Telescope Peak, Nelson Range


By: Patty Kline


Our trip started at 7am Saturday May l8 at Thorndike Campground, 7 miles above Wildrose Canyon. The night before there was a strong wind with snow. Fortunately the air was still and the skies cleared by 5:30am. However, 23 degrees was cold to wake up to.

Fifteen of us started on the trail to Telescope Peak after driving to Mahogany Flat. The road was good enough for low passenger cars. This easy trip is 14 miles of trail round trip, and only 3,200 feet of gain, topping out at ll,049. It is a great place for an Emblem celebration.

The weather warmed up as we hiked to the top of Telescope Peak. There were reports of heavy snow the last -tile from the ranger 9 days before our trip. Most of the snow had melted and gaiters weren't even necessary. I considered it a small miracle that so much snow had melted because of the very heavy snowfall in March.

As I touched the rock cairn on top, I got my DPS Emblem. This is the moment I have been waiting for. 2 bottles of champagne were consumed after lunch, picture taking and celebrating we left for the cars. As a note, the register is a large red "1990 Diary" in a zip lock bag. It is difficult to keep a permanent register on such a heavily used peak.

2 people had altitude sickness when we got back to Mahogany Flat, and in view of the cold weather the night before we moved camp. Cyril Weaver suggested a great spot in Panamint Valley. Here are the directions in case you don't know where it is. As you leave Wildrose bear left and go about 6 miles on the Trona-Wildrose Road. There is a flat spot on the left just east of some small hills where there are fire rings. It is about 200 feet from the road. It is very near the junction with the Panamint Valley Road. We camped there DPS style with more celebration of my Emblem. It got pretty windy so we decided not to have a campfire.

The next day our group dwindled to 6 as we went to the Nelson road head. Nelson at 7696 feet is only 1500 feet of gain in 2 miles round trip, being appropriate the day after a party. The weather was cold. We had a spectacular view of the High Sierra, Saline Valley, and Death Valley. We saw Barbara Reber and Campy on top as they concluded a weekend of peak bagging. The register on Nelson is historic, going back to 1960. Bill T's List Finisher is recorded in the older brown register book. We signed in the newer one. It is one of those tobacco cans. Here is a note about the road going in. George Pfeiffer was able to get his Subaru station wagon about 1/2 way in on the last part of road after Lee Flat. There are some large rocks in one spot to go over which need a pick-up truck. The 2 wheel drive pick-ups made it over the rocks.

Everyone had a great weekend. The participants were George Pfeiffer, Dave Wellbourn, Alan Hill, Cyril Weaver, Richard Dugkett, Pat Jump, Witz Martywowics, Rheta Schoenman, Dave Smytne, Mitch Helbrecht, Nancy Bell, Delores Holladay and Mike Kelley. Thank you to Bob Hartunian for being the assistant leader.

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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