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Finally did #42 Humphrey's and #43 Boundary with pics :o)

September 10 2011 at 12:34 AM
  (Login stever500)


I got to Arizona to try Humphrey's again after failing 10 years ago in ice and snow. Luckily there was a guy from Middleburg VA getting out of his car just as I was. We were the only ones in the parking lot at 615am. I followed him the whole way to the top. He was 6 years older than I and a good hiker. I was blessed to have him to talk to for 6.5 hours. We hung out at the top for 40 minutes, longer than any high point I've been too. It was his schedule so I just went along with it. I found it to be a hard hike just because I'm not in hiking shape. It was the most perfect weather day on Sept 1, 2011.

No one answered my earlier thread about hiking Humphrey's Peak together but I got lucky and found this guy at the trail head to do it with. It turns out, the trail was packed that day with people. We were passed by at least 25 people in the 6.5 hours we were on the trail.

Then I took 2 days off in Vegas to relax and see movies. Never went to the strip this time, not into that scene. Don't drink, smoke or gamble. I simply obsessed for 2 days about getting lost on Boundary peak happy.gif.

The next day I drove to Boundary and met a gent from this forum there. We met for lunch at Bishop CA and then I followed him to the camping site up that horrible 6 mile dirt road. No rental car should have gone up that road but I did it. I never should have driven the Kia Forte there... I could have really screwed it up worse than I did. I ended up with a flat but didn't realize it till the next day after the hike.

We camped up at Queens Mine with another lady and her 15 year old daughter. At 530pm the next morning I rode in his Jeep Wrangler the 1 mile to the trailhead. Odd that there isn't one sign at the trailhead notating that this is Boundary Peak, nor is there even 1 sign anywhere the whole hike up if memory serves me correctly. I'm SOOOOO glad I went up this with 4 other people. I get lost easily and it wasn't that simple to follow the rocky, scree trail up to the top.

We all made it and boy was I amazed by the sight at the top and on the way up. It's like the moon up there. The pretty flowers growing out of the rocks blew me away on the walk up. It was a hard hike, very hard for me but... we did it. Yeah!!! Was glad to come back down and head home down that 6 mile road from hell. I would never recommend anything but a 4 wheel drive up that road, despite what others have written about it.

The gent put the donut tire on my car after he notated the flat tire and I nervously drove the 5.5 hours back to Vegas at 50 mph as cars whipped by me going 75-80 mph. I felt like the old man that everyone honks at for going so slow but the tire's notes were NOT to drive over 50 and I wanted to get back. The thought of breaking down near that area that goes into Death Valley was scary to me. No cell signal, signs everywhere not to pick up hitchhikers due to the prison being near. I kept expecting the tire to blow but it didn't.

I called the rental company and they said they're good for up to 300 miles yet I had to drive 350 so I was lucky.

It was a great trip but a hard one. I was thinking I can't do any more since I don't know how to do technical climbing and have a terrible fear of heights but after talking to the folks I was hiking with, I think I might try Mt Hood in early June with a mountain guide (for ...ughh, that $475 fee) and then in July or August, King's Peak with a friend that doesn't do high points.

Totally psyched to continue this crazy quest. Could I maybe do Bora Peak one day? Could I get over my fear of heights and get past Chicken Out Ridge? I don't know, but that's at least 2 years off. We made tentative plans to all do Bora in 2 summer when his boy is 14 instead of 12.

This website has made me realize I could try some of the harder ones with a bit of training. Thanks everyone for posting your stories and replies on these other posts.

Here's the pics...hope this works.

Steve R Gaithersburg MD.

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Mark S
(Login MarkStyczynski)

Nice report

September 10 2011, 9:32 PM 

Glad you had such a great time on two fantastic mountains. I can totally relate to you obsessing about the mountains during your trip. I always seem to have about 8 different things I'd like to do during my highpointing trips, but always seem to wind up staring at maps and reading over route descriptions instead. I think it's called OCD.

If you hiked Boundary, I'd say you definitely have a good shot at Borah. I didn't find Chicken Out Ridge to be half as bad as what I'd built it up to be in my mind. I forget who gave me the advice, but it was right on ... don't try to skirt around COR; just go right over the top. The holds are great and the rock it solid. When you go, you will see signs of a lot of tracks off to the side in the loose scrabble, but that's not where you want to be.


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(Login markvotapek)

different strokes

September 11 2011, 4:41 PM 

Fwiw, i had very different experiences than much of what's in this thread. On Borah, i ascended over Chicken-Out, descended by skirting below it, and found the latter much much easier and safer.

On Boundary, i thought the road wasn't that bad for my little Mazda, the trail was impossible to get lost on (you just go UP and you end up at the top. really.), and it was nice not to have signs everywhere.


(I'm pretty sure the camping area is not Queens Mine, but another mine, unless the topo map is labeled incorrectly.)

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(Login stever500)

Re: Borah. Glad to read what you wrote, since I just read the following...

September 12 2011, 10:35 PM 

and got fairly freaked out by it! I'm sure I'll try Borah at some point in the next 3 years. I'd at least to try and fail on it rather than not try, giving in to my terrible fear of heights, and always wonder if I could have done it...

This is what I read tonight when I googled Borah Peak - ughhh

" Making our way up the rock slab required the use of handholds to ascend, and the loose rock made footholds precarious. Nonetheless, we made it to the top where we found ourselves close to the infamous Borah Peak down-climb. For many people, COR barely raises their blood pressure, but for those of us with that creeping fear of exposure, this section is gut-wrenchingunfortunately for me, my fear (which manifests only under certain circumstances) was getting the best of me. The thought of climbing back the way we had just came literally terrified me, not to mention the fact that I was still facing the down-climbthe crux of the entire route.

The down-climb, an awkward third class maneuver where you lower yourself feet first, face to the rock down a 15 foot cliff, normally deposits you on a snow bridgethe snow had completely melted by late August of 2007. According to those in the know, the down-climb is the last problem on the ascent, and it was a problem I could not overcome. No matter how hard I tried to talk myself into taking that step of faith, my mind would not allow itthe fear got the best of me. Dejected, I resigned myself to the fact that I had come as far as I was going to go on Borah PeakI watched with envy as those already on the summit proudly waved the flag. The feeling of self-disappointment was further compounded by the fact that this meant the end of the road for Pick as well, as she could not continue on by herself. We were probably only 800 feet below the summit and approximately 90 minutes awayit was noon when we reached the down-climbso close, yet so far away. Nothing wrecks a romp in the mountains quicker than the agony of defeat, and despite trying to convince myself that I could do this for nearly 30 minutes, defeated I remained. I have to say that Pick was great through the whole ordeal, even in the face of her disappointmentI could not have asked for a better climbing partner. Heartbroken and apprehensive about the trek back across COR, I left my dreams of summiting Borah Peak behind and focused on the return tripturning back at 12:30 pm."

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(Login JohnMx)

crux solution: think of it as a ladder

September 29 2011, 3:30 AM 

Before you go to Borah, setup a step ladder and remember how you climb down it. Then apply that memory to the crux downclimb at the end of Chicken Out Ridge. Just turn around and "downclimb the ladder." Plenty of handholds. And with that mental thought, you should get through it. I don't know about Borah, but on Granite people fall being careless on the snowbridge, not the rock.

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(Login stever500)

If it's as easy as climbing down a step ladder...

October 7 2011, 12:22 AM 

I guess I could try Borah. Something tells me it's just not that easy though! In the end, I'm going to have to try it anyway... My quest is my quest. I'll be really bored if I'm not out west each summer attempting these last 7 peaks. It's all I think about when I have free time.

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(Login Hojo76014)

Excellent report & great pics

October 5 2011, 11:09 AM 

Our experience with Boundary was it wasn't always easy to see the trail ahead of you once you go past the saddle. We always saw the trail behind us but not always in front of us.

I agree that Boundary seems like a whole different universe - so remote.

Going up the road to Queens mine was not too bad but we made sure we rented an SUV w/ 4wd and camped out near the trailhead. We seen pics on Summitpost and recognized what the trailhead looked like.

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Current Topic - Finally did #42 Humphrey's and #43 Boundary with pics :o)
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