I needed to be in Vegas during the week for a work meeting, so Tracy and I came in on the Friday before to have a little fun. For the third time, I attempted to summit Mt. Charleston from the North side and for the third time, I was turned back. This time, I was with Tracy and Larry, a friend from work.
Our day started with meeting Larry at a local Starbucks at sunrise. We were on the trail by 7:30am.
The weather was warm, clear, and much better than the forecast. The only issue was that there seemed to be a lot of snow at the trail head.
By the time we hit the first switchbacks, we were in foot deep snow that would later get even deeper. Luckily there were several tracks that we could follow to hopefully keep us on the right path.
We kept climbing and passed several people that were coming down after being turned back due to the snow.
We finally hit the overlook that was our turn-around point for us last year. Unfortunately, it seemed to be the turn-around point for everyone that had attempted the peak in the last few weeks. From here on, we’d need to not only break tracks in the snow, but also find the trail.
At 2pm, we were still 2 miles short of the summit and in every increasing snow. We made the call to turn back since going down would be troublesome in the melting snow and ice.
You can see the large storm front moving in around 3pm.
We ended up getting back to the car in the dark at 5:45pm. Our decent was slowed by soft snow and mud as the sun shine during the day had turned the trail sloppy. It also started to snow which turned to hail, and eventually to rain. When I loaded it in Strava, the route we hiked was 18.1 miles with 5.376 feet of climb.
We had a huge dinner once we got back, gambled a little, and put our tired bodies to bed really early. I got up early and headed off to Red Rock Canyon for scramble up Turtlehead Peak. The weather was beautiful, actually warm. The trail was in good shape, but has been re-routed to the West slightly so it took a little work to find it. I ended up getting to the top in 52 minutes, 3 minutes slower than last year.
Here are all the pictures