Telescope Peak 11049

14 Nov 1998 - by Ron Karpel

After many plan changes and participants dropping in and out, the seven of us finally gather at the Mahogany Flat trailhead in Death Valley for our hike up to Telescope Peak. The ranger's warning of a significant snowfall the Wednesday before were proven wrong. There was some snow visible on the higher peaks, but no more then an inch or 2. Wildrose's southern slops were completely free of the white stuff. Snowshoes ice axes and crampons were left in the car. Bob insisted on carrying his ice axe, but it stayed in its holster the entire trip. I carried my ski polls, but I used them only on the way down to help absorb some of the impact of the hard trail on my ankles.

A couple hundred feet into the hike, we all stopped to get rid of extra clothing. This was a tee shirt and sunscreen weather; not what one would have expected in mid November. There were a few patches of snow on the shady side of the mountain, but never more then a couple of inches deep, and always well stamped out.

Three and a half hours including 2 lengthy brakes got us to the summit. The weather was as close to perfect as could be expected. Temperatures were around 60 degree, perfect visibility, and warm sun. The only negative was the lively wind that blew at around 10-20 mile an hour. We spent about 1 1/2 hours basking in the sun, eating summit chocolate, taking pictures, and identifying the summits of the high Sierras which were clearly visible to the west.

On the way down, Bob, David, Joan, and I made a detour to summit Mt Rogers. We got back to the cars by 3:40.

Participants: Bob Suzuki, David Hough, Jeff West, Joan Marshall, Milush Kudrnovska, Nancy Fitzsimmons, and scribe: Ron Karpel.

Special thanks to Bill Kirkpatrick for scheduling this trip for such a beautiful day.


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