Location: North N41:01.269, West 114:04.644 (GPS at the summit)
Difficulty: YDS class 2
Climbed: July 1, 2008
How to get there:
Drive west on I-80, about 117 miles towards Wendover, located immediately
before the Utah . Nevada state line. Take exit 4 north. Follow Leppy Pass Road
(turns left after about 1.6 miles) to the Utah-Nevada state line, about 7.5 miles from the I-80
a cattle guard and the road changes to (good) dirt.
You want to find the next cattle guard along this road as it curves
around the flat, salty valley floor. Pilot Peak is in clear view.
Just at this second cattle guard, a 4WD road turns off to your left.
You are about 17 miles from I-80 and back near the state line at this point.
This road does require a 4WD, do not even consider driving here with
anything less robust. After about 1.2 miles there is a fork, take the
left fork here. Higher up, you drive in a small trench, then the road
forks again with one exit up right, the other to your left. Take the
right fork here. These roads meet again higher up, but the left
variant has a pretty tough gully crossing, this is avoided by going
right. Continue up and into the canyon, the road ends approximately
5 miles from the turnoff. Park here, this is the trailhead, location
N40:59.689, W114:04.961, elevation about 2010 meter.
From the end of the road, immediately climb the right hillside and
gain a distinct ridge. Follow this ridge a short while then traverse
into the small valley (or big gully?) on the right hand side of your
ridge. There is a pretty large bowl above here. Climb this, you will
see a rock point high above on the left side. This rock is on the main
You are OK as long as
you gain the ridge to the right of this rock point.
The entire climb is basically scree and talus. As you gain the main
ridge head uphill, then contour around the first top on its right side.
The next summit is the top, it is best to continue uphill while
staying on the right side of the ridge. Ascend the final talus slope
and gain a summit that sees few visits.
After a succesful climb of Flat Top Mountain in the morning, I drove to
Wendover and treated myself to a Mexican dinner. Next, I drove to the trailhead
called Miners Canyon. The last 5 miles was definitely a 4WD road and I negotiated
a rather questionable gully crossing that made me worry slightly about the
return drive. Fortunately, I discovered an alternate route that avoided this
problem on my return drive.
This trailhead had swarms of small, annoying mosquitos and I quickly tried to
sleep in the car.
Woke up later in the evening by acute overheating. With the
doors closed, this black SUV was just absorbing too much heat, even late in the
day. I resumed resting/sleeping and woke up around 0400. The sky was brilliant
with stars. A primitive breakfast and I was off by 0530, at this time it was
light. The canyon proved difficult to hike and I quickly climbed out on my right
side, then followed a nice ridge upwards. I had read that I should gain the main
ridge, thus I did not want to continue too much right. Eventually, I gained the
main ridge in fairly steep terrain. Climbing higher, I soon discovered that I
stood on top of a significant bump from where I had to descend in order to continue.
It was pretty clear that a route further right, ending up beyond this bump
would be preferable.
I saw two summits ahead, the higher one behind. It was impossible to judge if
there would be a drop between them and I decided to traverse a bit below this first
summit on the left side. As it turned out, a bypass on the right side is likely
I reached the summit at 0845, 3:15 up, this route is scree and talus more or less
all the way. Being very remote, I was particularly careful. A mishap in this area
would not be any good. Nobody would worry about my whereabouts for several days,
the extreme afternoon heat and a very limited supply of water says it all.
I rested 30 minutes and ate my muffin lunch and drank a well deserved fraction
of my water. The view was
nice, what an extremely desolate place in the middle
of nowhere. Flat, salt areas, then other mountains scattered across
the wide expanse, nothing,
absolutely nothing. I signed the summit register. Few people
visit this summit, only a (small) handful this year and a few pages back showed
entries already from 2001. The summit was obviously
popular among flies, they seemed
to be everywhere up here.
Having learned about the route on my way up, I descended the huge bowl directly
back down towards the trailhead. Seemingly endless talus and a little scree.
Overall, this climb was pretty demanding, the bad footing, the heat and the need to
be very careful with every step.
The temperature was now getting hot and I was very happy (and thirsty) when
reaching the car at 1130, yet another 6 hour effort.
To read about the other peaks climbed on this trip, see this summary.
The route. I ascended from left to right
more or less in the middle of the picture, then followed the summit ridge towards the top.
My descent was more direct, down the huge scree/talus gully towards the left.