Peak(s):  Wheeler Peak - 13063
Jeff Davis Peak - 12771
Point 12,305 - 12305
Baker Peak (un-ranked) - 12298
Bald Mountain - 11562
Buck Mountain - 10972
Date Posted:  08/08/2016
Date Climbed:   07/26/2016
Author:  Furthermore
 The Top of Great Basin National Park, NV   


Wheeler Peak 13,063
Baker Peak 12,298 (un-ranked)
Point 12,305
Jeff Davis Peak 12,771

Extra Credits
Bald Mountain 11,562
Buck Mountain 10,972


July 25, 2016
Extra Credits
~3.8 Miles, ~1,900 Gain
TH: Wheeler Peak Summit Trail Trailhead
~10 hour drive from Denver
Max difficulty: Class 2

July 26, 2016
Wheeler Loop
~11.6 Miles, ~5,500 Gain
TH: Bristlecone-Alpine Lakes Trailhead
~10 hour drive from Denver
Max difficulty: Class 2 (Class 1 if only doing Wheeler)


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With over 7,000 feet of prominence, Wheeler Peak in Great Basin National Park, NV seemed like an obvious objective to break up the long drive to the Eastern Sierras. It was a painful 10 hour drive to GBNP where I arrived in the late afternoon. In a desperate need to stretch my legs without overheating (bagged a silly 5er in 90 deg heat on the way) Bald and Buck fit the bill.

I started hiking up the Wheeler Peak Summit trail for 0.2 mile. I departed the trail and started a gentle bushwhack up Bald's southeast ridge. Some minor trees made for some semi-obnoxious bushwhacking but eventually ended with gentle talus which led me to the top. From the summit, there were excellent views of Wheeler and Jeff Davis. Stable talus led me to the Bald-Buck saddle where Buck's gentle southwest ridge guided me to a somewhat tree obscured summit. Descending Buck's south slopes required hiking on loose talus - thus I can only recommended this duo clockwise with Bald first.

Looking north from the summit of Bald.
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Looking east from the summit of Bald
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Wheeler and Jeff Davis at the saddle of Bald and Buck
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I gambled and slept in my car at the spacious Bristlecone-Alpine Lakes trailhead parking lot. I woke up at 5:40 AM and started hiking up the Alpine Lakes Loop Trail (the most logical parking area for combining the 12ers) at 5:55 AM. Still dark, I had to make sure I made the correct trail junctions as the current Topo and FS Topo are NOT correctly labeled. Signage is good and I quickly intercepted the Wheeler Peak Trail.

The Wheeler Peak Trail is well established and easy to follow. I was greeted with a variety of wildlife as I slowly gained altitude. Embracing solitude, I arrived on the summit of Wheeler Peak at 8:05 AM. I took a quick break and started down Wheeler's south-southwest talus ridge. To my surprise I found a petroglyph in a rock near the summit as I started down the ridge. Maybe it's not legit?

Wild Turkeys
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Alpenglow on Wheeler
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Alpenglow on Wheeler
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Wheelers shadow to the west
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Summit ridge to Wheeler
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Baker and 12,305 from Wheeler
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Descending from Wheeler.
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Legit Petroglyph?
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A few rock steps were easy to bypass on the west side of the ridge as I made my way to the Wheeler-Baker saddle. The north face of Baker and Point 12,305 were impressive. A cliff in Baker's north ridge doesn't provide easy access on the ridge crest but I was easily able to bypass the scarp on the west where loose talus guided me to the summit of Baker. Since Baker isn't ranked, I didn't stop for a break and continued towards 12,305. Talus was the name of the trek to 12,305 where I arrived at 9:30 AM. I admired the views for a minute and continued back towards Wheeler. Instead of re-climbing Baker, I was able to save elevation gain by bypassing Baker's summit on the south. Obnoxious talus on the west side of Baker led me back to the ridge.

Baker and 12,305
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Dramatic face on Baker and 12,305. Too bad it's so chossy.
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Wheeler from Baker
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Climbing back up Wheeler was somewhat painful. I should have skirted Wheeler's west face (although much more obnoxious with talus) to save some elevation gain instead of climbing Wheeler twice. Unfortunately, my second summit wasn't greeted with solitude as there were a group of 5 people lounging around. I quickly hiked along the ridge crest and started descending Wheeler's class 2 east ridge. It's impressive how much Wheeler's north face drops off.


Jeff Davis from the descent off Wheeler.
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Wheeler's dramatic northeast face.
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Wheeler's dramatic northeast face.
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Class 2 talus led me to the summit of Jeff Davis where I arrived at 11:40 AM. I was a little worried about how arduous my descent was going to be back to the Bristlecone Pine grove but I was pleasantly surprised by the stability of the rock rib descending north from Jeff Davis' east ridge. Between 11,400 and intercepting the Glacier Trail at ~10,520 the talus was much more obnoxious. The ups and downs crossing the glacial moraine to gain the trail was not welcomed. Once I hit the trail, it was a quick hike through the Bristlecone Pine grove back to the trailhead where I arrived at 1:00 PM. Unfortunately, the number of people on the trail made this portion of the hike unenjoyable.

Buck and Bald
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The north rib on Jeff Davis.
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Wheeler.
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Bristlecone Pine sign.
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Bristlecone Pine tree.
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Now, to continue driving for another 5 hours to the Eastern Sierra. Continued onto DAY 2.

Topo.
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My GPS Tracks on Google Maps (made from a .GPX file upload):




Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23


Comments or Questions
Jay521
User
Sweet!
08/09/2016 08:47
You really do the fun stuff, eh? Cool petroglyph - I wonder how one determines the age? Nice report!


Matt
User
Ultra Good Times
08/09/2016 09:40
Thanks for posting this!
That's a beautiful area so unlike our CO 13ers.
It's a nice trip down memory lane for me.
Wheeler was my first 13er and only second time above 10k, many moons ago.
I'll never forget the view from the summit.


Chicago Transplant
User
Congrats!
08/12/2016 13:49
Congrats on finishing the Nevada 13ers


bergsteigen
User
So that's what it looks like
08/13/2016 12:13
I skied this peak on the way home from Reno this spring. I was in a cloudy rime blizzard and had to navigate to the summit via GPS. Guess I'll have to go back one day.



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