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Death Valley Topix Trip Report and Photos

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Death Valley Topix Trip Report and Photos

Postby tomcat_rc » Mon Dec 18, 2006 9:27 pm

what a great weekend - with both familiar faces and new friends

Friday night I left town late and did not arrive at Wildrose Campground until sometime after 9pm. most everyone was asleep - but I did see see one lone sole wandering aimlessly. it turned out to be sierragator. we caught up on some times and with little coaxing decided a cold beer was in order. some time shortly thereafter shortly thereafter Lewis and Randi pulled up. had never met them so and we broke out chairs and more beer. soon Norma and Tamara rolled in to camp. it was great to meet all 4 of them. a little while after climbing in sleeping bags heard Snowy and Trekker arrive at camp but was too lazy to get back out of the cozy sleeping quarters.

Saturday morning everyone is up by 6am or so to get ready for our hike. I had chosen Pinto Peak and we were supposed to meet Tom G. at Towne Pass by 8am. the morning light showed Trailtrekker, Rainboze and Joe who had already been asleep when we arrived the night before.

started up for the peak around 830 - the weather was not too bad but we were on the watch due to recent weather reports. we had a group of 12 people hiking - one of the largest I had hiked with. we only got off intended route on a couple of small occasions and everyone managed to arrive at summit within a short time of each other - congrats to everyone for summiting. we had enough time left and Tom G showed us to the hellfire wreck which was not too far off the summit. it was my first plane wreck and was amazing the carnage from where the plane hit. as we were headed down the sun actually came out for a short time. as we got off mountain and were crossing the bajada back to the vehicle the snow started. the snow got pretty heavy and I was glad we were not any later than we were. everyone made it safetly back to vehicles without too much trouble.

due to the heavy snows we decided to move camp down to Ballarat. my vehicle was still back at Wildrose so Sierragator and I arrived in camp later than everyone else. it was fun too see all the vehicle - they were all parked in a close circle with room for mine to fit in - it reminded me of circling the wagons from the western days. after dinner and camp setup it was time to sit be the fire and enjoy some after hike festivities. there was plenty of wine, laughter, pictures and warm fire. went to bed much too late and daylight came way too early.

Sunday morning some of were going separate ways.

joe and sooz were going to Indian Wells to explore for petroglyphs
sierragator decided to hike corkscrew since it was on his way home
lewis and randi were going to explore a canyon and then drive home
SnowNymph, Norma, Tamara, Rainboze and I decided to hike Argus Peak.
Trekker joined us but opted not to summit that day.

We got a late start - hit the trail at 1045 - later than I have ever started hiking for a summit. I did not bring a headlight - so I knew I had to stick to a certain turnaround time. we all 5 made summit before 200 and enjoyed some fun and pictures on the top - it took us less than 2 hours to arrive back at the car. the trail was in good condition - we had some new snow on the north side and on the boulders near the top. everybody did a fantastic job of negotiating through this potentially slipppery stuff.

sitting at home on a Monday evening - will go through pictures by tomorrow. already I am thinking of the next peaks I want - I am hopeless. "the mountains are calling and I must go"

thanks again everyone for making a great Topix trip
mountain hiking is addictive:
I can quit anytime I want - I just choose not to want



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Postby ERIC » Mon Dec 18, 2006 10:19 pm

EXCELENT report! Glad you guys had a wonderful time... I sent Snowy a fresh order of HST stickers; please be sure to remind her to hook you up with one or two for your Sierra vehicular devices. :)
New members, please consider giving us an intro!
Follow us on Twitter @HighSierraTopix. Use hashtags #SIERRAPHILE #GotSierra? #GotMountains?
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Re: Death Valley Topix Trip Report and Photos

Postby Ranboze » Mon Dec 18, 2006 11:22 pm

tomcat_rc wrote:... and with little coaxing decided a cold beer was in order. some time shortly thereafter shortly thereafter Lewis and Randi pulled up. had never met them so and we broke out chairs and more beer.

So not only did I NOT hear you or Sierragator or Lewis and Randy arrive, I missed the beers too? Dang!

tomcat_rc wrote:...as we got off mountain and were crossing the bajada back to the vehicle the snow started.

Was that the beef bajada or chicken? :p

tomcat_rc wrote: it was fun too see all the vehicle - they were all parked in a close circle with room for mine to fit in - it reminded me of circling the wagons from the western days.

There they were, the steel ponies all tied down for the night :D

GREAT write up Tom!

I had a blast. Pinto wasn't a very inspiring peak for me... kinda one of those "Are we there yet" things. Ridge after ridge after ridge. The crash site was quite interesting and it was a special treat to have Tom G and Joe there to help us out the with story and part identification. My favorite part of the day was the taste of class 3 scrambling... not much, just a bit to add a thrill. Or, maybe my favorite part was the snow at the end. Oh, and Lewis finding those mining claim notes in the glass bottles was way cool. Oh, he also found my lens cap... THANK YOU Lewis... although I lost it the next day on Argus when my camera hit a rock and knocked it off down a crack. :mad:

Argus was quite a fun peak. I worry too much, though, and was worried about the late day and continued threatening weather. Great to be in such good and experienced company, though. The snow made route finding on the way down easier, though. Was disappointed that we didn't see any wild ponies, but thrilled to have summitted and shared the experience with Tom, Cori, Norma and Tamara.

I think my camera is getting tired. What pix I do have aren't real good. Won't have time to do much with them until possibly after the new year, but will post a link when they're up.

Thanx again to everyone who made this trip so much fun. Many kudos to Tom and Cori who arranged the hikes and camping spots. Ballarat was the best bet for Sat night.
Walking outside is where I find what's inside.
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Postby Trekker » Mon Dec 18, 2006 11:41 pm

I had a great time!!! :nod: Pinto was my first off-trail desert peak; thanks to everyone for putting up with my........ahh......lack of aerobic conditioning; the way you guys move over the terrain is pretty amazing to me! Thanks also for keeping an eye on me on the way back! :) Saturday night was a blast!!!! :partyman: GREAT company! And "Mom,"......I owe you big time! Thanks for not being TOO hard on me! :threaten:

Have a great holiday, everyone!!! :christmas
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Postby Sierragator » Mon Dec 18, 2006 11:57 pm

Great weekend everyone! Got to do that again sometime. Happy Holidays Happy New Year and see you on the mountain.

(beef bajadas con queso, por favor)
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Postby Trailtrekker06 » Tue Dec 19, 2006 12:13 am

Yep, great time! It was a great bunch to hike with and the snows timing was excellent (well it might have waited just a few more minutes...) and the sleighride caravan down to Ballarat was fun (jingle bells, jingle bells..)
Joe and I did find some petroglyphs over near Black in the El Paso Range on Sunday but before we left DV, we drove back up to Townes Pass for a look at the snow. Pretty wild.
Tried to order a chicken bajada...just got a funny look back. Hmmmm?

WHERE'S SALIM??????????????????????? :D
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Postby Snow Nymph » Tue Dec 19, 2006 1:05 am

Great write up, Tom! :righton: It was nice meeting new members and putting a face to the names. This was the biggest turnout so far for a Topix trip. :rockon:

The stickers arrived Thursday, just in time! We passed stickers out Saturday night, so we'll be seeing more "GOT MOUNTAINS?" on the 395! Trail Bud might get requests for the "John Muir" sticker too.

That snow was pretty awesome! It was cool watching those ahead walking into the clouds, then watching all the flashes (cameras) go off. My camera got a little wet, and now the door is sticking. Last time I used it in storm, it quit working. :(

Trekker, sorry for all the nagging. I guess I'm like a mom sometimes, but you can be high maintenance at times. :threaten:

I enjoyed both hikes. Both peaks were new for me, so I was pretty stoked to get both. :D

It was nice to have Tom Gossett with us on the hike to Pinto. We could see the Albatross on Towne Peak that crashed in '52. I hike to the crash site last year and that's when I first saw Tom's name Image
from 1968. Then I met him briefly on White Mountain in July of this year. And this trip got to hike with him! How cool is that! :D

I can't believe we stayed up so late :partyman: and still hiked the next morning. :retard:

Argus was a good workout too. Like the last Topix trip, it was Tomcat and the women of Topix. Is that why they call you tomcat?? :unibrow:

I took over 350 pics for the weekend so I'm sorting thru them. *no_pics*
So I hope to have Pinto photos up by tomorrow night. Back to SmugMug! :computer:

Most asked question on this trip: Where's Salim?


Funniest comment:
Salim/Trekker: Did you hear those burros or jackasses last night?
Ranboze: Yeah, they went to bed really late! (something like that) :lol: :lmao :lol: :lmao :lol:

Fun weekend! =D> =D> =D>
Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free . . . . Jim Morrison


http://snownymph.smugmug.com/
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Postby tomcat_rc » Tue Dec 19, 2006 6:54 am

Was that the beef bajada or chicken - I admit my temptation to order when I went to casa corona last night - especially after finding the word "margaritta"


robin wrote: My favorite part of the day was the taste of class 3 scrambling... not much, just a bit to add a thrill. Or, maybe my favorite part was the snow at the end.
I am sure we can find plenty more of class 3 stuff to whet you whistle with

although I lost it the next day on Argus when my camera hit a rock and knocked it off down a crack - guess I was too busy recovering your gps which fell down a crack :lol:

hey trekker - we had a blast and it was great to get you up a peak. my favorite line was your response to me over the radio. I believe it was "huff(suck air) huff(suck air) - or was that just radio interference

Sierragator - good to see you again - did you bag corkscrew on the way home - and did you find any company. see you for a new years day hike.

Sooz - I believe the song was "dashing through the snow - in a one horse open sleigh" - glad you guys found some more petros - careful it becomes its own addiction - but then again so is peak bagging. :D

special thanks to Tom G - can't believe we have never run into each other in the mountains living so close - will have to correct that.


and to Snowy - thanks for putting together such a cool trip. you did a great job of coordinating people and getting the word out. only 350 pictures - that should keep you busy for another day or so. I admit I was in cat heaven hiking with only beautiful ladies on Sunday. a guy could get spoiled on that.


shame on you all though for making me stay up so late on Saturday night - my head was pounding while hiking on Sunday. but I am strong and I survived. thanks again to everyone - it was a great trip
mountain hiking is addictive:
I can quit anytime I want - I just choose not to want
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Missed a great trip

Postby Trail Bud » Tue Dec 19, 2006 8:54 am

Sounds like I missed out on a good. Tomcat, that was a great report, it's like a movie, every detail. Can't wait for the pictures. Hopefully I can make the next one.
By the way; Snowy, thanks for the stickers Ryan liked them.
Take care all, and Happy Holidays
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Postby Trailtrekker06 » Tue Dec 19, 2006 9:06 am

oh- Tomcat did leave out a few details...he didn't mention scanning the horizon, did he? :lol:
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Postby tomcat_rc » Tue Dec 19, 2006 9:21 am

to tell the the truth I was worried that I would be able to type legibly at all after downing a couple margaritas with dinner last night - so you takes what you gets
mountain hiking is addictive:
I can quit anytime I want - I just choose not to want
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Postby Trailtrekker06 » Tue Dec 19, 2006 10:50 am

Tom- Great report, btw!
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