Montgomery Peak, Boundary Peak, Mount DuBois
By: Bruce Tucker
Overheard in the restaurant in Dyer, NV on the morning of Sept. 12: "What do you suppose all those people across the street are doing?" "Well, they don't seem to have guns...."
As mysteriously as they arrived, the 19 people - about 1.3 per vehicle - suddenly headed north, then west up the Middle Canyon Road. John Lutz's car quickly showed evidence of a water problem, eventually diagnosed as a hose hemorrhage on the second or third stop. When the road got less smooth, Tina's car attempted to balance on its muffler, but eventually tired of the game and continued up the road. The leader, becoming paranoid about car problems, found parking a couple of miles below the end of the road. The more rugged vehicles then carried packs while most mere humans walked along a road that suddenly became much better (of course). High clearance is advisable, but most cars could drive all the way to the steep hill near the end of the road.
An hour or more late, we finally headed up canyon, went beyond the upper decent stream crossing, then backed off and crossed to the south side of the creek, thence along the visible trail to the next plateau. We then went to the obvious saddle to the west, thereupon encountering the N-S gorge that is more formidable than appears on the map. Electing to seek a contour route across it rather than lose altitude or go for the 10000 foot crossing, we side-hilled up to the 10000 foot level anyway. The ridge would have been better. (Between 10K feet and the main stream junction is no good crossing, and the canyon bottom is replete with stinging nettles.)
Passing the wide plateau with excellent campsites, the leader insisted a nice site existed nearer the upper spring, just a little further. Unfortunately the upper spring had dried up and the site was not as good as remembered. It being three p.m. everyone decided not to try a peak, so we had time to find water at a lower spring and enjoy a relaxed afternoon and evening.
We had a superfluity of I-rated leaders, so the next day we split into two groups, 7 of us going to DuBois while the others ambled up Boundary and Montgomery. For DuBois we went up the near ridge and returned via the ridge to the big saddle and down the scree. The register had not been signed for a year, probably because it was located in a ziplock bag just off the highest rock pile rather than on the pile marked with a pole. We placed it in a bottle nearer the top of the highest pile. The Montgomery-Boundary folks contoured, then went up to Montgomery, over to Boundary and back, then apparently down the face in some more difficult rock. They completely ignored the beautiful trail down the south ridge. Leaders of both groups returned to camp within five minutes of each other.
The camp-to-cars safari went to the point of the plateau, then skirted brush along the top of the ridge above the main creek, across the junction with the N-S gorge, and along major cattle trails. Estimated time was 3 hours from campsite, actual time was 3 hours, 3 minutes. All packs and almost all people were somehow shoehorned into the upper vehicles as darkness approached.
Montgomery-Boundary-DuBois is probably easier as two day hikes. I think a loop over M-B from Middle Canyon is more interesting than the Trail Canyon approach, and DuBois is easiest from Middle Canyon up the main ridge near parking. However, this trip was a provisional lead that had to be a backpack.
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