Trip Report
The Last Hurrah.......
Thursday August 14, 2014 9:40am
Credit: survival


Before the kids had to return to school that is!!

I have wanted to go to Great Basin National Park for a very long time. I have driven past, and been to the visitor center, but never gone up to the high country there. Well, it was finally time! Nothing can compare to Yosemite or Yellowstone in their way, but over the decades I have come to appreciate less visited places more and more. Can you say 90,000 visitors annually compared to Yosemite's 4 MILLION?


Disclaimer: No technical climbing was done. (Unless you count wrassling in and out of my sleeping bag.)

However, much awesomeness flowed from the mountains and spilled all over my family. Not only that, but we were joined by Doug McDonald and his friend Farland, who many of you here have been introduced to before.






We cooked some AWESOME meals for six!
Credit: survival







We had some really great hikes.





The campsite was at 10,000 feet!

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We visited 4,000 year old Bristlecone Pines!










We climbed 13,063 ft. Wheeler Peak on a beautiful ridge!

























































As usual, thanks for looking folks, more to come, a little bit later.








  Trip Report Views: 1,225
survival
About the Author
survival is a big wall climber from A Token of My Extreme.

Comments
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Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
  Aug 14, 2014 - 09:45am PT
The mystery, the mystery... a great pictorial TR...
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
  Aug 14, 2014 - 09:46am PT
Wonderful

You're a lucky man, Bruce.
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
  Aug 14, 2014 - 09:46am PT
Thanks Survival for this TR, I have driven through that area so many times but now I must get out of the car and explore.
this just in

climber
north fork
  Aug 14, 2014 - 09:47am PT
Wow that 2nd pic and the last one are some of the best.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
  Aug 14, 2014 - 09:47am PT
Nice....just drove past there two days ago....beautiful and desolate country.
The Larry

climber
Moab, UT
  Aug 14, 2014 - 09:51am PT
Looks like an awesome place. Thx for that.
Branscomb

Trad climber
Lander, WY
  Aug 14, 2014 - 10:05am PT
Beautiful place...a guy named Leroy Johnson and I did Wheeler Peak in winter in the seventies, up the NW ridge from the cirque. He was the superintendent of the Forest Genetics Inst in Placerville and he told me about the formerly oldest Bristlecone pine in existent and how it had been growing forever in that cirque until some grad student from the Berkeley school of forestry cut it down to confirm how old it was, apparently for his thesis. He quipped that, needless to say, the thesis was rejected. Science marches on......
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Author's Reply  Aug 14, 2014 - 10:33am PT
Wow, great post Branscomb! I have told many people over the years about ol' what's his name's career being ruined by cutting down that tree. I heard a very interesting piece on NPR about it. He went deep underground and changed careers. Even decades later, journalists would contact him on some ruse, and end up interrogating him about the tree cutting. The best part to come out of it is that there is a beautifully polished round from the Prometheus tree in the visitor center.


Thanks to my best pals from ST being the first to have a look at my TR. There are lots more pix if anyone cares to see them.

There was no badassery taking place, but tons of beauty, so as usual I just tried to get artsy with my camera.

You wanna see 'em?


























Camp, outside of Fallon, on the way to GBNP.
Camp, outside of Fallon, on the way to GBNP.
Credit: survival








My girls at Sand Mtn, on the way to GBNP.
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The old bar in Austin NV, on Hwy 50.
The old bar in Austin NV, on Hwy 50.
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Credit: survival








It's chilly at 10,000 ft, even in Aug!!
Credit: survival
this just in

climber
north fork
  Aug 14, 2014 - 10:36am PT
There was no badassery taking place

I beg to differ, to me this is what defines badassery.
looks easy from here

climber
Ben Lomond, CA
  Aug 14, 2014 - 10:38am PT
There was no badassery taking place

Not all badassery is hardman badassery. Having fun out in the wild with family is my favorite kind. :)
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Author's Reply  Aug 14, 2014 - 10:48am PT
Thanks TJI, you're the bomb. You too Looks Easy!



Old bar art is the best isn't it? Don't mean to offend, it is easily removed.



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Don't know why my panorama wasn't stitching properly.....
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Layton soaking up some Doug wisdom in camp.
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Credit: survival
snakefoot

climber
Nor Cal
  Aug 14, 2014 - 10:53am PT
the choss never ends, thanks for the TR
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Author's Reply  Aug 14, 2014 - 11:04am PT
They don't call me Farmer Bruce "Choss" Birchell for nuthin' you know.









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survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Author's Reply  Aug 14, 2014 - 01:35pm PT
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Dave Kos

Social climber
Temecula
  Aug 14, 2014 - 01:45pm PT
This is awesome. I stopped by Great Basin many years ago and like you I just checked out the visitor center, realized it was a hidden gem and always wanted to go back and explore. Haven't got there yet, but it's a nice reminder!
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
  Aug 14, 2014 - 03:53pm PT
Awesome stuff thank you for posting Bruce!
Captain...or Skully

climber
in the oil patch...Fricken Bakken, that's where
  Aug 14, 2014 - 03:58pm PT
Big fat TFPU, Bruce. Excellent pics. Looks like you had a good time. Ol' Wheeler is a slog, huh?
Diggin' it!
David Knopp

Trad climber
CA
  Aug 14, 2014 - 04:24pm PT
Man I love that place! Thanks Survival....
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
  Aug 14, 2014 - 04:52pm PT
You survived to tell us about it!

Most Awesome Post of the Week!

Total Bad-Assery!

Even derring-doo-doo!
Bears no resemblance to Mahler's Depression.  More awesome than Beetho...
Bears no resemblance to Mahler's Depression. More awesome than Beethoven's Jump for Joy!--RR 'quote'
Credit: Survival
And happy thoughts abound!
lars johansen

Trad climber
West Marin, CA
  Aug 14, 2014 - 05:01pm PT
Love that Park. Did you check out Lehman Cave? I think there is a technical route on Wheeler Peak? TFPU
lars
drljefe

climber
El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
  Aug 14, 2014 - 06:15pm PT
Great!
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Author's Reply  Aug 15, 2014 - 09:36am PT
Thanks guys.

Lars, yes, we did the cave. Beautiful!

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Technical route on Wheeler? I know there are some ice climbs. Incredible oceans of choss in most spots....
See the climber?
Credit: survival
Grippa

Trad climber
Salt Lake City, UT
  Aug 15, 2014 - 10:25am PT
Awesome!
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Aug 15, 2014 - 10:44am PT
I love the Lehman caves hit them in 1999????
Thanks for the memories Bruce!!!!
Nice!
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Author's Reply  Aug 15, 2014 - 11:10am PT
Layton and Farland on Nevada's only glacier.

Credit: survival




I could have easily spent a whole day in the Bristlecones....

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Lots and lots of beautiful towers!!
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Credit: survival
SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
  Aug 15, 2014 - 11:13am PT
Awesome TR, Bruce!
It's a wonderful place--and those bristlecone pines are
unbelievable. It's been years since I've been there, but I
really enjoyed it--especially a hike up Wheeler peak in the
early fall snow.
Avery

climber
NZ
  Aug 15, 2014 - 07:37pm PT
Nice job Survival. I must admit, I share your passion for the quieter places. Believe me when I tell you there is no quieter place than New Zealand.
So, what are you waiting for!,come to NZ. I'll have all the major airports monitored and a limousine on standby.
Just to give you some idea on what your missing, feast your eyes on this geological miracle.
I can hear you salivating from here
I can hear you salivating from here
Credit: Avery
Charlie D.

Trad climber
Western Slope, Tahoe Sierra
  Aug 15, 2014 - 07:50pm PT
Spent a couple nights there and a day hiking, cool place...ancient bristlecones, quartzite rock and NO people!!! We really enjoyed it, thanks Survival.
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Author's Reply  Aug 19, 2014 - 12:00pm PT
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JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
  Aug 19, 2014 - 12:20pm PT
I would have to say that exceptional beauty makes up for lack of technical climbing, and then some! Thank you for the very fine report and pics.

John
NutAgain!

Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
  Aug 19, 2014 - 01:23pm PT
Excellent fambadassery! This will definitely be a stop for the kids and me on a future adventure.
this just in

climber
north fork
  Aug 21, 2014 - 11:52am PT
I just hit the like button again. Back to the top.
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Author's Reply  Aug 21, 2014 - 12:09pm PT
Thanks TJI, you have been a good head here on ST, that's for sure.




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Credit: survival
mongrel

Trad climber
Truckee, CA
  Aug 21, 2014 - 12:52pm PT
Yes, there is at least one technical route on the east face of Wheeler Peak: Jeff and some other Lowe (plenty to select from), I think it's III or IV, 5.9 or 5.10. Bound to be stout.

Thanks for the photos. Great park.
moosedrool

climber
lost, far away from Poland
  Aug 21, 2014 - 01:00pm PT
Awesome TR.

Thanks, Survival!

Andrzej
T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
  Aug 21, 2014 - 01:09pm PT
Bitchin pics and cool trip Bruce, er Mr. Choss!
Tad
Ney Grant

Trad climber
Pollock Pines
  Aug 21, 2014 - 02:00pm PT
Great TR and photos!

I read a senator from Utah tried to get GBNP downgraded from a national park because of the lack of visitors but ultimately failed.
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Author's Reply  Aug 21, 2014 - 02:29pm PT
I read a senator from Utah tried to get GBNP downgraded from a national park because of the lack of visitors but ultimately failed.


Are you kidding? What on Earth for? To get more visitors to Utah parks I suppose......

Thank gawd for parks that aren't buried under humans.
(Big Bend is still my favorite)
Credit: survival
limpingcrab

Trad climber
the middle of CA
  Aug 21, 2014 - 06:24pm PT
Great, now my list of places to check out is longer. Thanks a lot. No, really, thanks! Looks like an awesome spot to explore and this TR just reaffirms that you take great pictures!
yanqui

climber
Balcarce, Argentina
  Aug 22, 2014 - 02:26pm PT
I always wanted to go there too. Lived nearby (Salt Lake City) for seven years and drove past once going to Berkeley, but didn't get a chance to stop. But this virtual visit was pretty cool.
RP3

Big Wall climber
Twain Harte
  Aug 22, 2014 - 08:24pm PT
Absolutely beautiful photos. Thanks!
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
  Aug 22, 2014 - 08:29pm PT
Survial! Great adventure & thanks for taking the time to post it.

I've driven by it 25+ times, but never had the time to explore.
Grinching

Trad climber
State of Confusion
  Aug 24, 2014 - 12:45pm PT
Cave looks like YES album artwork ... Roger Dean?
stevep

Boulder climber
Salt Lake, UT
  Aug 24, 2014 - 01:24pm PT
Great TR. And high on my list of favorite places. One of the best semi-easily accessible places for star-gazing as well, as it is very dark and high-altitude.
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Author's Reply  Aug 24, 2014 - 03:23pm PT
Steve, we had a combination of clouds and moon limiting our star gazing, but what we saw was incredible!




Tip-o-the-hat to Grinching!! (Grinching was my first serious partner in this world, (almost 40 years ago, gak.) and kept me alive long enough to go and try a lot more stupid stuff!!)
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Credit: survival
Larry Nelson

Social climber
  Aug 24, 2014 - 05:59pm PT
Excellent photos, by an obviously excellent family man, of an excellent place.
I hiked around the area about 10 years ago with Max, the best Lab/Chow ever, after 4 or 5 friends bailed one by one on a climbing trip.
TFPU
T H

Boulder climber
extraordinaire
  Aug 24, 2014 - 09:33pm PT
Hi Bruce.
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