Ascent of Mount Limbo on 2013-10-13

Climber: Daryn Dodge

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Sunday, October 13, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Mount Limbo
    Elevation:7312 ft / 2228 m

Ascent Trip Report

Drove Hwy 447 past dry Winnemucca Lake until I got to the transmission lines that cross the highway and took the pole line road east for 2.9 miles and parked by one of the poles.

Here I began hiking east towards the main ridge of the Selenite Range south of Limbo Peak. I followed a couple different washes which reminded me more of dry desert washes one finds in the Mojave desert of Southern California. All went well and I got to the main ridge. The first quarter mile or so was fairly easy climbing up sand and rock and generally staying on the east side of the ridgeline.

Then I got into big boulders and rather heavy brush. To add to all this, it had rained during the night and it was quite foggy. The rocks had quite a bit of lichen on them and were very slippery from the rain and fog. I finally figured out it really didn't pay to stay near the ridgeline after flogging around in the brush and slippery rocks for an hour and dropped down the east side a hundred feet.

I caught sight of what I thought was Limbo Peak during brief moments when the fog cleared. I climbed up to a notch between the peak and a prominent secondary ridgeline that juts out to the east from the main ridge. Climbing up past the peak to just north of it, I found class 2-3 terrain until I got to the most northern of 3 summit blocks. The middle summit looked the highest and was short rock pinnacle with what looked like a rock cairn on top. I managed to get to the base and climb up the south side of the pinnacle to the very small summit. The summit pinnacle went difficult class 3, although some may call it class 4.

I found an old register dated 1961 placed by a Sierra Club group. However, they had christened this particular summit some other name besides Limbo Peak. It didn't help that only 2 parties had signed in since 1962, leaving to think I was not really on Limbo Peak. I checked out the slightly lower south summit then headed over to some other high rocks a couple hundred feet farther north. None of these appeared to be higher then the pinnacle. Although still foggy, I could not see anything taller to the north. I caught occasional views of what I thought was Purgatory Peak about 1 km away, which is about 100 feet taller than Limbo Peak.

Thinking I had to have climbed Limbo Peak I started back, this time staying well below the main ridge. In hindsight, a better approach to Limbo Peak is from a dirt road on the east side of the peak. I could see a good dirt road running along the east side of the range that appeared to run south all the way to the Pole line road I had used. There was even an SUV parked at 5200 feet below the peak, the owners of which were firing their shotguns at something occasionally. Much of this road is not shown on my topo map. If one has a 4WD (although I'm not certain 4WD is actually needed), I would recommend this direct approach. The brush and boulders was not that great along the ridge in my opinion. I would rather deal with the sand slog lower down. If all you have is a 2WD passenger car, then start on the west side from the excellent dirt road that follows the pole line.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:3272 ft / 997 m
    Round-Trip Distance:4.6 mi / 7.4 km
    Route:South ridge
    Trailhead:Pole line dirt road  4040 ft / 1231 m
    Route Conditions:
Open Country, Bushwhack, Scramble, Exposed Scramble
    Weather:cloudy and foggy
Ascent Statistics
    Time:3 Hours 50 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:1 Hours 35 Minutes

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