Panamint Butte, Porter Peak, Sentinel Peak
By: John McCully
On Saturday we did Panamint Butte from the West. Road coming up from the South looked ok for two wheel drive until the right turn to the NE. 4WD might go another 1/4 mile. We then walked about a half mile to the NE and followed the ridge all the way to the top, taking about 7 hours for round trip. Was tougher than we expected.
Porter and Sentinel from Pleasant Canyon was quite a nice hike, almost all of it being on an 8000 foot ridge separating Death and Panamint valleys. The road up Pleasant Canyon was rugged but manageable for 4WD. A couple of bad spots took me several attempts but the Bartell's Cherokee had no trouble.
The road is as shown on the 15 minute 1952 "Telescope" map up to the vicinity of 7312 where it now continues up what is a trail on the 1952 map. At about 7400 feet we parked the cars (the road continues but switches to a Westerly direction) and spent the night. The next morning we got started at 7. No sign of the trail shown on the map as going to the saddle. Got to the top of Porter by 8. At 11 we were at the second 8803 bump on the ridge. Chessie (the Doberman) was showing distinct signs of wear by this time so I tied her to a 15 pound pack that we were leaving on the ridge. Half way up Sentinel the dog's peakbagging Instincts overcame good sense and she started dragging the pack until she got tangled up in a bush, so I had to go back to free her. She got the peak (her fifth). Got back to the cars about 3. Participants were Ron Bartell, Christine Mitchell, Wendy Ruess, Chessie and myself.
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