Toiyabe Dome, NV (11,361')

(not to be confused with Arc Dome)

via Cove Ridge

Pics by Harlan W. S. & Wally PJ
Aug. 20, 2006

You won't find a register book on Toiyabe Dome -- and if you did, chances are it would contain very few signatures. The "normal" route up Jett Canyon is a 14-mile RT if you can get your vehicle past the first 2.5 miles of fiercely paint-scratching bushes; if you opt to walk that stretch, it's a 19-mile RT. So we elected to climb the Cove Canyon N ridge. (More at the end of the page.)

Click on any small image below to see the corresponding large image.

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GPS trace. For God sakes man, take the northern route.

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The day before, we scout out Jett Canyon. The 1st part of the road has become a densely-overgrown paint-scratcher.

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A mine is a terrible thing to waste.

 

 

 

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Elderberries.

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Monkshood.

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Wet dog. Snoopy later had an adventure with ground squirrel to my hand; the upshot was 7 days of antibiotics for me.

 

 

 

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Next day. The starting stretch is quite steep and undoggable.

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More steep stuff, human below.

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Walter tops out on a knife edge.

 

 

 

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Joel and Mike on the knife edge. Suddenly, a dead tree jumps in the way.

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Our goal looms into view -- a gentle hill on the end of a very rugged Cove Canyon.

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Ali comes up.

 

 

 

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Walter eats an apple, auditioning for the part ceded by Luba.

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Lupines and Mt. Jefferson.

 

 

 

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S-centered panorama from top.

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W-centered panorama from top. Arc Dome is the prominent peak right of center.

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Walter and Jefferson

 

 

 

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I am suddenly thrown off balance as the USGS adjusts the elevation of the peak.

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Our experimental route down -- Walter on some very hairy cliffs.

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I turned the camera 120 degrees to the right to take this photo.

 

 

 

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Finally at the bottom of the talus, we look back at the eastern dome.

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Water!

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Bee on fireweed.

 

 

 

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More water! About this point, you will start walking in the water to avoid brush.

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~6:30PM, Walter climbs down the last of the knife edge.

 

OOPS! Almost forgot this picture of a herd of bighorns at 11,000'.

 

 

 

The acceptable Cove route -- about 4.75 miles, >5500' accumulated elevation gain -- is the northern red GPS trace on the map above. The start of the trip is a rough, unobvious dirt road that turns W though a gate, perhaps 1.8 miles north of the town of Carvers (on SR 376). This road is marked "aqueduct" on recent USGS 7.5' topos (the aqueduct is actually a near-buried pipe). The route follows a ridge west to about 10500, then cuts south on a gentle slope to the summit.

The first part of the Cove ridge route is class 2-3, and is very steep. This initial section proved unsuitable for Snoopy, who was wearing low-traction dog booties, so Howard took Snoopy back to the car. Other folks labored on till they had finished 4300' of net elevation gain -- mind you, they had climbed Boundary and Montgomery the day before, and gotten 5 hours sleep for two nights previous -- and said "this huge fun doesn't justify coming down the knife edge in the dark". That left Walter and me to help Joel win a bet with Mike, so Joel would be able to pay for two new tires. (Walter had also climbed Boundary and Montgomery the day before, and had to get up at 4AM the day after, so this was really an altruistic goal.)

The route down into Cove Canyon is not recommended for people who value their skin. In fact, if someone tells you that s/he wants to go up or down Cove Canyon, shoot him/her right there -- put that person out of misery. The brush at <8800' is brutal, consisting of thickets of thorny roses, thorny Ribes, and stinging nettles. We opted to climb out back to our ascent route, and ended up with a total of 6200' accumulated elevation gain.