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Ascent of North Schell Peak on 2016-08-23

Climber: Eric Morrill

Date:Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:North Schell Peak
    Location:USA-Nevada
    Elevation:11883 ft / 3621 m

Ascent Trip Report

After arriving from Elko at the "Girl Scout Camp" and having a quick lunch, I climbed eastward up steep but firm terrain, through trees, to the saddle south of North Schell Peak, leaving just after noon (elapsed time: 0:50). Here, I dropped my main backpack, containing a red down jacket, water, a couple of power bars and some jerky, a first aid kit, and rain gear, which my father had wisely insisted I bring with me. Carrying only my heavy Nikon D800, I ascended North Schell and returned to the saddle (elapsed time: 1:45), picked up my pack, and went up Middle Schell, over the next, unranked and unlisted mountain before Taft Peak, and then up Taft Peak (elapsed time: about 4:00). This ridgeline was extremely windy, and I spent most of my trip walking, hopping or running from rock to rock, dropping my pack close to the ridge that led west towards Schell Peak 3379. Returning, picking up my pack, and getting to Schell Peak 3379 (peak of many false summits!) took another 2 hours, as I was getting tired. So far, the whole trip had been a pleasant walk on very easily navigable terrain, but the descent northward from Schell Peak 3379 back to the Girlscout Camp, where Robert Morrill awaited with a bottle of wine, was steep and had poor footing, and I slipped several times and even managed to cut my hand rather badly on a dead Bristlecone branch. The northbound descent was covered in trees, which from afar had hidden the poor footing at frequent cliffs alternating with flat areas. I'd not take this route again if I could find a better one. Arrival back at camp was just after 7pm, hour of the aperitif.
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