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Wildrose Peak 06/23-25/10

Back in September of 2009 when my friend Mike and I climbed Telescope Peak in the Panamint Range inside Death Valley National Park, I had thought about coming back and bagging its smaller neighbor Wildrose Peak. The plan evolved over time to a drive up to Mahogany Flats to camp the first night and then a short solo backpacking trip up the mountain, camping at or near the summit and then back the next day.

So that is what I did! A late start had me in camp at Mohgany Flats late on Wednesday but after a good night of sleep I was ready to go the next morning, but the truck had other plans. It began to sputter and quake on the way to the Wildrose Peak trailhead and I pulled it into the spot in the desert to work on it. If I could not get it fixed I would have to go home! But, as it turned out I found the leaking hose, replaced it with a spare I had in the gear and went up to the Charcoal Kilns where, covered in dirt and grime and tossed my pack, portable homemade yagi and all, onto my back and started the climb, late.

It was warmer than I wanted it to be, due to the late start and the gentle climb changes Wildrose’s face for the last mile of switchbacks that lets one climb the last 1000 feet of altitude. However, the climb is not particularly hard or long, but the views are wonderful and those form the summit even better!

What was not better was the wind. It blew too hard to set up on the summit, so I created a spot nestled into a stunted tree a hundred or so free off the summit. I also set up the yagi and handheld 2-meter, pointing the antenna toward Keller Peak, 143 miles to the south. The Thursday evening Adventure Net on Keller started and though scratchy and hard to read, I was able to check in from Wildrose on just 5 watts! I ate supper, watched the sunset and listened in. As the wind picked up, my ability to break squelch on the repeater went away. When Ruby tried to reach me from her home office later that night, we could not make contact.

In the morning I watched the sunrise, ate and then headed down the trail. It was cooler and even rained just a bit, enough to be comfortable! I got back down to the kilns and that is when I realized how truly filthy I was from working on the truck and hiking. I drove up to Throndike, set up my water jug as a shower and enjoyed some refreshing clean water and soap.

The trip home was a nice one, knowing I had completed another self imposed mission!
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