Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Wheeler Peak

I summited my first 13,000 foot peak the other day.  Wheeler Peak is in Great Basin National Park in Nevada.  Earlier this summer, Taylor, Parker, Xander, my dad and I camped in Great Basin for a few nights.  We saw some beautiful scenery and went on some great hikes, but ascending Wheeler Peak was not on the itinerary. I knew I would eventually go back and hike to the summit.  It's a 4.5-mile hike with 2900 feet of elevation gain.  It was kind of like two totally different hikes.  The first two miles (and the last two on the way back) are through a beautiful evergreen forest with quaking aspens that were turning brilliant fall colors.  The temperature was great with little wind and the slope was not very steep.  A nice fall hike for pretty much anyone.  The second half was brutal.  Super steep, exposed terrain.  No trees and almost no vegetation.  The trail is well-developed, but it is just over talus.  Plus, I was essentially on a ridgeline, so the wind was unbelievable. I would guess it was 40 miles an hour up there.  It was so crazy that I couldn't keep my hat on and ended up with a sunburn.  I'm grateful to live so close to so many places that offer me nature therapy. I love the mountains!

Wheeler Peak is the high point just to the right of center in the photo.  You can see
the ridge line where it got so windy headed up from the right side of the picture to the peak.  Steep!!!


Magnificent 360-degree views from the summit.  This is the second highest
point in Nevada and higher than any point in Utah.



Saw this line of tanks on the way home.  Cool!

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