Boundary Peak, September 15, 2008

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      [Ed: Imported from Americas Roof ‘Summit Trip Reports’ forum]
      [By: Bill Sampson on September 16 2008 at 6:21 PM]

      Paul Bresher, from Minnesota, and I, along with non-highpointer but interesting guy Ed Darack reached the summit of Boundary Peak at 10:15 a.m. on September 15, 2008. The logistics were NOT how to do it. Lanny Wexler posted to the yahoo group that he was looking for people to go to Boundary after the HP convention in Flagstaff. I contacted him and said I was interested in doint the peak on 9/14/08. After some more people said they were coming the date was changed to 9/15/08. I received an email from Lanny asking me if I could give an airline pilot a ride after the climb to LAX so he could catch a flight home. I said ok and told him to tell the pilot he could stay in our spare bedroom.

      While I was chairing a concours detailing clinic (a subject about which I know less than mountaineering if that is possible) Lanny left a message which I did not receive until Saturday afternoon that he could not do Boundary. In the interim, the airline pilot, whom I later found out was Paul, had already flown to Las Vegas. Late afternoon on 9/13 Paul and I finally touched base and arranged to meet in Benton, California the afternoon of 9/14. I finally spoke to Lanny about 10:30 p.m. on 9/13 – he was relieved to learn Paul and I had made arrangements to meet. Thanks to Paul for making what was almost a fruitless trip – had I not known that there was another highpointer concerned about a solo trip in the desert, I might have left Boundary for another day. Amazingly no one from the convention joined us, although there had been a lot of emails about people traveling to NE from AZ.

      I left Malibu about 8:00 a.m. on 9/14 and met Paul at the cafe/gas station in Benton at about 1:45 p.m. We “toured” Jenny’s Ranch at the turnoff spot for the Queen’s Mine route and then drove the six miles to the end of the two wheel drive part of that road. I used Sierra Club Desert Peaks Section instructions for the road, which were precise and correct to tenths of a mile. We parked next to the abandoned mine and its tailings in a flat area. I “camped” in my van and Paul pitched a light tent he had in his rent-a-car.

      We then walked up the four wheel drive road to the trail head, about 1 1/4 miles and 700 feet of gain. We there encountered Ed Darack, sleeping peacefully in his 4 WD. He is a photograph, see for information about his about to be published book on the Marines in Afghanistan. We chatted a while and Ed said he might go with us the next day.

      We arose at 4:00 a.m. and hit the “road” at 5:00 a.m. We reached Ed in about half hour, awakened him, again, and he said he might come along later. Paul has done most of the difficult highpoints (Denalie, Granite, Gannett, Rainier, Hood) and some other difficult summits of distinction (Aconcagua, Grand Teton) and is far fitter than I. Nevertheless if he was impatient to move a little faster he never showed it. His route finding skills are definitely superior to mine. Again, the Sierra Club route description was precise and correct. After what seemed to me an eternity of slogging up the ridge line(s) we reached the summit at about 10:15 a.m., followed in seconds by Ed, who was lugging many pounds of high end photo equipment. He is one tough dude.

      On the descent I was tired and held up the other guys about 15 minutes at the saddle, while I rather gingerly descended the steep scree and talus. When we returned to Ed’s car at the 4 WD trailhead, he offered a ride to our cars, which we gratefully accepted. Paul remarked that his goose was cooked – I don’t remember if I remained capable of speech. You’d think by my age I’d know better than being at sea level, then at 13,000 feet 26 hours later.

      Many thanks to Paul and to Ed for a most enjoyable trip. Although everything went perfectly in travel, both driving and walking, one last fiasco occurred. To get all of the stuff into Ed’s car I put my small day pack into Paul’s larger but not filled bag. Paul then drove off and I dawdled for a few minutes having an apple and tidying the van just slightly. That was when I realized my phone was missing because it was in my pack which remained in Paul’s pack. I drove too fast and caught up to him (he had, by that time, likewise remembered) before reaching the paved road. We said goodbye again, Paul heading for McCarren to fly from Vegas back home, me driving the van six hours back to the beach.

      It was a great trip – my first with a fellow highpointer other than my wife. It was also my first Desert Peaks Section summit – too bad I was too tired to spend another hour or two bagging Montgomery. The weather was beautiful one night short of the full moon. We had a brisk easterly breeze to cool us on the descent. The ascent was mostly in shade since we were pretty early. Thanks Paul and Ed.

      Bill Sampson

      Loyalty to the country always – loyalty to the government when it deserves it
      ——— Mark Twain

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