Here is Day 2 of our trip out to Telescope Peak. Did you miss Day 1? Then click on over here and come back. See you then.
Ready? Rad. The night before we prepped our bags. In typical Errin fashion I carried a ton of crap. My bag was heavier than it needed to be. Tons of water, Nutella, a dozen tortillas, four camera lenses, first aid kit, map, compass, jacket, rain shell and slingshot. That’s just the stuff I can remember. Toilet paper wasn’t on the list. Glad I didn’t need it. I justified it by calling it training for an upcoming trip through Yosemite. One thing is clear though, pedalin’ many miles a week does not equate walkin’ many miles a day with weight on your back. I was wrecked by the end. I was never winded or tired, just sore and achin’. Especially my dogs.
The hike up to Telescope Peak starts at Mahogany Flat campground, which is at about 8,100 feet on a ridge overlooking Badwater Basin. Since we arrived at night we didn’t get a chance to pick a campsite with a view. However, it was somewhat secluded so it ended up being a good score. The trail climbs 3,000 feet to Telescope Peak high above Badwater Basin to the east and Panamint Valley to the west.
We woke up at 5:30 am with the plan of hittin’ the trail by 6:00am. I had to make coffee first, so we strolled out a little late, but it was worth it.
The trail climbs immediately and doesn’t stop for two miles. Then you have a mellow two miles with a slight downhill, and then a solid two mile climb to the peak. On the way back it’s all tough because it’s a two mile steep downhill, two mile climb and two more miles of downhill. The return was tougher in some ways.
The hike was worth it though. The views were spectacular with Mt. Whitney just barely visible through the haze. Marcus is planning to hike Whitney soon so he was gauging his fitness. Me, I was just hangin’ on and enjoying the day.
I packed a flask (Thanks Erik!) filled with some old Jack Daniels I had layin’ around. I’m not much of a drinker, but I thought it would be nice to enjoy a sip at the peak. A job well done kinda thing. Well, that stuff was some serious business and sent me reelin’. Of course, I had to take a couple more sips, you know, to work up a tolerance!
What a great way to spend your day. Good company high on top of a mountain in Death Valley. It’s all downhill from here.