BOUNDARY PEAK (13,140'), MONTGOMERY PEAK (13,441'), AND GLASS MOUNTAIN (11,140'), ALL 2X July 25-26, 1992
To attend another DPS activity, I drove solo down from Northern CA as the climbers from Southern CA mainly carpooled. I had shot my usual photos of the views while driving south on U. S. 395.
Camping somewhere, I met the DPS group in a small town along U. S. Highway 6. We then caravanned to the dirt road turnoff for the Queen Canyon Mine approach. A sizable group appeared, then me later carpooling with a generous member from Bishop, CA.
This was to be a new way to climb these two large peaks, the former way being an approach from NV 264, up Trail Canyon.
I had done this on a longer backpack trip in 1974, where a group of us three from Northern CA were to traverse the entire White Mountain range. The lead two were in good shape, and I had not done that much recently. After carrying a 50 pound load up and over the first two 13,000 foot peaks, I was tired and then short on water. We opted to descend into another canyon to the east, and then back to our cars. Not at any loss, we drove to the other end of the range and then backpacked to the Barcroft Lab, staying a night, then hiking White Mountain Peak.
Higher clearance vehicles were required after a point, about a quarter mile and 400' gain, from the end of the road. I happily gained a ride in a good truck, and we all arrived at the top of the ridge that runs to the scree climbing up Boundary Peak.
I knew the hike up didn't take that long, and knew what to expect as far as terrain. We started hiking together on a good use trail, passing through groves of gnarled pines, some said to be bristlecones. We rested for a regroup at the base of the scree slope trail and ridge climb, then proceeded up the peak.
Taking good rests, we ascended the use trail nicely, with other people and a dog on the route. After the 3,000 feet or so of gain, we all summitted. The view was clear and good, and I snapped my usual photos.
After we had a short rest with everyone signing the register, we took off for Montgomery Peak. This is a DPS "Emblem Peak," important for those working on their pins.
The traverse doesn't take too long, but due to altitude, a few declined. We hiked down the scree and then traversed to the left of the ridge, with a bit of scrambling.
Topping out, we signed in, and I snapped only a few photos, the view being similar to the previous peak. I recalled my fatigue and thirst getting to here in 1974, and then the outraged anger at me, failing to move fast enough. I had always meant to come back and actually do the complete traverse, but the largely waterless backpack escaped me.
Getting back to the top of Boundary Peak after about an hour, we made quick work plunge-stepping down the sand and scree. This is a bit of a delight after the loose stepping up the hill, here. It is like climbing a sand dune, sometimes with your feet sliding back as you stepped up.
I snapped a few more photos of the gnarled pines, and then got back to my own car. It was a steep bit of road, and I could smell my brakes.
I joined a small group to get a cheeseburger at the nearby casino at Montgomery Pass, and to drink plenty of water. I did get this shot of Boundary Peak from U. S. Highway 6. Several hikers left the trip, and we met at a campground, or a carcamp, somewhere.
The next morning saw us ascending Glass Mountain from the usual start at Sawmill Meadow. Encountering obsidian on the ground, the Native Americans used this sharp black rock to cut food and to serve as the tip of arrowheads.
This climb is short, and soon I was on top, snapping photos of the view. We found an historic register and I shot a picture for record. Bagging the northern peak as well, we soon hiked down back to our cars, and began our drives home.
I had the misfortune of blowing a tire while hitting a sharp rock on the dirt road, and had to change to my spare. You should watch what rocks you drive over, better than I did.
My mission to get photos, as I didn't have a camera my first time, was a success. Many climbers wish to bag Boundary Peak as it is the highest peak in the State of Nevada.
An old guidebook describes the old and longer way, via Trail Canyon. While I'd let climbers know of the easier and faster way, often locals would opt to go by the book as it is in print, and in ignorance, recommended by the foolish hikers up here, rather than believe me! They do like to suffer unnecessarily! There are some private land issues supposedly up the Queen Canyon approach, but some hikers claimed to knee deep cow pies on the Trail Canyon route. I had seen some of that, but had to deem this an exaggeration by supposed adventure hikers willing to back up the local view that you always go by the book!
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