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Ascent of Last Chance Mountain on 2019-03-31

Climber: Marcus Lostracco

Others in Party:Emilie Lostracco
Date:Sunday, March 31, 2019
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Last Chance Mountain
    Location:USA-California
    Elevation:8456 ft / 2577 m

Ascent Trip Report

Stayed night @ Eureka Sand Dunes dry camp on 3/30 - amazing serene place. Hiked Last Chance Mountain on the morning of 3/31 getting started at 9:30am with Emilie. So fun to be out with my sister hiking in Death Valley National Park! Access to the start of the route is a fairly easy 2wd road (marked as 4wd on the map) - could be doable without high clearance if you are adventurous enough... We were surprised to see another car parked up there. There is a tunnel in the side of the rock wall leading to an old mine shaft - kind of cool to explore. About an hour into the hike after walking up the wash to the saddle we crossed paths with another hiker - Karl Fielderling. He must have had an early start - since the rest of the hike took another good hour and a half to the summit and another hour to descend back to that point. We were lucky to have a clear day with some snow on the ground past the first peak on the undulating ridgeline of Last Chance Mountain. It's mostly a gentle hike with simple terrain - I've seen TR's classifying it as Class 2... no way. Class 1 easy stuff. There was still some pretty white snow everywhere on the north sides of all the bumps on the ridge. Nice to look back at. The great part about this hike is you get total panoramic views the entire way. We loved looking back at the Eureka Dunes and onto Tin Mountain, which looked like it had a lot of snow on top. We arrived at the summit at noon on the dot. Highest mountain Emilie has ever done! We spent a good 30 minutes there, signed the register - 4th party of the year to log it (including Karl). The descent was about 2 hours with the hardest sections just slogging through the snowy parts on the climbs. We were back at the car by 2:30pm.

Next we drove off into Death Valley and made our way to the Ubehebe Crater. Previous reports had said this Death Valley road was a miserable washboard and can take 2 hours... we got lucky I suppose and were able to haul it at around 40-45mph not too bumpy.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:3300 ft / 1005 m
    Extra Gain:500 ft / 152 m
    Round-Trip Distance:7.5 mi / 12.1 km
    Trailhead:6156 ft / 1876 m
    Quality:5 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Snow on Ground
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Time:2 Hours 30 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:2 Hours 



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