“What happens here stays here-Las Vegas”
Let’s do the Charleston!
Most go to Las Vegas for fun and games and perhaps to get on top of someone. Call us stupid, but we came to get on top of a mountain-Charleston Peak. This was unfinished business.
I was chased off this mountain last year in May due to blizzard type conditions.
We left Friday evening and were on the peak by 11:00 A.M. the following morning.
Charleston Peak National Trail-18 miles-10,000’ elevation gain/loss-7 hours
Charleston Peak (11,915) is the most climbed major mountain in Nevada. Nevertheless, this intriguing mountain belonged on our list. The Spring Mountains are located just 20 miles north of the fringes of Sin City and these natural towers are in sharp contrast to mankind’s Vegas skyline.
The peaks are wet enough to support dense forests. For all its proximity to the city, this whole mountain range remains wilder than most. This is beautiful country.
The trail runs through woods of ponderosa pine, white fir, and mountain mahogany up to 10,000 feet. Beyond that, there are groves of bristlecone pines, the oldest trees on earth.
The peak is the highest point on a long U-shaped ridgeline that wraps around the head of Kyle Canyon. Here at the top of Southern Nevada, our horizon was huge. It was a clear day and we could see for over a hundred miles to Telescope Peak in the Panamint Range beyond Death Valley and to the Sierras beyond that. Our panoramic view took in portions of four states-California, Nevada, Utah, and Arizona.
Less than a mile to the top
It had been a long time since I have hiked with Hannu. He had been recently bitten by a brown recluse spider and his status was in question.
Hannu is a world class orienteer and he travels at one speed-FAST! His pace is legendary and feared by all that dare to travel with him. He does not like to stop and rest or enjoy the view. He just wants to continue at a torturous pace. I thought the spider bite would slow him down-wrong!
Note: Hannu is also acquainted with the famous Finnish Farter Jim. Jim is from California and can apparently fart at will. The Finns appear to be quite talented at many sports.
On the trail down, I insisted on taking a break and a fast tracking duo passed us. Hannu, paced like a caged animal on this short break, and then he relentlessly stalked the duo until they broke. They asked in a surprising tone, “Do you want to pass?”
After the kill, the energized Hannu increased his pace, now intent to kill me.
At the trailhead we broke out our camp chairs and guzzled down a couple of oil cans of Fosters. “(That’s beer in Australian)”
Later, one of the people we had passed came over to introduce himself and find out “who these fast hikers were.”
Jim is from Las Vegas and has bagged many high pointers in each state across the country as well as most fourteeners in California and Colorado. He wanted company on his next trip to Montana where he was planning on climbing some very remote peaks.
We exchanged email addresses with the promise to hook up sometime in the future.
Living it up at the Hotel Lady Luck
We stayed in a scummy, cheap, downtown room that reeked of smoke, (non smoking room) the television didn’t work, and the sink was stopped up.
Friday night I was awoken by someone vomiting and moaning in the hall. –Perfect!
Saturday evening we dined and slammed down pale ales at the “Big Dog” with my old Friends AAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL Yates and Dan Mackimmmmmmmeeeeee with whom I used to work at First Interstate in Reno.
It was great to see them.
That night the power couple in the next room went at it all night long, they continuously slammed their bed into our adjoining wall.
On the road home Nu and I set a record for stops at A.M/ P.M and eating Junk food. It was mighty tasty!!
Men Behaving Badly:
Zo for again being afraid of his boss Richard and being a “No Show”
Dingo for being afraid of Hannu’s pace and being a “No Show”
Erik S for promising us a plush hotel room and half price drinks with his Westin discount and then being a no show because he was afraid of his boss.
El Lobo for acting like he was gambling at Lady Luck in order to get free beers.
When asked where he was playing by the cocktail waitress, he said that he was playing quarters. Unfortunately he was at a dollar machine. His Corona was confiscated by the sexy cocktail waitress in a mini skirt that accentuated her CRLs. (Charging Rhinoceros Legs)
Nu for disgustingly exclaiming - “Sir?” on the trail each time El Lobo cut one.
Nu for continuing to argue that it is not possible to obtain an erection in a Finnish Sauna, even if Pamela Anderson was in there. C'mon Hannu, I know a guy named Disco Will that could!