Rubies Day 9

By Luca

11 September 2011

We had several ideas for our last day in Nevada, but we had also several constraints. First of all, this was supposed to be another rainy day in the afternoon and second we had a long way back to San Francisco!

It would have been nice to traverse from Greys to Hole-in-the-mountain, but it was not doable without a car shuttle. The only option that did not have a 4-wheel drive approach was Greys peak.

The trailhead for Greys is Angel Lake. The only thing we knew is that the road to angel lake is winding and exposed (we mentioned Angel Lake to two people and they both mentioned it).

The parking lot was empty when we arrived and few minutes later a ranger came by. Since it was the last day of the season he waived use the day-use fee of $5, but not before trying to persuade us not to climb Greys Peak.

He initially said he had to rescue several people from the mountain (!!). He later admitted the youngsters he was talking about went up the ledges on flip flops… He also didn’t have a good idea about the height of the mountain; he said it was the tallest of the range (false) and over 11,000 feet (false). His suggestion was to take an easy trail to some waterfall and the upper lake, but he soon understood we would not give up on our plan. Then he recommended a ridiculously long approach following the ridge south of the peak; that would probably be easier than what we did, but also a lot longer.

The last warning was that climbing Greys was an “all-day” deal… no comment. I guess we put up with him just because he waived the 5 bucks.

Our last hike for this trip started at 6.20am; the “whole-day” hike took us little more than 1 hour and a half and we enjoyed a pretty vista from the broad summit plateau.

I sure shot pretty pictures of the grassy slopes we descended, some of them covered by flowers. We tried to avoid some nasty bushwacking on the way down, but we didn’t really manage to do it.

Shortly after 9am we returned to the parking lot, where more than few cars arrived meanwhile. I imbibed a coca cola while talking to some fellas from Berkeley and shortly after we hit Highway 80 for our way back to the city.

Stats: 3.8 miles, 3 hours, 2700 feet elevation gain

What a trip this had been! We both could not believe we were going back to civilization. We ran into pretty nasty weather during the west-bound journey and we were glad we chose the shorter of the outings.

During the entire drive we kept talking about how beautiful state of Nevada is. Not many people can even believe what you may find just few miles from Elko. I already miss the vast, desolate Nevada desert, but we’ll be back soon. Next objective is the Snake range…

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