June 1, 2003
Report by Joel Brewster, Photos by Troy Wirth
It was 7:00 when a group of eight mountaineers met at the Park &
Ride. The group included Alan Nakashima, Dave Revzin, Paul Kuroda, Steve
Nguyen, Voytek, Mike Shackleford, Troy Wirth, and myself. Most of us
took at least a slight detour trying to get to the parking lot because
of the poor (lack of) signage. One adventurous member of the group even
drove cross-country to get there over a fallen fence, taking the direct
route as opposed to the circuitous route that everyone else took.
It was a perfect late spring day as we set out along the Bristlecone
Trail. As we took our first break at the junction with the Bonanza Trail,
we compared elevations on our watches and GPS’s. Ah, the modern
world! From there, we headed up the moderately steep Bonanza Trail for
about three miles until we reached the turnoff for McFarland Peak. After
a short break there to get the group all together, we headed up the
very steep gully that leads to the ridgeline. As we trudged up the gully,
there was little conversation as everyone was huffing and puffing. In
fact, as coordinator, I made the rule that if anyone could still breathe
enough to talk, they would have to go back to the trailhead and restart
the hike. Not surprisingly, I had no takers on this offer.
At the top of the gully, we were treated to a magnificent vista of Mt.
Charleston and the surrounding peaks. From there, it was only a short
trek to the peak. Once on the peak, we took the obligatory summit photos,
ate lunch, chatted, and Voytek replenished his fluids with a long swig
from a vodka bottle! As we were signing the register, we noticed how
few entries there were. In fact, the last entry was almost two months
ago. We did however, see many fellow LVMC'ers among the few entries
in the register.
On the way down, we had a little trouble finding the top of the gully
where we came up, but fortunately, Steve had marked the coordinates
on his GPS, so we followed his lead back up to the top of the correct
gully. After this short detour, the descent was uneventful. The group
spread out into faster and slower groups once back on the trail, but
we were all back to our cars in a little less than nine hours after
we had begun. All in all, it was a great hike with a great group.