Non Scheduled Reverse Traverse
Back in April of l962, on my first trip with the Sierra Club, I was a participant of the Hi-Loa Panamint traverse, being a hike from the Charcoal Kiln below Mahogany Flat to Telescope Pk and then down to Shorty's Well in Death Valley. Having made the jaunt in that direction, one develops an irresistible urge to do the thing in revere.
Careful planning had arranged, (1) for the moon to be full, and (2) for the sun to rise as the moon set, eliminating any darkness. Under this arrangement the lower elevations can be covered in the cool of the night. Recruit merit of the climbing party was a simple matter. Graham Stephenson needed the exercise to get in shape for his trip to Karakorama this summer. Incidentally he had previously climbed the peak from Shorty's Well some years ago, so by climbing it again, he could probably lay claim to making this particular traverse more often than anyone else. Neko Colvins is game for anything of that sort, and Eric Shoemacher was too new to know better. So Sat May 15 we dropped off one car at Mahogany Flat as the first of the DPS hikers were returning from their Telescope climb. We drove the other car to Augerreberry Point for camp, and after stuffing ourselves with sleeping pills, we went to sleep in the late afternoon to awake at midnight, and continue our trip to Shorty's Well. We began our ascent at 2 AM Sunday.
Four thousand feet higher and ten miles later we reached full-flowing Hanaupah Springs, where we breakfasted after having passed one wild horse and several burros. Traveling on thru a beautiful pinyon-juniper belt we found a rack of desert bighorn horns. Thru many stands of huge pinyons, we reached the bench at 10,000' about 12:30 noon, when we bad lunch. We could have made better time, but Graham was getting in shape by carrying a Kelty pack complete with appropriate fluids as ballast, for which we were all thankful. The summit was reached in early afternoon without incident.
This one-day reverse traverse can be recommended for all those who feel compelled to gain some 11,300 ft elevation and cover some twenty-five miles en route.
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