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Ascent of Duckwater Peak on 2016-06-27

Climber: Dustin Erickson

Date:Monday, June 27, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Duckwater Peak
    Location:USA-Nevada
    Elevation:11175 ft / 3406 m

Ascent Trip Report

White Pine-Currant-Duckwater Travere

Had white pine campground to ourselves and it has some great spots. No mosquitos either! We used Kassans nice suggestions on the ascent to avoid river rock and it was beautiful. From the upper basin we found running water and filled our bottles as a pleasant surprrise. It seemed like nobody enjoys the escape from the upper basin to the ridge, so we took our own route up through a chute and very old bristlecones to the sub ridge with limestone gendarmes to the south. This would have been fine, but DO NOT think you can traverse over even the last gendarme. Skip them all and traverse low and come up at the small saddle and you will be fine and have an easy way up to the main ridge north of the White Pine Azimuth. The rock is incredibly rotten on top and there were at least 3 short 4th class spots made very dangerous by the rock that I blasted away by kicking and peeling until I could find something reasonably solid. So maybe the last part is easier now that I cleaned it over the course of almost an hour, but I can't recommend it even though it is beautiful from afar. From there we made the ridge and tagged the White Pine Azimuth as the sun started to beat down. The traverse to Currant was fun and then the traverse below and to the west of currant towards Duckwater was strenuous due to the talus, but not as bad as I had read, especially if you follow the strata lines, you can find more stable ground this way. The complete traverse on the ridge proper would indeed require ropes in at least 2 sections for rappelling and probably useful to climb the last tower on the ridge. Of note, the rock on top is not fractures and is a solid piece unlike the previously mentioned gendarmes. Protection could be difficult and a bolt kit would likely be needed to place bolts. I doubt it has ever been done given the infrequent visits to this isolated but beautiful range. From there the traverse went much faster and trough beautiful pure bristlecone stands. This is probably the largest continuous stand I have ever experienced and for sure there are some ancients in there. Fromt he summit of Duckwater the direct descent to the east was relatively quick and you could zig zag run down the loose soil off to the sides of the ridge until getting to the trail. We found a 4 point deer skull in the meadow just before then with the horns still attached that I will clean and mount in the home. A quick walk back to the saddle and the truck and back to White Pine Campground for beers chilled in the river!
Summary Total Data
Ascent Statistics
    Route:Currant Duckwater traverse
Descent Statistics



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