Ascent of Boundary Peak on 2013-08-21

Climber: Peter Stone

Others in Party:Jill Stone
Twm Stone
David Stone
Ceri Stone
Patrick Stone
Date:Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:4x4 Vehicle
Peak:Boundary Peak
    Elevation:13140 ft / 4005 m

Ascent Trip Report

This hike was part of a three and a half week family holiday/vacation in California and along with visiting the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest and climbing White Mountain Peak 2 days earlier, contributed towards our acclimatisation for Mount Whitney. It seems lots of peakbaggers visit Boundary prior to Whitney.

We descended from the Grandview Campground in the Inyo National Forest to Bishop to replenish our supplies and then headed north aiming for the Queen Canyon/Queen Mine approach. The access dirt road south off US Route 6 is very easy to find, opposite the old painted water/fuel tank with "JR" written on the side, but unlike some other TRs we measured it at 2.3 miles east of the CA/NV border.

The road itself was a challenge: sections narrow with vegetation encroaching (giving the rental car "desert pin-stripes"), various portions well washed by the recent severe storms, one gulley needing filling with rocks before our Chevy Tahoe 4x4 could cross it with all 4 wheels on the ground, and several more minor gulleys too. Not sure what we would've done if we'd met anything coming down the other way and certainly not suitable for any vehicle without high clearance in its current condition despite what some previous TRs say.

We decided to camp at the large flat area by Queen Mine just beyond mile 6. There are several interesting old mine openings and spoil heaps and there was enough room to accommodate us and 3 other groups of hikers and their vehicles. Given the state of the road no-one attempted the additional mile to the Kennedy Saddle trailhead (with its new wilderness register) by vehicle, not even 2 trail bikers from Reno.

The following morning the tail end of the latest storm brought thick cloud with light rain which marred our dawn departure, but we pressed on and the rain (but not all the clouds) soon cleared. Although we made the ascent as a family of 6 from the UK it was in loose association with 3 other groups of hikers from NV, AZ & AK which added to the sense of camaraderie.

Overall we really enjoyed this mountain (although we haven't climbed Nevada's other great mountain Wheeler Peak to compare) and it was very easy to follow the trail all the way using ChadL Painter's GPS Track/map printed out from this website to assist (for which many thanks). We met a group of wild horses with a foal near Trail Canyon Saddle which the children loved seeing. A nice feature of the summit box was a full-size Nevada flag to pose with in our photos. The scree/talus isn't that bad as long as you've got good dynamic balance and walking poles to aid the descent. All in all a lovely remote hike with great views along the White Mountains and across surrounding deserts.

We weren't tempted to climb Montgomery Peak given the weather and need to get to Lone Pine by that evening. A tremendous hail storm with stones big enough to cause serious pain struck just before we got back to camp and ensured we had wet tents to pack up. It took 5 hours up and 3 hours down with 45 minutes on the summit.
Click on photo for original larger-size version.
Posing with a Nevada flag on top of Boundary Peak (2013-08-21). Photo by Peter Stone.
Click here for larger-size photo.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:4140 ft / 1261 m
    Route:Queen Mine Trail
    Trailhead:Queen Mine  9000 ft / 2743 m
    Grade/Class:YDS 2
    Quality:8 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Scramble
    Nights Spent:1 nights away from roads
Ascent Statistics
    Time:5 Hours 
Descent Statistics
    Time:3 Hours 

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