Tungsten Peak

19 Feb 1999 - by Eric Beck

Today dawned nicely enough, then the wind started to rise. Auspicious conditions for a WIMP ( Winter, Inyo, Mono, Peak ). From Ed Powers road, we drove up the Tungsten City road, good dirt, easy 2wd, about three miles to the saddle near BM 5435 ( old 15 minute map ). This is only a few hundred yards from the end of the road and the easiest parking spot for Tungsten Peak.

Toby, Joe Kelsey and I headed almost directly for the peak. This was easy open terrain in the sage. En route I found an excellent bleached antler. A few minutes later, Joe had found a pair of antlers complete with a fragment of the intervening skyll and a bit of fur. The wind increased dramatically as we neared the peak. Near the summit it was gusting and knocking us over. We estimated the velocity at 50 mph with gusts to 60+. On the summit there was a rudimentary register with a metal film can, a few entries from 95 and 97. We left an excellent real register, and the antlers, then descended several hundred feet to a warmer spot for a quick bite to eat.

Descent went well in the sandy terrain. Back at the vehicle, we made a weak search for benchmark 5435 ( Mark are you proud of us? ) without success. When we started the Sierra Crest was clearly in view. Upon return, no Sierra peaks were visible and it appeared to be precipitating lightly on our peak.

Upon return to town the television was out. The local radio reported that a cottonwood had taken out a power line near the airport and all of Bishop was without cable. Winds of 100 mph had been reported at Chalfant, 8 miles north.

Round trip stats: 4 miles, 900 feet, 2 hours, class 1.

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