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#118279 - 07/13/09 01:19 AM Summited Mt. Charleston - equipment used
300winmag Offline
member

Registered: 02/28/06
Posts: 1342
Loc: Nevada, USA
Saturday my buddy and I hiked up 2,000 ft in 4 miles to within 3 miles of Mt. Charleston, outside 'Vegas and camped in the meadows near the trail. It was a dry camp W/ all water hauled in by us. Light gear was the order of the day and my Contrail was in the pack.

Today we climbed Charleston. It's 11,930 ft. and the tallest moutain in S. Nevada, third tallest in the state, a state with 46 mountain ranges!

With the flint-like scree we constantly encountered, both on the trail and on the mountain I found my Danner mid-weight hiking boots were just perfect, giving me the protection I needed. My buddy Jack had light hikers and did have a few problems with rocks punishing him through his shoes but he felt the lighter weight was worth it. To each his own.

Nearing the summit we were forced to put on wind gear. I had a PacLite GTX parka which
worked fine, as well as in the rain the first day.

I'd say the fact that both of us had fully synthetic clothes helped with drying quickly on Saturday and being fairly wind resistant on the mountain Sunday. It was 40 F and windy on the mountain but 108 and calm in Las Vegas today. What a difference.

One item I liked a lot was my REI Flash summit pack/stuffsack. Just big enough for essentials and light enough to use as a stuff sack. I hid my backpack near the campsite and used the Flash for summiting.

I realized was that I REALLY needed to scrutinize my equipment more closely. I had some redundant items that will not go along next time I'm peak bagging. Hauling that stuff up 2,000 ft. and 50+ switchbacks in 4 miles (before even getting to base camp)is a reminder to go over items with a fine tooth comb - and a postal scale.

Eric
_________________________
"There are no comfortable backpacks. Some are just less uncomfortable than others."

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#118280 - 07/13/09 02:07 AM Re: Summited Mt. Charleston - equipment used [Re: 300winmag]
Marc Offline
member

Registered: 06/05/09
Posts: 36
Loc: Iowa
I truly appreciate this post Eric.
I realized that the hiking/camping trip I plan to take will require two backpacks and while everyone here is very helpful, I could not help but feel that asking for advice on carrying two backpacks in this forum seemed...well..somewhat suicidal.
Most of my time will be spent dayhiking.
Essentials would be warm clothes, rain gear, first aid, camera equipment and lunch. I have no desire to carry my main backpack everyday.
I will look into that REI Flash pack. I had the feeling my original daypack idea was overkill.
Thanks

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#118281 - 07/13/09 02:22 AM Re: Summited Mt. Charleston - equipment used [Re: 300winmag]
Trailrunner Offline
member

Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 1835
Loc: Los Angeles
Did you check out the C-54 near the summit? That peak is on my list just for that reason.

_________________________
If you only travel on sunny days you will never reach your destination.*

* May not apply at certain latitudes in Canada and elsewhere.

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#118289 - 07/13/09 12:52 PM Re: Summited Mt. Charleston - equipment used [Re: Trailrunner]
300winmag Offline
member

Registered: 02/28/06
Posts: 1342
Loc: Nevada, USA
Yeah, there is still wreckage just below the summit including an entire wing AND pieces of aluminum from the plane were blown downhill 1,500 ft. into the wooded area of a spring where I refilled my Camelbak before summiting. Very sad to see the wreckage. The pilot forgot to reset his altimiter before taking off, according to the FAA investigation back in the '40s.

Eric
_________________________
"There are no comfortable backpacks. Some are just less uncomfortable than others."

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#118291 - 07/13/09 01:22 PM Re: Summited Mt. Charleston - equipment used [Re: Marc]
aimless Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 2859
Loc: Portland, OR
I bought an REI Flash a couple of years ago. I bring it when I plan on a base-camp-with-day-hikes combo trip. It is a good size for lunch, water, a windshirt and a few other essentials. Mine weighs 8 oz and can double as a stuff sack inside the main pack. Works for me.

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#118295 - 07/13/09 02:55 PM Re: Summited Mt. Charleston - equipment used [Re: aimless]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6400
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
I found that my Six Moon Designs Comet, when scrunched down all the way with the compression straps, works just fine as a day pack. It certainly is better than carrying a second pack! I may try taking the stays out next time I do this.

I have more problems when base-camping and dayhiking with my trekking poles. Either I take my pole out and find a couple of rocks to hold down the collapsed tent, or I have to find a stick to hold up the tent.
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#118298 - 07/13/09 05:29 PM Re: Summited Mt. Charleston - equipment used [Re: OregonMouse]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada

I don't "base camp" a lot, because my pack is light enough it really doens't bug me. but when I do, I do have a compression sack I sewed backpack straps on. I either use it, or if I'm out with a small enough light pack, I just take whatever in that.. The most common packs I use for regular hikes is an MEC alpinelite 30 (which is a large daybag anyway) and a granite gear virga. The virga is a little bit large and flaccid to use as a daypack, but I find it i cinch the side straps down tight I can just take it and it doesn't do too bad for this.
_________________________
Any fool can be uncomfortable...
My 3 season gear list
Winter list.
Browse my pictures


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#118504 - 07/20/09 01:26 AM Re: Summited Mt. Charleston - equipment used [Re: 300winmag]
Trailrunner Offline
member

Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 1835
Loc: Los Angeles
Eric, this Mt.Charleston hiker posted a picture of what he calls a "U2 spy plane crash site". Is he confusing that with the C-54? My understanding is that the Skymaster's 14 victims in 1955 were engineers on their way to Area 51 for U-2 research but I've never heard of a U-2 crash at that location. And his pic looks like the same area as the C-54. Anyway, I doubt that the military would leave that much wreckage from a once top secret spy plane.

I have a new hobby.....they call it aviation archeology. Some call it wreck chasing. It sort of combines hiking, history, navigation and treasure hunting. Fun stuff. And just to be clear I never disturb wreck sites or remove artifacts.

Thanks to you Charleston is on my short list for this fall!!!
_________________________
If you only travel on sunny days you will never reach your destination.*

* May not apply at certain latitudes in Canada and elsewhere.

Top
#118535 - 07/20/09 07:23 PM Re: Summited Mt. Charleston - equipment used [Re: 300winmag]
trekkin Offline
member

Registered: 02/05/07
Posts: 19
Loc: PNW
Yes, the plane wreck is interesting (not much left though), as are the bristlecone pine groves all along the ridge. Take a close look at that wood in some of the pieces that have been cut by chain saws: it has about 60-80 reed lines to the inch, compared to maybe 10 lines/inch for most faster growing softwoods. Incredibly slow growing wood=very old trees.

There's a lot more interesting things on mountains than your gear.

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#118540 - 07/20/09 10:37 PM Re: Summited Mt. Charleston - equipment used [Re: 300winmag]
Franco Offline
member

Registered: 04/05/04
Posts: 997
Loc: Australia
Redundant items
Is that the stuff that you don't use for several trips but need the first time you live it at home ?
Franco

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#118909 - 07/30/09 03:53 PM Re: Summited Mt. Charleston - equipment used [Re: 300winmag]
slickgoku Offline
newbie

Registered: 07/30/09
Posts: 6
Loc: Las Vegas, NV
Hello, I want to give backpacking a shot, are there any required permits for hiking in the mt Charleston area? I've been searching all over the internet and keep getting mixed results, some sites say you do some say you don't. Thought you would know more or less for sure! Thanks.

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#118910 - 07/30/09 04:07 PM Re: Summited Mt. Charleston - equipment used [Re: slickgoku]
300winmag Offline
member

Registered: 02/28/06
Posts: 1342
Loc: Nevada, USA
No permits are required to climb t. Charleston or any of the other peaks in the Spring Mountains Range. The most senic trail to Mt. Charleston is the North Loop trail.

The most senic (and least used) trail in the Forest is
Bonanza Peak trail from the trailhead near the little community of Cold Creek off U.S. 95 North to where Bonanza Peak/Spring Mt'ns. Divide trail meets the short Bristlecone trail, which itself ends at the ski area parking lot.

So you can do a car shuttle between the two trailheads. This hike is best backpacked in two days (due to the altitude and switchbacks) with a camp at Wood Springs, the ONLY water on that trail. This trail is as beautiful as most trails in Yosemite.

Eric
_________________________
"There are no comfortable backpacks. Some are just less uncomfortable than others."

Top
#118911 - 07/30/09 04:34 PM Re: Summited Mt. Charleston - equipment used [Re: 300winmag]
slickgoku Offline
newbie

Registered: 07/30/09
Posts: 6
Loc: Las Vegas, NV
Ok, it's what I've heard that you don't need any permits to camp out there or anything like that but wanted to make sure. Hoping to get the gear together for a fall trip and to camp out there for at least a week!

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