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Desert Starts: Towne Peak and a Taste of Taboose

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Desert Starts: Towne Peak and a Taste of Taboose

Postby MooseTracks » Mon Sep 08, 2008 10:05 pm

I was coming out of Schatt's Friday afternoon when a guy parked next to me rolled down his window and called out my name. It was one of the 'you don't know me but I've read your posts' recognitions (which are kinda fun) until he told me how he knew it was me:

"I was buying cookies and turned around when you walked in. I took one look at your thighs and knew it had to be you."

:\ :rolleyes:

Anyway, I headed out to the desert to meet up with Tomcat, Snow Nymph, and the rest of the gang to celebrate Tom Gossett's 40th Anniversary of his first peak. Yeah, it's the desert. Yeah, it's hot. Yeah, he, his brothers, and father had to be rescued off the peak 40 years ago when they didn't have enough water! We actually did this hike as a traverse that included Panamint Butte last February , and it was a bit different now!

It's a fairly straightforward climb straight up from Towne Pass (on the way to DV from Lone Pine), gaining the first ridge , then sticking with it all the way around to the summit. Volcanic rock made for some easy steps, and there were nice views into Panamint Valley and Dolomite Canyon from the ridge. Once on the summit, our group split in two with half of the group headed down to a plane wreck resting about 1000 feet below, and the other half heading back to the cars. As we descended, the wind died, and the heat skyrocketed. By the time we four got down to Panamint Springs Resort, it was around 110 degrees. Only their beer selection saved the day!

I left the resort around 5:15, and headed back north towards Independence and the Taboose Trailhead, where I was planning a big day on Sunday. In front of me loomed, however, a sickening dark cloud of smoke which clung to the OV floor from the Crest. After a few panicked phone calls and some text messages as to Richard's whereabouts (thanks, Mike!!), I decided to wake every few hours to check the air. At 0100, it smelled like a campfire. At 0300, it smelled like a campfire. No go for biggie, unfortunately. I finally rousted myself out of bed around 0730 and started up the trail around 0830.

OK, now I get it about Taboose : it's just work, that's all. Not really fun, some grand cliffs rising above. At least there's good access to water most of the way. I realized, after about 10 minutes of slogging in the sand at 5500ft, that I HAD to get to 10K to keep my little streak alive. ****! Richard was trying to kill me, I just knew it. Well, at least I did meet a new hiking partner around 1030, who stayed with me for about 1/4 mile on the trail before he (she?) ambled into the creek and cross-country up the hill. Guess he got a little tired of me telling him constantly that I was behind him...

I met up with Richard at 9970ft, dropped my pack, grabbed my GPS and camera and headed up the last 30 vertical feet to 10K . Richard thought I needed to see the view from the Pass: No, I really don't today, I replied. I just wasn't feeling the same umph as usual and honestly was thinking about burgers at the Portal and cold beer by this time. So we headed down, spotting only the slightest sign of my friend.

Back at the portal, both Richard and I wanted another shot at the moose burger . Doug had promised that if I finished it, it was going on the board. Well, let's just say there's a new item for sale at the Store!! :grin: Hoo, baby! Good stuff!

A few more moments from the weekend:


Really, the only reason to go to Panamint Springs Resort (although I'm sure it's a very nice place to stay)...





From the luckiest girl in the world: Climb Hard, Be Safe!

-L :cool:
"Why do I climb? Quite simply because the mountains and I had to meet." - Colette Richard

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Re: Desert Starts: Towne Peak and a Taste of Taboose

Postby giantbrookie » Tue Sep 09, 2008 7:49 am

If it weren't 8 in the morning as I look at it, that 'fridge photo would be killing me. I need to have one of those in my department office.
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: ... ayshi.html
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