By: John McCully, Maris Valkass
From any direction Tucki has always been a big walk. the easiest route requiring 4,000 feet of elevation gain. 14 miles and 12 hours of walking! Other routes were known, Mosaic canyon. due north. being especially beautiful but it's difficult to do and get out before dark.
This no longer so. In the July 91 issue of the SAGE Fred Camphausen wrote of a route that he and Barbara Reber found that involved an hour each way of dirt road driving and only, 3.6 miles of one way walking and 2,000+ feet of gain. By last fall this route had become quite popular and this was the second official SC trip using this route, the first being led by Scott Jamison and Larry Tidball.
When Fred did it he was working with the 15 minute quad, but Dale Van Dalsem had gone to the trouble to get the 7.5 minute maps (Tucki Wash, Emigrant Canyon) and was good enough to loan them to me along with explicit directions from a trip he and Judy Ware did a few weeks earlier.
The new maps show the 4WD road that runs east off of Emigrant Canyon Road about 1.5 miles south of it's junction with State 190 The beginning of this road maybe difficult to find since it begins as a track that crosses a wash, but within a few feet it becomes a quite well maintained road that in only one spot looks like a 4WD might be required. For the rest of this dirt road a high clearance 2WD vehicle might suffice. After about 11 hours driving the road tops out at a saddle at 4.900 feet and then drops into a wash that heads into Death Valley. This is probably a good place to park 2WD vehicles 4WD vehicles can follow a track north to a high point at 5,400 feet where Campy and most people have chosen to park, a point which is visible from Tucki. 1 1/2 miles away. All five vehicles on this trip decided to drop down a very steep track into the next canyon where we parked.
I believe we started walking about 9AM. getting back to the cars around 1PM It appears that the best route might be to skirt bump 5,730 on the right and then drop into the saddle just to the NW of that bump Then follow the ridge to the NW until you're about a mile south of Tucki, then go due North. There were some tremendous winds on the way back to the cars. Jim Connela· thought they might be as much as 100 miles an hour We did manage to get out without being rained on or blown off the mountain.
We didn't visit the Martin Cabin at about. 5.100 feet in the canyon where we parked. This cabin is maintained by some Canadians who come down at least once a year for a week or so and who describe In a logbook various events that have occurred on their visits. Once they had to wench a vehicle up the slope that we drove down. As It happens we didn't have any trouble getting back up the slope but Jim Contlell's Jeep Cherokee did get stuck in some sand in the bottom of the valley and we had to use a high liftjack to get him out.
Next day we were supposed to climb Wildrose but the storm that came in Saturday afternoon had dropped quite a bit of snow at the Wildrose Charcoal Kilns and we kissed off doing the peak. Participants were Maris and Anna Valkass, Igor and Suzanne Mamedalin, J. Holshuh, Sue Leverton, Bob Wyka, Jim Connelly, Carol Smetana, and John McCully.
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