Telescope Peak


By: George Wysup


Chairman Frank scheduled himself and Dave Eisenberg to lead DPS emblem Telescope in honor of 100 years of Sierra Club outings and DPS’ sixtieth anniversary. I suspect that Frank did this because he could get no volunteers. I had hiked Telescope about 25 years ago, and my memory was that this climb is basically a trail slog with thin air. Telescope is a peak that needs no leading. Even I could do it. Just follow the signs and the nice trail.

Well, that is obviously what Frank figured when he “suddenly” realized that the bum knees of neither himself nor David would heal in time. He nailed Virgil and me as super-subs. It is not clear to us who, exactly, subbed for whom. Furthermore, I’m not sure which of those two I would rather sub for (no further comment on that).

Frank supplied me with a list of about 10 names who had signed up. Gee! Maybe that will mushroom into a really large group, I figured. It was not to be. One apparent problem is that the word got out that “Hunk” Dobos was not attending, so all the ladies bailed.

I drove up with Joe White on Aug 31 so that we could prepare for the hike by climbing Wildrose “Peak”. This is sort of a semi-Telescope hike, if done from the charcoal kilns—not very exciting. We over-nighted at Mahogany Flats and awaited the DPS mob soon to arrive. In the intervening years since my last visit, Mahogany Flats has transformed into a real campground, with indoor toilets and aluminum picnic tables. The steep road up to Mahogany was in exceptionally fine shape, passable even by ordinary autos.

At the appointed hour of 8 am, I strolled to the trailhead to find a few folks ready to hike. Besides the leaders there were James Carden, Ken Hooper, Keven Moore, and Joe Whyte. Interestingly, none of the 4 happen to be DPS members, and only Ken was on the original list. This is not a complaint, but an opportunity for converts.

Hike description: we hiked to the summit, signed in, and hiked back in an elapsed time of 7 hours. We agreed not to climb Rogers and Bennett “peaks”.

We admired sage of many varieties and we had a nice view of Death Valley the entire way. One pleasantly aromatic and blue-flowered sage stood out. Keven knew its name, salvia dorrii (no common name). Salvia is Latin for “sage”. See http://www.californiagardens.conilPlant_Pages/Salvia/ salvia_dorrii%20dorrii.htm

Then we drove home.

Oh, yes; on the drive in at night, Kevin’s pickup was assaulted by a feral burro. The Toyota won, but didn’t escape without wounds to the left front. Ken noted the burro carcass on his way in next morning. On the way out the carcass was gone, presumably hauled off by a Ridgecrest fast food restaurant.

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

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