Mount Dubois, Montgomery Peak, Boundary Peak

7-Jun-97 (Private Trip)

By: John McCully


Then - in 1986 Ron Bartell was only six shy of finishing the DPS list when he met Christine Mitchell and along with everything else peak bagging became a joint enterprise. So in 1990 found Ron with a problem faced by many a peak bagger, what to do with all those peaks he climbed before he met HER. Ron came up with a quite elegant solution - to finish the DPS list twice on the same day. Thus in September of 1990 Ron and I got up before dawn for his first climb of Glass Mtn and his first DPS list finish. Then back to the cars to be joined by Christine and a bunch of other folks for her first and Ron`s second DPS list completion.

Now Christine told Ron he was on his own as far as doing peaks a second time - she had no interest in doing the things if there was no credit Thus Wendy and I often kept Ron company on his quest. When he came up with a mad plan to do Dubois, Boundary, and Montgomery all in one day. Wendy drew the line at the latter two peaks - she had already done them and knew better. Not to be deterred Ron suggested that Wendy do Dubois and then drive around and pick us up at the Trail Canyon trailhead for Boundary - Ron and I would do a grand traverse.

When after 12 hours of walking Roll and I staggered out at 5 PM Wendy was nowhere to be seen. I was concerned that she had been in an accident but Ron has much more experience in these things and suggested that she was madly driving up different canyons looking for us. After waiting an hour or so we walked around to the Dubois trailhead, getting to his truck about 10 PM. Sure enough Wendy spotted our headlights coming down the Dubois canyon and was waiting for us by the time we got to the flats. She had been absolutely frantic with worry and since yours truly, Mr. Macho, had always done the 4WD stuff she had no off road experience and so had gotten into several spots where she was sure the truck was going to flip over. But as they say all's well that ends well.

Now - Sue Holloway is always looking for some new way for pushing the envelope so I suggested we repeat Ron's hike, adding a couple of thousand feet of gain and a few miles by doing it from the Owens Valley rather than the Nevada side. Queen Mine is now the standard route for Boundary, and by studying an old 15 minutes topo, I was able to determine that bicycles could be used to unwind the traverse with only 1100 feet of gain, the last 3 miles on a dirt road.

I love using bicycles where the truck is at an exit trailhead that is much higher than the bicycles at the start. Turning back on such a hike and riding bikes uphill to the truck is not an attractive option, making the commitment level is quite high. Since riding a bicycle downhill at the end a staggering dayhike is quite difficult, it works out best on the afternoon before to drop camping gear off of the bottom and then drive the truck to the exit point and use the bikes to get to the starting point the evening before the hike. For this particular hike there wasn't enough time the day before for riding the bikes however, so we dropped them and the camping gear off at the end of the hiker near Albert Mine. We had a great deal of trouble finding starting point In the dark, even using the GPS, and didn't tuck into bed until almost 11 PM. A GPS would have saved Wendy quite a bit of worry seven years ago The road to the trailhead we used is behind an unlocked gate just south of the 20.5 mile marker. very near a large blank brown sign.

The next morning we started climbing about 6 AM and topped out on Dubois at noon. This was a beautiful climb, about 7,000 feet of gain up a. very nice ridge with good footing. However, the going was quite slow (4 hours) for the five miles over to Montgomery, the 12.000 plus altitude and the class II scrambling being quite demoralizing. The haul up to Montgomery from the ''Jumpoff" has enough false summits to sink even the most optimistic spirit. Another hour to get over to Boundary and then 4 1/2 hours back to the Albert mine - arriving almost 15 hours after starting. Total gain was over 9300 feet and the distance about 18 miles.

The next day my bike tire blew out a few minutes after starting down so Sue had to fetch the truck by herself. I've since added a tire patch kit to the my kit.

Dubois needs a register.

Detailed information for visiting one or more peaks mentioned in this article can be found in the
Desert Peak Section Road and Peak Guides

DPS Archives Index | Desert Peaks Section