Magruder Mountain P1K DS / DPG / RS

Mon, Aug 3, 2015
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I was transitioning from a weeklong vacation in Telluride, CO with two friends to the Sierra east side where I was to meet my family in Mammoth for a few days before the start of the Sierra Challenge. I had dropped Steve off at the Las Vegas airport the night before, part of a 12hr driving marathon from Telluride. It was hot in the area around Las Vegas, too hot to sleep comfortably in the van, so I ended up driving three more hours north on US95 and west on SR166 to Lida Summit at 7,500ft where I arrived around midnight to find the temperature a relatively cool 60F - this would do.

In the morning I was up not long after 6a when the sun poked brightly through the windows. I had driven this route not just to find cool temperatures, but to tag Magruder Mountain, a P1K I had passed by on a previous visit to the area earlier in the year. It's not a particularly hard outing, about 6mi roundtrip with 2,000ft of gain, and not all that impressive a mountain. It lies at the southermost end of the Palmetto Mtns/Silver Peak Range, more of a rounded bump before the range drops away to the south into Lida Valley. The terrain is mostly pinyon and juniper forest with more open terrain along the broad summit ridge. The cross-country in this high desert area is not very difficult though I did take advantage of old roads where I could find them. I spent about an hour and a half making my way to the summit from the northwest up a subsidiary ridge, then east along the main crest to the summit, much as described briefly in Zdon's guidebook. I found a busy register dating to 1990, courtesy of the now defunct Peak and Gorge Section of the Sierra Club's Motherlode Chapter (Pete's nefarious MLCSC). There were entries from many of the usual crowd, along with others from hunters and local residents. In all, more than 50 pages were taken up with entries over the past 25 years. My return route was slightly different as I chose to descend a dry gully rather than a ridgeline. It was somewhat more interesting ducking under trees and down small drops before finding a host of random, rusting junk as I neared the highway. Whether it was someone's effort to homestead, legally or illegally run a business, or just discarded crap, was hard to tell. I was back about three hours after starting out which was about all the peakbagging I was interested in today - it was getting quite warm already and I was due to meet my brother in Mammoth later in the afternoon - time for more driving...


Anonymous comments on 09/10/15:
My friend told me about you. She says you're good. Damn, you're a bad ass. Dude you're going to rack up enough peaks to have more than anyone. Yes, go for the most in California as you can. She says you are only in your 50's. I know people who hike into their 80's. You got 30 years dude.... Make it happen!
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