Charleston Peak from Wallace Canyon

pics by Harlan W. S.
July 18, 2009

 

This route starts at ~7700’off the Wallace Canyon Road, which is currently passable by a modest-clearance vehicle (Subaru Outback); there is a lot of loose gravel waiting to snare a 2wd vehicle.The Wallace Canyon Road branches off the Wheeler Pass Road, just as the latter descends a hill, about 10 miles from sr 160. The route requires about 60 miles of driving from Vegas, 20 miles on gravel roads.

 

There are pleasant dry campsites in the Ponderosa, starting near 7700’.The lower part of the route is often shaded all day.

 

This not an easy route; entirely trailless, and the elevation gain is fast. Accumulated gain is about 4300’, and total RT distance is just shy of 7 miles. The southern part of the route has some rough, serrated ridges to traverse, witha few class 3 sections.Moving at a moderate pace (for me), I took 3h 8m up, and 1h 15m down; the latter was possible because I jogged down through the soft talus on the northern part of the loop. Over all, there is very little brushSpecial thanks to Nick N for a map. Dr EF and Nevada Bob G took this route years ago; there is evidence the Pahrumpians went even before.

 

chaz-from-W

Google Earth view, looking E from above Clinton Peak (point 3097T on 24k topo map)

chazw100k

100k map with GPS trace. The Wheeler Pass road is signed, and turns N from sr 160, just east of Pahrump.

chazwallc

24k map of hike.

 

 

 

IMG_3903

Gubmint weather station.

IMG_3904

ATV access ends here.Go to the L to avoid yucky water.

IMG_3906

Low down in the moister sections, the columbines are orange and yellow.

 

 

 

IMG_3907

This is the L fork turnoff for Vache Pisse (don’t take).

IMG_3914

View E and up across the serrated ridge.

IMG_3916

Red penstemons.

 

 

 

IMG_3918

View back on Clinton Peak.The Lewinsky arÍte is at R.

IMG_3920

Much of the last mile is up steep, high-friction ramps, often avoidable by a crappy talus route.

IMG_3921

In distance are McFarland (L) and Macks.

 

 

 

IMG_3926

View up a bowl to the E of the ridge; Charleston appears as an inconspicuous bump.Contrast with photo below.

pan01chazw-3927-8

This cliff face has an old, braided nylon rope to aid descent; in reality, you can carefully walk (class 3+) down the diagonal crack on the S side of the rope (here looking back at the rope; McFarland in distance at R).

IMG_3932

View back over ridge and Clinton.

 

 

 

IMG_3941

A higher view of the bowl in the photo above.Hummingbirds liked my shirt.

pan03chazw-3944-6

Now we can see more of Charleston to NE; McFarland is to L

IMG_3947

Purple penstemon, drawing shade from a piece of wood.

 

 

 

IMG_3948

The SLT is visible over penstemons.

IMG_3949

Columbines.

IMG_3951

 

 

 

IMG_3952

IMG_3962

Mummy’s head in back at R. At this point, the T-storm cells were over Sisters.

IMG_3963

Good Luck Kid, and I sincerely wish you well.

 

 

 

IMG_3966

Descending.I’ll cut L at the talus-tree transition.

IMG_3967

What the heck is a mason jar doing way down here?

IMG_3968

View back S over the steep cliffs.

 

 

 

IMG_3969

Once more, Clinton comes into view; the Lewinsky Arete appears to kneel at R.

IMG_3971

When you hit the sharp peaklet, turn L and descend down pleasant slopes.

IMG_3972

The last road is popular with ATVs.These folks seem to be “good citizens”; I saw very little garbage, and they were polite and helpful.