Ascent of Charleston Peak on 2014-01-24

Climber: Rich Stephens

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Friday, January 24, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Charleston Peak
    Elevation:11916 ft / 3631 m

Ascent Trip Report

This was a quick overnight backpacking trip that I wanted to do in the winter. This isn't a popular time to go to Mt. Charleston so I did this as a solo backpacking trip. There wasn't hardly any snow up there and it felt more like the month of May rather than January. I did find a patch of snow that I pitched my new Hilleberg tent on and used to melt snow for water. I camped on the ridge between Lee Peak and Mt. Charleston. I wasn't actually planning on doing the peak and I was there mostly to see how my tent functioned in the cold and snow. With not much to do, I went to bed early and I woke up the next morning early and prepared myself to make a bid for the summit. The normal trail and switchbacks to the summit was covered in ice and snow so I took the alternate route up the Devil's Thumb. As I was climbing up the thumb, I was carrying one Nalgene bottle of water and it accidentally fell out of my backpack side pocket without my knowledge. I found this out a few minutes later and decided that I would not pursue the peak without water. It was cold but I was hot and sweating at 5 am and needed to hydrate. I decided to walk to the base of the steep slope to the summit and then turnaround to head back to camp. I climbed back down the thumb, found my water bottle, and then went back to camp and packed up and descended. My boots were causing some very big blisters and I was having to deal with that the entire trip. As long as I'm snow, they aren't a problem but there just wasn't enough snow up there. Overall, it was a good trip.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:4216 ft / 1285 m
    Round-Trip Distance:12 mi / 19.3 km
    Route:North loop
    Trailhead:Trail Canyon  7700 ft / 2346 m
    Quality:4 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Nights Spent:1 nights away from roads
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear

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