on to Lone Pine. We each had something to pass along to Doug (Jim, be sure to have Doug show you my gift), and managed to catch him at the Hostel, where we grabbed a shower and began to feel human again. Doug invited us to dinner at Seasons with he and Earlene, so we capped the day with another memorable experience. John and I were whipped after dinner and the thought of the drive back to Furnace Creek was not very appealing, so Doug set us up at the Hostel overnight which was greatly appreciated. That would have been a long drive in the dark at the end of a long day. Thank you Doug!

The next day we scooted back to DV and headed straight for Death Valley Buttes. I couldn't find any detail on this climb on the internet, other than some brief SummitPost stuff, but it was something that looked interesting. Why they're called buttes is beyond me, as they are a couple of knife-edge peaks rising from the desert floor in the foreground of Corkscrew Peak, linked by a saddle. The only description I could find was that it was steep scree-hiking up to the Middle Butte, then some exposed climbing to the Upper Butte summit. That was exactly what it was, and it was a blast!. Neither John nor I are climbers of any consequence, but we both got some pretty good pucker-factor class 3 experience under our belts on this baby. Being a knife-edge ridge all the way, there are few choices on route, and some sections are two hands, two feet and a long way down less than a foot away. Bob Pickering keeps telling me I need some good class 3 experience. Bob, got it . . .

On the summit, John turned to me and said "Uh . . . that down-climb might be a bit sketchy." I agreed, but it had to be done. Slow and steady, we'd make it. We found Harlan's name in the summit register from the day before, but very few others. The register - a small spiral notebook - went back to 2006 and was not even half-full. Very few people seem to climb these buttes, and it beats me as to why. They're fantastic! What got our attention was an entry by Bob Burd, of all people, indicating he had belayed someone on the Upper Butte. That impending down-climb now seemed just a bit more serious to us.

After a half hour enjoying the view of Corkscrew to the north and Badwater to the south, we headed down. We were a bit apprehensive about the down-climb, but we took our time and ensured we had good contact points and balance. We kept waiting for a section to give us problems, but it never happened and things went very smoothly. Even the section we dubbed the "Mini-E-ledge" (about 20 feet of narrow rock ledge, with a long fall on one side and a sheer wall on the other) went without a hiccup - although my wife will have a cow when she sees the photos. The "scary" part was over before we knew it. Who knows, maybe the MR is in our future! High-fives and beer awaited us at the finish, and we agreed that this was the most enjoyable peak of the trip, from a challenge standpoint. If anyone heads up there in the near future, that impressive, gravity-defying cairn on the Upper Butte summit is my personal handiwork . . .

A nice little sand storm brewed up when we got back to camp - the exact same thing that happened to me the last night of my last hiking trip to DV - so John's DV experience went up another notch. Having learned my lesson during my previous tent-in-a-sandstorm fun, I slept in the rental vehicle. John laughed at me that night. He wasn't laughing the next morning.

So that's it. Our Death Valley 2011 TR. Had a blast and enjoyed great company. John, you're a fine hiking and camping partner (especially after a few beers), and I'm really glad you chose to give this a whirl. I bet it's not your last winter trip to DV! I especially appreciate the time committed (and distance driven) by Laura, Bob P, Chris, Jim and Tom to join us on this little adventure. Doug, your hospitality was superb and we're grateful for it. Laura, the moose-antler head gear you brought for me to pass on to Brianne was a real winner - she loved it! The people were as fun and intriguing as the mountains, and made the trip very special. Can't wait for the summer - and the Sierra!

Photos up soon. Got lots to go through!





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#11446 - 03/10/11 08:45 AM Re: The Dog and Cat Death Valley TR 2011 [Re: Bulldog34]
KevinR Offline


Registered: 11/03/09
Posts: 578
Loc: Manchester, NH
An excellent read - thanks for taking the time to post it.

Have you ever done Fall Canyon? Our group of 8 did it yesterday - the TH is off the road to Scotty's Castle. One of the group had done many years earlier, and one had climbed about 1/4 mile beyond the dry waterfall, but it was new for the rest of us. Anyway - it's a stunning hike, so if you haven't done it yet, put it on your schedule for your next visit. It is simply breathtaking. I can give you more details later if you want them.

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#11447 - 03/10/11 08:58 AM Re: The Dog and Cat Death Valley TR 2011 [Re: KevinR]
Bulldog34 Offline


Registered: 11/12/09
Posts: 1254
Loc: Atlanta
Thanks Kevin - and thanks for all the beta about Wildrose and Corkscrew! I actually did Fall Canyon in March of '08. I remember how crowded the trailhead was that's shared with Titus Canyon, but that once I made the turn for Fall the crowds disappeared! I may have seen 2 other people that day. I think I 180ed at the dry fall, so I haven't been past it. Another thing I recall is that the beach-sand effect on the way up was the worst I had experienced in DV. Hate that stuff!

That was the one regret about this trip, John's first to DV to hike - we didn't do any canyon hiking at all. It was all peaks, and the obligatory ramble out to the middle of Badwater basin. John has yet to hike a DV canyon, so I guess that gets an itinerary started for 2012!

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#11449 - 03/10/11 09:02 AM Re: The Dog and Cat Death Valley TR 2011 [Re: Bulldog34]
quillansculpture Offline


Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 552
Loc: Murrieta, CA
Originally Posted By: Bulldog34

Sidebar: Joe Quillan (quillansculpture) was originally slated to join us for this weekend, but honey-dos apparently got in the way. Joe, we missed you - and you missed a great time!


Great TR!!!! I am jealous. I did tell you I wanted to be there. And, Laura, don't kick my ass....please :-)

As far as honey-dos: Yea, I just love fixing up a rental, ebaying, sitting on my butt at the computer, and just plain working instead of hiking!!!!!! BUT.....as I said, I am truly looking forward to a Summer My Whitney adventure......
_________________________
"Turtles, Frogs & other Environmental Sculpture"

www.quillansculpturegallery.com
twitter: @josephquillan

If less is more, imagine how much more, more is -Frasier

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#11450 - 03/10/11 09:09 AM Re: The Dog and Cat Death Valley TR 2011 [Re: Bulldog34]
KevinR Offline


Registered: 11/03/09
Posts: 578
Loc: Manchester, NH
There's one "pucker-point" at that dry falls, but there's a bypass path on the right about 100 yards before the falls, on the right. There's a pile of rocks to help with the boost. Getting up is not much of a problem - plenty of toe and handholds, but getting down is somewhat more challenging. We brought a short rope "just in case" but no one actually needed it.

It's about 3 miles to that dry falls, and we went another 2 above it, leaving about 9:30AM from the TH, and getting back about 2:30PM. As for the footing - you're right - it gives the gluts quite a workout. In the 5 miles, we gained about 1,500', but it felt more like 2,500'. Easy grade, but the footing required more effort than you'd expect. OTH - going down was VERY easy.

It gets even more beautiful above that dryfall, with lots of narrow (10' wide or less) sections. We stopped for lunch at noon at a wide point in the canyon. Another time, we'd probably go another couple of miles. Also - one of our group read about an approach whereby you hike up Titus Canyon (on harder road), climb the ridge, and then down down into Fall Canyon for the return. We're going to research that loop.

Fall Canyon is very different from other canyons in the far Southwest in that, for the most part, the sides are solid rock, and are near vertical for miles. Quite different in composition than you typically find in similar canyons in nearby ranges like the Panamints and Inyos.

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#11451 - 03/10/11 10:26 AM Re: The Dog and Cat Death Valley TR 2011 [Re: Bulldog34]
Bulldog34 Offline


Registered: 11/12/09
Posts: 1254
Loc: Atlanta
A few shots:

Dog and Cat on the Wildrose summit:




Ready for Corkscrew - Laura, Jim, Harlan, Tom, John, Chris and Bob P:



The group on Corkscrew's summit - Jim, John, Gary, Laura (sitting), Harlan, Tom. Yes, that's my avatar, Tucker, on my backpack.



Gary climbing the Upper Butte:



John tweaking on the "Mini-E-ledge":



Jim and his Gator Chomp:


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#11455 - 03/10/11 12:34 PM Re: The Dog and Cat Death Valley TR 2011 [Re: Bulldog34]
James Offline


Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 66
Loc: CA
Great TR and photos! Those rocks look like a lot of fun.

Good to see the cats and dogs (gators, bruins, cardinal, aztecs, etc.) living together in peace. cool

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#11456 - 03/10/11 01:22 PM Re: The Dog and Cat Death Valley TR 2011 [Re: Bulldog34]
+ @ti2d Offline


Registered: 10/22/09
Posts: 801
Loc: Oh Cursed, USA
Okay, Bulldog34...

Is it me or is it that your TR style like that of MooseTrack's? confused

Just as I thought, just me. Great TR nonetheless and great photos. wink Show us more...show us more...show us more...

Hey, Moose, great to see your smiling face again. I can now associate faces with names. Glad to see you, too. grin

I may be in Eastend maybe late July for some burgers brews spuds and suds. Not a definite. Did not apply for a permit for Mecca West. My wife is training in Richmond for 4 months (March-June), and then to Baltimore (July-October). We wanted to do a Labor Day hike, but her training schedule flip-flopped (Baltimore was originally for March-June). Yes, gonna be a long eight months without her. cry cry frown cry cry

Will make up for it when she returns! whistle WOO HOO!
_________________________
Have fun and enjoy the Gr8 Yd Opn.

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#11457 - 03/10/11 01:30 PM Re: The Dog and Cat Death Valley TR 2011 [Re: + @ti2d]
Bulldog34 Offline


Registered: 11/12/09
Posts: 1254
Loc: Atlanta
No 'Tude, I'm just long-winded with the basics. Laura's TRs may be lengthy, but they have panache and soul! I miss 'em, but I understand why we haven't seen much lately, even on her Makin' Moose Tracks website. She's been one busy girl since last August. It was great seeing her again. Nothin' quite like MooseTracks and a bottle of good scotch around a group campfire!

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#11468 - 03/10/11 07:06 PM Re: The Dog and Cat Death Valley TR 2011 [Re: Bulldog34]
SoCalGirl Offline


Registered: 12/06/09
Posts: 225
Loc: Spring Valley, CA
Originally Posted By: Bulldog34
Another sidebar: this particular hike took a toll on Chris. It was a little tougher than she might have anticipated, and she hit a wall about 1500 feet below the summit. She did, however, persevere and got a standing O when she topped out. She showed a great deal of resiliency and determination in summitting, and maybe learned a little something about herself. Kudos Chris! Just the beginning!


"How hard is cross-country going to be, right?" nice in theory at least. I'd never done anything like this hike before and all that shifty scree crap and the steep inclines definitely took a toll on me. I got into a place in my head where "whats next" encompassed not only the summit, but the return trip and the only thing my brain could work itself around was "Oh my god I'm going to die if I have to try to go back down that scree slope".... this gave Laura lots of ammo to holler at me about ;-) Actually she didn't holler, but again, coached me through a new experience in my life and helped make me a stronger person and hiker.

So... Gary... things I learned on this trip....
1- I -can- walk on steeply inclined, ever shifting, one step up-three steps down, no trail stuff without dying.

2- Sometimes the easier way down is on the OTHER side of the hill

3- Looking at the "whole" picture can lead to a very defeatist attitude. Chunking the picture into segments... even if it's just another 20 paces up the trail... helps things soooo much....

4- My pace is my pace... if I get there 20 minutes or 2 hours after the rest of the group... so long as I get there, thats what matters.... sticking to it and not giving up

5- Contrary to popular (or just my own) belief.. it's not a 12 hour drive from Lone Pine to Furnace Creek.

6- If I'm going to DV from SD... the Trona Road turnoff from Red Mountain cuts about 40 + miles off the drive...

I'll have you know that as I was driving past one of my local regional parks today I was evaluating the trails and thinking to myself "I could use that one to train for next time" and have started trying to figure out where I can get cross country here in San Diego.....

Thanks for a great weekend Gary (and John and Harlan and Laura and TomCat and... and ... and....) It was totally worth the 7 hours drive time...

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#11474 - 03/11/11 03:26 AM Re: The Dog and Cat Death Valley TR 2011 [Re: SoCalGirl]
Bulldog34 Offline


Registered: 11/12/09
Posts: 1254
Loc: Atlanta
Originally Posted By: SoCalGirl
3- Looking at the "whole" picture can lead to a very defeatist attitude. Chunking the picture into segments... even if it's just another 20 paces up the trail... helps things soooo much....

4- My pace is my pace... if I get there 20 minutes or 2 hours after the rest of the group... so long as I get there, thats what matters.... sticking to it and not giving up


I'll have you know that as I was driving past one of my local regional parks today I was evaluating the trails and thinking to myself "I could use that one to train for next time" and have started trying to figure out where I can get cross country here in San Diego.....

Thanks for a great weekend Gary (and John and Harlan and Laura and TomCat and... and ... and....) It was totally worth the 7 hours drive time...


Chris, excellent takeaways from that climb - especially # 4. Hike your own hike. Can't wait to hear how the local cross-country and scree training goes! I'm sorting through photos, and once they're organized will get them to you and Harlan. For the present, though, I borrowed these two from Bob R's Flickr album of the day's climb:

Chris and Laura topping out on Corkscrew's summit!



Bob R's group summit shot - Harlan, Jim, John, Tom, Gary, Chris, Bob P, Laura, Bob R:


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#11507 - 03/13/11 06:10 PM Re: The Dog and Cat Death Valley TR 2011 [Re: Bulldog34]
catpappy Offline


Registered: 03/06/10
Posts: 120
Loc: acworth, ga
Gary and everyone there - I had a most wonderful time with you guys in DV. It's funny - I don't think I've ever been around nicer folks than those who have a love of the outdoors. Thats always been a constant, from my Appalachain Trail days to present. I know for a lot of the folks that met us in DV there was a bit of expence in gas and windsheild time. Thanks for making the trek. And Gary, thanks for the invite and handling the logistics. You definitely know your way around the park.

At the end of each day Gary would ask me "Well what was your favorite part of the day?" I would just give him this overwhelmed look and answer back "I can't pick just one, how about one each hour?"

There were many. A few of my favorites - The alpine like enviroment of Wildrose. I could wander around up there forever. Meeting new people I've only known through the message boards. Actually hiking with these people. Being on a mountain with Bob R. Watching Laura and Chris top out on Corkscrew. The look on Laura's face when I was trying to point out a tiny cactus to her by pointing at the ground not saying a word. She thought it was a snake. Laura doesn't like snakes. She said she would break me in half if I ever did that again. Gary Facebooking at 5:30 each morning. The coyote serinade each evening behind the campground. Of all things- hearing an American Robin call at the bottom of the Buttes while we were on top. What the hell is a Robin doing in DV? Drilling into Gary what a Creasote bush looks like. Not that it doesn't grow in every square meter of DV. The evening conversation and comedic sparring at the campground with Jim, Laura, Chris, Harlin, and Gary. Dinner with Doug and Earlene.

I could go on and on, but one thing is for sure - the snow may have been patchy, but the trip was definitely thick and layered.

John

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#11513 - 03/14/11 03:40 AM Re: The Dog and Cat Death Valley TR 2011 [Re: catpappy]
Bulldog34 Offline


Registered: 11/12/09
Posts: 1254
Loc: Atlanta
John, remind me again what that scraggly bush is - the one with the tiny, sticky leaves and funny odor?

And how's that FB account coming along?

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#11520 - 03/14/11 09:24 AM Re: The Dog and Cat Death Valley TR 2011 [Re: Bulldog34]
Rod Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 660
Loc: Santa Clarita, Ca. USA
Great Tr. Finally took the time to read the lengthy report. Good job a lot happened.It alls looks wonderful until I saw the "mini E-Ledges" That would never be doable for me. Sorry.
Glad everyone had a fantastic DV experience.

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#11532 - 03/14/11 12:59 PM Re: The Dog and Cat Death Valley TR 2011 [Re: Rod]
Bulldog34 Offline


Registered: 11/12/09
Posts: 1254
Loc: Atlanta
Originally Posted By: Rod
Great Tr. Finally took the time to read the lengthy report. Good job a lot happened.It alls looks wonderful until I saw the "mini E-Ledges" That would never be doable for me. Sorry.
Glad everyone had a fantastic DV experience.


Thanks Rod, but you might surprise yourself. A couple of years ago I never would have imagined myself climbing this Upper Butte. When John and I hit that ledge in the photo, there was some serious discussion about continuing, or just turning back and calling it a day. It's every bit as dramatic in person as the photo suggests. We knew there would be a fair amount of class 3 climbing on this peak, but the exposure was at times a lot more than we expected. We decided to forge across the ledge - carefully - and found that on the return it wasn't nearly as intimidating as that first stroll across it. By and large we had solid, well-placed hand and foot holds the last 300 feet to the summit, so the actual climbing wasn't that difficult - it was just the mental aspect of ignoring the long drops just iches away that took a while to get comfortable with.

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#11550 - 03/14/11 05:55 PM Re: The Dog and Cat Death Valley TR 2011 [Re: Bulldog34]
bobpickering Offline


Registered: 02/07/10
Posts: 310
Loc: Reno, Nevada
Looks like Gary is on track for Cathedral Peak this summer. When will you be out west again?

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#11554 - 03/14/11 06:02 PM Re: The Dog and Cat Death Valley TR 2011 [Re: bobpickering]
Bulldog34 Offline


Registered: 11/12/09
Posts: 1254
Loc: Atlanta
Originally Posted By: bobpickering
Looks like Gary is on track for Cathedral Peak this summer. When will you be out west again?


Mid-July, most likely Bob - ticking off the days like a prisoner in a cell!

Now I just need to look up Cathedral Peak . . .

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#11555 - 03/14/11 06:08 PM Re: The Dog and Cat Death Valley TR 2011 [Re: Bulldog34]
wazzu Offline


Registered: 06/20/10
Posts: 319
Loc: Orange County, CA
BD34 and the DV group,

Great TR and photos. DV has never been on my priority list. After reading the TR and seeing the photos, I'll definately consider making a trip out that way.

Where was Lady Bulldawg and Bullpup? Taking care of the new pup?

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#11556 - 03/14/11 06:32 PM Re: The Dog and Cat Death Valley TR 2011 [Re: wazzu]
Bulldog34 Offline


Registered: 11/12/09
Posts: 1254
Loc: Atlanta
wazzu, the Bullpup was in school (fuming that I was heading up a mountain with Laura and she wasn't), and Lady Bulldawg - well, pretty much the same thing, only compounded by the presence of the others in that illustrious group that she either knows, or knows of. They still won't let me show them the photos . . .

Death Valley is a jewel October-March, when temps moderate, so you're nearing the end of the enjoyable season. Hell-on-earth will return to the valley in another month or so, but the two big Panamint peak trails (Telescope and Wildrose) are good summer hikes. It may be 125 in the valley, but these trailheads are high enough that you escape the worst of the heat. Actually, those two are the only "maintained" trails in the entire park - all the rest is route-finding, canyons, or use trails.

One thing I failed to mention in the TR - twice we were in position to see Whitney and Badwater Basin at the same time (highest/lowest points in the lower 48). From Wildrose Peak, and again from Corkscrew Peak. Very cool.

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#11558 - 03/14/11 09:00 PM Re: The Dog and Cat Death Valley TR 2011 [Re: Bulldog34]
bobpickering Offline


Registered: 02/07/10
Posts: 310
Loc: Reno, Nevada
Gary:

Cathedral Peak is my favorite technical climb. I've done the SE buttress 50 times. It's four pitches with a 70M rope. 5.5-5.6 at the hardest, and most of the route is easier than that. Chan and I got his ten-year-old daughter up it in 2003. One of my climbing partners was a grandmother who is older than you, and it was her second day of climbing in her entire life. Here is more information:

summitpost
RichardP

Bob

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