Boundary Peak, Montgomery Peak, Mount Dubois
By: Dale Van Dalsem
Heavy snowfall in May forced cancellation as a Sierra Club trip; phoned everyone Tues-Thurs. We went as a private trip, with all signing waivers. Saturday 6 A.M. meeting 11.6 N of Dyer, Nevada was drizzly & our peaks were covered in dark clouds & lots of snow. A van drove down from Middle Creek: Jurasevich, Freiman, & Flores said it looked worse up the canyon; they abandoned plans to slog up Dubois; we were hoping they'd kick good steps that we could follow on Sunday, but the faint-hearted trio left in a cloud of mud for Death Valley.
Onward! It was after 8 before we had driven to the Trail Canyon roadhead at 8800'. (Stay right at the fork a mile past the Middle Creek/Trail Creek fork). Snow level was at about 10,000; we got on the ridge just south of 12201 (Benton 15' topo) after taking packs away from two slower people. 21 summited on Boundary, but we never found the register under the snow, despite a lot of probing with ice axes by all. 12 of us went on for Montgomery in an intermittent driving snowstorm. Rich Henke, Reiner Stenzel, & Dave Petzold kicked steps as visibility was down to 50 feet at times. Snow conditions were variable; we fixed a rope at one spot after Dave P. slipped & went 20 ft. toward Middle Canyon. Wind had kept the register clear on Montgomery & all 12 signed in. Tracks were completely covered on the way back to Boundary as we navigated by ice axe holes in the snow. Most of us were down by 6 P.M., but we waited 'til well after 7 for the sweep and one person who had not eaten because of altitude nausea, gotten weak & bonked on low blood sugar & showed initial symptoms of hypothermia. Larry Tidball, acting sweep, got food into and clothing onto this person & all was well.
Gail Hanna finished the DPS list on Boundary & Richard Carey got his emblem on Montgomery, so we had a celebration at the trailhead, and another one, plus a roaring campfire at the first campsite up Middle Canyon.
Sunday dawned even darker than Saturday, and only 7 of us started out up Dubois. Larry T., wasted from staying with slowpokes Saturday, then rushing forward to catch up with the Montgomery group, saved himself for some solo bagging of N. Nevada peaks by withdrawing & we were down to 6. My knees (& everything else!) were protesting & I started to drop out, but fellow hikers encouraged me. We went south on the ridge just west of the one shown in the DPS Guide, west to the plateau & then the treasure hunt for the pimple with the register, which is perhaps 150 yds north of the surveyors wooden & wire remnants. Coming down the driving snow turned into driving rain as we reached the cars at 6:30, L.A. after 2 A.M. Thanks to Larry T for the superb assist, Bill Gray for doing some of the sweep work, & Henke (an animal!), Stenzel, & Dave P. for kicking steps both days. Also getting all 3 peaks were Doug Goldenberg & Rob Langsdorf. Others on the trip (last 3 didn't try for any peaks): Rheta Schoeneman, Rick Beatty, Ken Olson, Dan Sherman, Don Miller, Bob Sumner, Robert Gould, Bill Tryon, Robert Doyle, Kevin Doyle, Beth Davis, Barbara Reber, Nancy Appleton, & Barbara Raab.
Detailed information for visiting one or more peaks mentioned in this article can be found in the|
Desert Peak Section Road and Peak Guides
|DPS Archives Index | Desert Peaks Section|