Ascent of Boundary Peak on 2015-07-19

Climber: Richard Briggs

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Sunday, July 19, 2015
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Boundary Peak
    Elevation:13140 ft / 4005 m

Ascent Trip Report

Take the 6-mile dirt road in from directly across from the JR water tank. Half way up you will pass by abandoned ghost town-looking buildings on the right but keep driving to around the 6-mile mark where there is a expansive area to park and camp located near a fenced off mine shaft opening (9007'). If you have a four wheel drive then you can make the additional last 1/2 mile but it was too much for my Ford Escape 2WD. Very rutted.

I began at 5:40 a.m. with cool and pleasant conditions. The walk up from the mine shaft to the upper lot is about 30 minutes (9,769'). From there you will hike about 1000' climb in elevation over another one hour past wild mustangs if you are lucky. Once at the saddle you will see the trail head uphill veering to the right to the first ridge ahead. A lot of scree and boulder jumping to the top. This trail is pretty sloppy and the footing is not the best. After an hour+ hike you will arrive at the first ridge and from this vantage point you will see the backside of the remaining ridge to the summit. The summit is the tallest point to the right behind a few dramatic silver granite spires on the right side. You will try to stay on a trail that works its way just below the ridge and then up on the ridge but the trail scatters all over with multiple trails splintering off and you are hopeful that you are heading to a good section. The reality is it is a lot of pea gravel and slippery granite rocks and the climb is labor some. Once to the top after 90 minutes of hit and miss you will arrive at a false summit and have two 200' more rise around granite boulders and outcroppings to the summit to the west.
The views are spectacular and although you have not seen vegetation in a couple hours the White Mountains have beautiful valley that are unique to them. 4:30 to the summit from the lower mine shaft are (4 hours from the upper parking lot).

The trip down at first looked easy because you think you can see a major trail down. I lost it and I scrambled and boulder hopped for the entire way down that upper section having to remove my boots several times to dump the gravel out. Knees were hurting for some reason so it made the trek down even more difficult. From the ridge mid-way down it did not seem much better as the loose gravel made the footing very difficult and I fell a couple times even with hiking poles. Once to the saddle I was just trying to beat the drizzle coming up over the mountain behind me. Back at the car at 2:00. Total time was 8:20 but could have cut that back an hours if my knees cooperated. Drank 2L of water so you know it was a lot of work.

This was not a fun hike but was necessary to check it off the list. If I had an option I would not do it again. Wheeler Peak in eastern Nevada is the highest peak in the state and a much more enjoyable hike but it is not the highest point coming in at 80' lower in elevation. There is good in everything though so I enjoyed the idea of the challenge.

Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:4133 ft / 1259 m
    Route:Queen Mine trail
    Trailhead:Abandned mines 9007'  9007 ft / 2745 m
    Quality:9 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Scramble, Exposed Scramble
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Cool, Breezy, Clear
Threatening rain clouds in the aftenoon
Ascent Statistics
    Time:4 Hours 30 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:3 Hours 50 Minutes

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