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Ascent of Mount Davidson on 2019-05-11

Climber: Brett Marciasini

Others in Party:Arthur Marciasini -- Trip Report or GPS Track
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Saturday, May 11, 2019
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Davidson
    Location:USA-Nevada
    Elevation:7864 ft / 2396 m

Ascent Trip Report

With snow still piled high in the sierras and wanting actually get some altitude that you can't find in the Bay Area peaks, we set off for Nevada. I have been researching the Great Basin Peak List and it's 115 peaks and really want to start tackling it. The nice thing is there are quite a few that overlap with the Tahoe-Ogul List. After looking over the PB app, we decided to do a family trip to Virginia City and take down Mount Davidson and it's 7,864 foot summit. I hadn't been to this old mining town since I was probably 7 years old and now I was coming back with my 8-year old son and 6-year old daughter.

Davidson towers over Virginia City and is the highest point in Storey County. It's the mountain with the big white "V" painted on it. We drove up the hill above the main town and parked in the signed area for hikers just below the water tanks. The four of us set off up the dirt road which was covered in running water from the snow melt from the drifts above for about the first 4/10 of a mile. At this point you meet a junction. Head left up the Pole Line Trail or right up the dirt road towards Ophir Hill. After reading a report, I decided to go the longer distance around and bag Ophir Hill. The Pole Line is more direct, but much steeper, I'll get to that later. From this point the road narrows a bit and steepens, winding up and over the ridge. We rested for a bit along a big bend in the road about a mile up and then started the real heavy climbing towards Ophir. The summit of Ophir Hill has a giant radio tower but has great views of the sierras, Washoe Lake, and Reno. We could see the GSR, airport, and Rattlesnake Mountain which we hiked in March. It was 1.7 miles up to Ophir and 1300 feet of gain.

Once you get up here, the heavy climbing is done. We then followed the road back south along the high ridge line going up and down a few small bumps. We had a jeep pass us on the road up here. We then found a large snow patch and jumped off trail for a few minutes to toss some snowballs. Along the way, we watched a wild mustang following a dirt road below us to watering hole and made the climb over a bump on the ridge with some radio equipment and a small building. We kept along the road until it peteted out into a small trail up through the rocks to the summit. Did not find a register or benchmark, but there were some cool carvings in the rocks amd old rusted metal piping. Our total time up was 2:38 which was pretty good considering the little legs I had along side me. I also had to carry my daughter quite a bit.

On the descent, we got up to the bump with the radio house and decided to bee line down the mountain towards the pole line trail. This was pretty easy getting down as te brush was not very high and the dirt and rocks were hard packed. The Pole Line Trail was a different story though. This trail was very steep and very loose. I ended up carrying my little girl most of the way cause she couldn't take two steps without falling on her butt. It is a much shorter descent, but I would not recommend using this to go up, it would have been rough.

We made it back down to the car in 1:21, totaling 4.7 total miles. It was a beautiful day, not a cloud in the sky, mid-70s. Flowers are blooming and butterflies are swarming. There are tons of cacoons full of caterpillars in he sage brush lower down the trail. Pretty cool to see. My first Great Basin Peak and Nevada County High Point is in the books. Couldn't ask for anything more!
Pics here:
https://thehuntindaddy.com/index.php/peak-bagging/mount-davidson/
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1802 ft / 549 m
    Total Elevation Loss:300 ft / 91 m
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1802 ft / 549 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 1502 ft / 457 m; Extra: 300 ft / 91m
    Loss on way in:300 ft / 91 m
    Distance:4.7 mi / 7.6 km
    Route:Ophir Hill up/Pols Line Down
    Start Trailhead:Spanish Ravine  6362 ft / 1939 m
    Time:2 Hours 38 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:1 Hours 21 Minutes



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