ANOTHER RENO VISIT, WITH MT. ROSE (10,776'), THEN A 2X DONNER PASS GRAND SLAM--ANDERSON PEAK (8,683'), TINKER KNOB (8,949'), MT. JUDAH (8,293'), AND DONNER PEAK (8,019') July 30-August 1, 2000
A long heat wave was forecast all about the Pacific Southwest. I had obtained an e-mail, discounted, room and food offer from a major hotel casino in Reno, NV, that was too good to pass on. It was to be record heat, for at least two of the days I would be there. But with air-conditioning and the dry desert heat, it would probably be better than staying home.
I drove up to get a few clearance items from the Patagonia Outlet, then relaxed at the library and in the hotel complex. I tried to feast in good style, spending modest amounts, from my normally frugal routine. I always try to enjoy the sunset and magic hour from my hotel window.
Monday, I drove up NV 431, the Mt. Rose Highway, after enjoying a free breakfast buffet. Beginning my climb of Mt. Rose, I encountered several hikers descending after their apparently, very early morning, start. The temperatures weren't so bad here yet, above 8,800 feet elevation. A slight breeze helped.
I topped out after almost three hours. I was going to spend all day at this altitude, hoping that the natural air-conditioning would make my stay pleasant. The views were hazy, with some smoke from a big fire in the south. I took a few routine photos, with pictures of myself. But, there was no register, so my hoped for entertainment was not to be.
Spending an hour up here, I spent time cleaning up bits of litter from careless or thoughtless parties. Then, to enjoy getting the evening news, I debarked downward and came back to my car at about 3 p.m. I had snapped a few pictures of nice flower displays enroute.
Motoring back to nearby Reno, and my hotel, I had another buffet meal, and retired to my room, with views, again, for another good night's rest.
Tuesday morning, I awoke early, and had a very good rib-eye steak and eggs breakfast. Checking out, I drove to have a soda in Truckee, then came to the PCT trailhead near Old Donner Pass to begin my four-peak day at 8:10 a.m. This would be my second completion of this "super" goal, at least for me.
With great views already, I made fair time to the Sierra Club's Benson Hut, where I used the outhouse. Climbing Anderson Peak, which is a few hundred feet above the hut, I signed in the big, cast aluminum, rectangular, Sierra Club, register box notebook. It took another 45 minutes to ascend Tinker Knob. A couple others were climbing this peak as well.
Some clouds building up overhead caused me some apprehension. There had been "dry lightning" fires in parts of Nevada. While I have never seen such, I know that there is such a thing. The chirping of grasshoppers I momentarily mistook for buzzing or crackling.
After reading through the register books, and taking pictures, I started back. I met two persons, whom I knew, on the trail.
While there was a breeze, it was nice. But the still air, in spots, was stifling. I was lucky climbing back up north on the PCT, with an opportune breeze and shade from a cloud. I took the loop trail to climb both bumps of Mt. Judah, then continued along to the saddle from whence I climbed Donner Peak.
The Donner Peak register was heavily signed in. I organized the papers, and placed a new, larger book. A photo of this peak appeared in Sierra magazine recently. It has a good view of Donner Lake below. Boats left long wakes all across this lake.
Coming back to my car at 5:32 p.m., I had time to kill before descending to lower elevations and the awesome heat. The clouds overhead began to produce light rain, so I was induced to motor down I-80 after a cold drink at a service station mart. The terrible heat came to me as I came to 4,000 elevation, whereupon I chose air-conditioned restaurants to eat and drink cold liquids.
Mt. Rose entails about 2,600' total gain with 12 miles round trip. The stats of the Grand Slam were 16.5 miles with about 4,000' gain round trip.
BACK TO PETE'S THOUSAND PEAKS HOME PAGE