GENOA PEAK (9,150’) 5X, SNOW VALLEY PEAK (9,214’) 5X, ROUND TOP (10, 381’) 18X June 28-30, 2012

Seeking exercise to lose weight, I figured on beating the crowds and avoiding the mosquitoes by going on this start of summer peaks adventure. I left home Thursday morning to take U.S. 50 eastbound, and at first figured on hiking Echo Peak. I did well on my driving and stops, so reasoned on doing a peak closer to my Nevada destination tonight. It was then through South Shore and up to NV 207 towards Daggett Pass. I followed my own directions to North Kingsbury Trailhead, and my peaks guide is still good, there. The paved road goes up a bit past the parking area, so I ventured to check it out. It turns to rough dirt, so I made a U and parked back at the trailhead.

Starting my 13 mile hike at about 12:10 p.m., I took the Tahoe Rim Trail north, and enjoyed the cool breezes and the pristine forest. A few mountain bikers sped by, then I caught up with some hikers. I did video to pass the while, and had some vistas of Lake Tahoe. Intersecting the main dirt road, I saw that they had worked on the TRT some more, so followed the new trail. There was a trail junction with signs, new to me, so I hiked up. I then went to the dirt road that goes to the top of the peak, a bit rushed on time. Climbing up to a wagon parked high on the peak, I took the steep rocky use trail to the building on top, relieved that they had not closed access to the summit. I could still claim this as a peak ascent!

Taking my photos, I shortly left as I wished to get to my motel and dinner at a reasonable time. A sub peak blocks the view of much of Carson City, NV. I kept notes as my peaks guide needs updating, and took the dirt summit road back to a different trail, to then come back to the TRT, and then back to my car at 6:20 p.m.

I drove down the Kingsbury Grade to note the nice highway, and declined to capture the nice evening views of the Carson Valley. To Minden, NV, I took U.S. 395 into Carson City, checked into my motel, and washed up. I had done some research on the Net, so found a 4.5 (out of 5) star restaurant by the State Capitol grounds, and relaxed and dined after my first peak success.

Back to my motel, I used my handheld with free Wi-Fi, and then went to sleep. I had an easy peak day Friday, with very little driving required.

With a nice breakfast, I relaxed in my room, and then set out for the second peak. I drove up to Spooner Summit and found a new trailhead parking lot, with signs and nicer trail development. I took the Tahoe Rim Trail north again, believing from my guide stats that I had a 4 mile hike to the top.

A sign stated “6” miles to Snow Valley Peak, so I have to do a revision. I couldn’t recall exactly how I had come up with four miles, and even thought that my website may have been hacked! I stopped at the three trail vistas for photos and rests, then hiked onwards. One hiker was coming down already. I took photos and videos, and enjoyed the lake vistas. Obsessed with my peaks guide inaccuracies, I really am wondering about web security. The distances are now signed, and my trail junctions descriptions are still in effect, and I saw that it is a longer way to the top. The trail traverses high, with great views, and then comes to the dirt summit road, which I then took.

Topping out after about 3.5 hours, I started with my photos, and then some telephotos. A wagon with four people drove up to the top, and I waved at them. They were doing some maintenance or checking of the facility on top, and one of them could hardly believe that I had hiked up. There was a summit register which I looked through. Not too many people that I knew signed in.

Hiking back down the road then to the TRT trail, I began to run into other hikers. Some were backpacking. I relaxed at a vista on the way back, then came back to my car at 4:30 p.m. One more peak to go!

Driving back down into Carson City, I took a shower, then left for dinner. I kept to a diet by refusing a tempting dessert. Watching a movie on TV, I went to sleep and rested nicely.

Saturday, I got up early, and raring to go, had a quick light breakfast and plenty of drink with my free Wi-Fi usage. Taking U.S. 395 south, I wished that I could have been going to Mammoth and the Eastern Sierra. Those were the days! I took Highway 88 west, and motored up to Carson Pass. I wrote my park pass number on the fee envelope, and began my last hike at 7:15 a.m.

I seemed to think that they had done some more trail work, and sauntered up to Winnemucca Lake. Maybe one mosquito appeared, all that I detected on this trip, and I never used repellant. Should have applied sunscreen, today, as I got reddened. I had a problem with the stream crossing at the lake outlet, looking for an easier way than stepping over the long log that bridges the creek. I finally secured my camera into my pack, in case I fell off the log and into the stream. I have worse balance problems now that I haven’t done so much climbing or scrambling, but made it across the log.

Signs required staying on the trail even if muddy or wet, so I did that. There were a couple more streams to cross, but those were easy. I hiked up to the slight saddle before the drop down to Round Top Lake, and left the trail to head for the peak. I had to recall the way with some navigation to get to the summit use trail that starts from the lake, and that went well. I was the only hiker at this time of the morning, and enjoyed being solo for my eighteenth ascent. The sun created some flare in my shots of the climbing route ahead, but I managed with some video, and shortly was hiking up the steep, loose parts, taking my time. Taking care not to step too much on loose scree, I made it up the two hundred foot class 2 scramble, and shortly was back on use trail to the lower summit. I tore a nail somewhere here, and there was slight blood. Nothing major, I didn’t even stop for a band-aid.

Appraising the class 3 traverse to the high summit, I took my time. Many people refuse to do this, but claim the top anyway, as it looks about as high from the false summit. I am not that sort of hiker!

I kept low for many parts of the scramble, not wishing to lose my balance. I had on a new pair of jeans! I followed my route well, and soon was downclimbing into the last notch, and knew it was easy from here. The last section to the top has great holds, and then I was on top! I had done this in slightly over three hours.

Taking off my pack, I recorded the time, and began to shoot some of the views. It was a bit breezy, so was glad that I had my Hoody on. I drank water and then began to shoot more of the views, with a 360, then telephotos. With no one to intrude, I did some video, and then perused the summit register. Looking at every page, I had placed the books many years ago, and my sign-ins had not been preserved. Since some people do not like me placing registers, I had not brought up a new book to last for many more years. I signed in, with a small, newer book from somebody else, and relaxed some more, waiting for other climbers to come on up.

After an hour, I saw hikers ascending the scree trail, then figured on going down. I did the class 3 downclimb well enough, worried about a freak fall or banging my camera against a rock. It was down the steep class 2 parts, to run into some hikers at the bottom. They didn’t need to talk to me, so I hiked back down, carefully and slowly, and then came back to the regular trail to run into more hikers. Streams of people were coming up, and I chatted with a few.

Over the log bridge at Winnemucca Lake, I hiked on to get away from the many hikers and dogs, and stopped for a last view of the lake. Resting, I drank my water, and enjoyed my safety and success. I halted for close ups of the wildflowers, and chatted with a PCT thru hiker who was on his way from Mexico to Canada. Back to Carson Pass at 3:20 p.m., I went inside the visitor center to see the new things.

Motoring down Highway 88, I took the Mormon-Emigrant Road to U.S. 50, and stopped for dinner at the casino. Clear views greeted me as I came down the hill into town.

I hiked some 33 miles with about 6,000 feet of gain, driving then 315 miles. Capturing 711 images and movie clips, I spent about $108 cash, with about $78 charged up for economy lodging. With about a quarter tank of fuel as I left home, I put in $20 worth at 3.599 to complete the round trip home.

I dropped my comb somewhere, and my waist isn’t slimmer by much. I usually feel better as I continue to diet, once home, and I had seen so many hefty people taking the two mile trail to Winnemucca Lake. I worry about loss or theft, but my car was safe, and no one stole my park pass, left in the locked car, visible from the outside, for fee parking payment purposes. My photos and videos loaded without any loss or major glitch, and my place was fine, myself concerned about a burglary as I am absent.

To spend the holiday working on my website, I hope to stay fit for more peaks, and maybe even take a short summer road trip to a distant state. I have pretty much seen it all, as far as our magnificent mountain scenery, and just figure on seeing what’s new at the national parks, as I hear of anything.