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Ascent of Smith Peak on 2016-08-21

Climber: Eric Morrill

Date:Sunday, August 21, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Smith Peak
    Location:USA-Nevada
    Elevation:10839 ft / 3303 m

Ascent Trip Report

(Same report as for Talbot):

Robert Morrill and I drove by the future Heliskiing lodge and up to a trailhead marked "springs" on the map, at about 6800 feet, then hiked up a clear but overgrown trail (why was I wearing shorts?!?!) all the way up the valley to Verdi Lake, where we camped overlooking this body of water well under 100' below its overflow area. Springs to the East, downhill and away from the lake, were clearly supplied with water by seepage out of Verdi, which we nonetheless suspected must have some sort of solid rock basin in order to always retain some water. Fish were seen to jump from the lake, and we saw what may have been a beaver dam on the way up the hill earlier in the day. The following morning, we headed north-by-northeast, cutting up the hillside and to the ridgeline south of Talbot, which we climbed by contouring around on the west side of the mountain until ascending via a rather steep piece of hands-on scrambling on the edge of a rust-colored rock outcropping, clearly visible from the valley to the west below. After coming back down the way we came, I elected to add Smith Peak, while Robert Morrill headed back towards Verdi Lake, where we rendezvoused before proceeding up Verdi, and back to camp. The next morning was a long-slog hike out. Robert Morrill had been up from Lamoille Canyon, but this route had the advantage of letting us comfortably camp in what was frankly a holy place.
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