Ascent of Virginia Peak on 1996-08-30

Climber: Richard Carey

Date:Friday, August 30, 1996
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Virginia Peak
    Elevation:12001 ft / 3657 m

Ascent Trip Report

The creek was named first by early miners from Virginia and appears on Hoffmann's map of 1873. The peak was originally called Red Peak on the 1910 Mt. Lyell or 1911 Bridgeport maps and the Park Service recommended it be called Virginia Peak since there was already another Red Peak in Yosemite Park. (Browning, p. 228) The first ascent was by Howard Twining and Kenneth May on July 3, 1934.

The mountain is usually approached from the north through the Hoover Wilderness. A permit is required for overnight trips from July 1st to September 15th. For permit information contact the Toiyabe National Forest office in Bridgeport at: P.O. Box 595, Bridgeport, CA 93517. Phone: (760) 932-7070

Virginia Peak can be climbed on an ambitious dayhike from the Virginia Lakes trailhead or as a backpack from the Green Creek trailhead to the northeast. The peak is often climbed in a one day loop hike with Twin Peaks to the north. Another option is to backpack from Twin Lakes south up Horse Creek to the small unnamed lake just south of the pass and at the head of Spiller Creek. Refer to the writeup on Matterhorn Peak for the description of this hike. The usual route from the lake is to climb Twin Peaks first and then follow the class 2 to 3 ridge south for 1.2 miles to
Virginia Peak. Refer to the writeup on Twin Peaks for more information on this ascent. The traverse from Twin Peaks takes about 1 1/2 hours. For the first part stay high on the ridge until there is a steep dropoff. Further along the ridge it may be best to cross to the west side to avoid a lot of exposure and then come back to the east side for the last part of the ridgeline. Look for a use trail on the west side of the ridge up to the summit of Virginia. To return to camp at the lake, drop off the low point at the bottom of the summit ridge and contour along the west slopes. It is best not to go below the 10,800 ft. contour until close to the lake for there is a long band of cliffs below. The hike from the summit to the lake takes from 1 1/2 to 2 hours. 8/96 RLC
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