Wednesday, December 10, 2008

County High Points - Nevada

Carson City County High Point (NV) – Snow Valley Peak (9,214’) 12-05-08

I was in Reno, NV for a convention so I came up with some possible HP’s that I thought I might be able to do. I wasn’t sure what to expect as the trip reports didn’t include any winter ascents (although technically winter was 16 days away). Rich Bolt and I decided to follow William Everett’s report on the County High Point Website, as he had done a snowshoe ascent. Apparently it has been a relatively mild year so far and there was no snow. The drive was about an hour from Reno via Route 395 to US 50 to NV 28. Spooner lake recreation area was open but no maps were available as it was in self-serve mode ($6). I had a topo and had read the tr’s so I wasn’t too worried about navigation.

We ran up the North Canyon road (not open to vehicle traffic). Temps were in the upper 40’s and the bright sunshine made for a great day of running. At approximately 4 miles (40:16) we turned onto the steep Ash canyon road (dirt trail) which was a much looser sandy surface. About ½ way up we passed a descending mountain biker (illegal on that trail), he was the only other person that we saw on the trails. We lost about 5 minutes by accidentally taking the Tahoe Rim trail once we had attained the ridge, but we corrected and summitted in 1:07:43. After 10 minutes on top taking pictures we started the run down. We added a little distance and variety by taking the Tahoe rim trail to the North canyon camp trail then dropped down to the North canyon road and retraced our steps back to Spooner lake. We were back at the car in 1:08:24 for a total round trip of 2:3 over a distance of about 11 miles and 2,300’ climb and descent. It was definitely worth it for the spectacular views of Lake Tahoe and the surrounding mountains.

Tahoe rim trail maps

Pictures from Carson City County and Storey County

Storey County High Point (NV) – Mt Davidson (7,864’)

I read the tr’s but really wasn’t sure what I’d find attempting this summit in December. It was close to 50 degrees when I drove the 26 miles from Reno on the very scenic NV341 with views of Mt Rose and Reno. First I have to say that the guys who have driven to this high point are pretty gutsy! Or maybe I’m just a timid driver? I had no intention of attempting a drive and parked the rental car on the very edge of town to give me a slightly longer run. It took me a little over 5 minutes to get to the dirt road that heads up the valley past the water tower. Right after the water tower the road splits and heads way to the right. I stayed left basically running right up the Spanish ravine. The “trail” was quite overgrown in spots but still very run-able at the slow pace I was going (I’m from sea-level and I was feeling the “burn” at 6,000’). I spotted some deer and an abandoned mine along the way. The deer just watched me pass; they seemed not the least bit worried. I reached the ridge and the end of the telephone poles in 30 minutes. It was an easy 10 minute jog to the summit, with the final part a rocky scramble. I spent 11 minutes taking in the view and shooting some pictures. It took me 10 minutes to make it back to the telephone poles as my descending skills are not good. I decided to run down the telephone line as it looked like better footing than the ravine. Some of the going was quite good but the loose shale under foot made for a very cautious descent. I was back to the road in 21 minutes and quickly trotted to the car for a total time of 1:30:48 for the round trip of a little over 4 miles with 1,600’ of climb and descent. The 7,864’ summit is the highest peak I’ve reached solo.

Pictures from Carson City County and Storey County

1 comment:

Marta said...

Really spectacular views. I was in Lake Tahoe last year and also enjoyed excellent mountain and lake views, but this is even better. You can read about my trip on my blog: . Hope you enjoy it!