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Ascent of Jackson Mountains High Point on 2009-08-18

Climber: Edward Earl

Date:Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Hi-Clearance Vehicle
Peak:Jackson Mountains High Point
    Location:USA-Nevada
    Elevation:9095 ft / 2772 m

Ascent Trip Report

On NV-140 at mile post 25.9 (the distance from US-95), I turned S on Bottle Creek Rd, which is paved. Call this point mile 0.0. At 0.9 miles I stayed straight where Happy Creek Rd goes L. At 4.2 miles the road crosses a cattle guard and the pavement ends. The road condition is now well-graded gravel, suitable for any street legal vehicle. At 7.4 miles I crossed a cattle guard and entered an agricultural area which appears to have multiple owners: fields on the L, and about 10 houses on the R over the next few miles. At 9.9 miles I stayed straight where a L turn goes to Bottle Creek Ranch. At 10.1 miles I stayed straight at a junction and crossed a cattle guard. At 10.8 miles the road makes a 45° R turn. At 12.3 miles the road makes a slight L turn. At 15.8 miles on the L is the Alexander Ranch, which has a russet-colored picket fence out front. At 19.2 miles on the L is the Mel Hummel Ranch, which is called Willow Creek Ranch in DeLorme. At 23.6 miles is a cattle guard and the road turns 45° L. At 24.1 miles I passed the Trout Creek Ranch, which has hundreds of cattle grazing by the road near the house, which is on the L. At 24.9 miles I made a sharp R turn onto Trout Creek Rd. A sign warns "Minimal Maintenance, travel at your own risk", but the road condition is still the same as before. At 30.7 miles I crossed a cattle guard by a sign that said, "Private property, thru road only". At 33.8 miles I exited the private property, as indicated by a similar sign facing the opposite direction. At 35.7 miles I reached a saddle (this is "point 6028" on the 24K topo). Here I turned R onto a rough, rocky road for which high clearance is helpful. The road initially curves R but then switches back to make a L ascending traverse. At 38.9 miles I went R at a fork. At 39.4 miles I reached an abandoned mining camp with a maze of roads amid the facilities. I parked at a flat gravel area near what appeared to have been the main housing quarters. Elevation here is about 7300'.

The W face of the summit massif is plastered with a maze of switchbacking, traversing mining roads, most abandoned, though a few could be driven with a jeep. I hiked one of these roads S from my truck, not gaining any elevation for the first few hundred feet. It then climbs gradually around a spur. Whenever I reached a junction where my choice was to switchback or not, I chose not, seeing that the most extensive network of roads up the peak was S. After a forced switchback, I reached an adit of the Redbird Mine at about 8000'. This point is lower and somewhat S of the location of the Redbird Mine shown on the 24K topo. An abandoned pair of rails emerged from the adit, which was boarded up and plastered with "Keep Out" and warning signs. I continued on the uppermost of two roads that traversed N. I briefly had to scale steep natural ground where quarry construction had destroyed a switchback. Eventually, I reached the top of the 8200'+ ridge top less than a mile SW of the summit. From there it is a straightforward scramble up the slope of grass, talus, and boulders. I got occasional views of two rocky peaks on a ridge to my R, and it looked as if one might be the summit, but a quick map check showed that the true summit was simply straight upslope, with no traverse to another ridge.

When I reached the summit, it was the completion of the NV county proms for me, the 3rd person to do so, and the 4th state for me. It was also the most prominent peak in the CONUS I had not yet climbed.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:1795 ft / 547 m
    Distance:6 mi / 9.7 km
    Route:Redbird Mine
    Trailhead:below Redbird Mine  7300 ft / 2225 m
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Scramble
Ascent Statistics
    Time Up:2 Hours 
Descent Statistics
    Time Down:1 Hours 30 Minutes



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