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Scott Swaney (leader)
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Trip Report
The four of us drove into Saline Saturday afternoon and promptly had a flat tire just before we arrived at our camp. The dirt roads in there had been seriously damaged due to some kind of flash flood that they had there. This coming off of a series of 6 flats in 6 months last year. So much for traveling into the remote rough backcountry terrain. Afterward we arrived at camp and did a short preliminary hike up the intended route to see if it would go. We knew we were going to be heading up in the pre-dawn darkness and were not sure of what was in store for us. The ridges coming out of the desert floor in Saline Valley are extremely steep and dangerously rough. And getting off the planned route can be a disaster. I had seen an old faint mining trail from the previous trip and was hoping it would continue for a ways up the mountain. In the dark next morning we found the trail and followed it as well as we could up to around the 6000' level. Several times we lost the trail and were wandering around in the dark on the very difficult terrain. After the sun came up we could see where we were going finally and gained the ridge top for our intended path. There were several sections of boulder hopping and scrambling and other sections of dense brush and we were bushwhacking through this stuff looking for more old mining trails. We summited around 1 PM in perfect conditions. The first snowstorm of the season had just hit the area and we could see the new snow on the Sierra's across from us from the summit. But our peak escaped the snow even though we were over 11,100' in elevation. I decided that we would pick a different route and ridge as our descent route. We headed down the ridge that was just south of our route up. There we stopped at the Beveridge Ridge Cabin at 8200' for a short visit. Full of old mining relics. We continued down until the sun set and got out the headlights again. After descending a thousand foot face of rotten rock, we finally arrived at an old mining road and continued back down to our camp at around 8:30 PM. A very long day and we were not looking forward to the long drive back to LA. Again, as last year, I started nodding off as I did last year when I crashed my car, but luckily Hakno was aware of what was happening and grabbed the steering wheel just as I was about to go off the road again. Good save Hakno. This was my second time within a year to do a new different route, as a dayhike, up the 10,000 vertical foot sweep from the Saline Valley floor to the Inyo Mountain summits. These route are some seriously exiting and wild adventures for the enthusiastic backcountry traveler. Although these route have no water and you have to a 10,000 foot descent after the grueling 10K 'ascent, they are very worthy accomplishments for the hardy adventurer.
Event Information
Event Name Keynot Peak - 10,000 vertical foot dayhike
Event Date/Time 10/4/2008 N/A to 10/5/2008 N/A
Location in BULK MAIL CENTER, CA
Event Type Backpacking, Hiking, Camping
Event Description
This will be another on the 10K vertical dayhikes. This hike will start at the 1000' elevation level of Saline Valley in Death Valley National Park,  in the Inyo Mountains, and ascend one of the ridges to over 11,100 feet elevation ( Keynot Peak or Inyo Peak). This will be very similar to my trip I posted last fall:
 
 
After the ascent, we will have to do the full 10,000' foot drop back to the valley floor.

This will start on the east side of the Inyo mountains in Saline Valley. Nearly all ascents of the Inyo mountains start from the west side of the range at the 4000' elevation of Owens Valley by Lone Pine. This one will start on the other (East) side at the 1000' elevation of the Saline Valley floor and will rise up a steep ridge to over 11,000 feet. This is not a known route and will have no trail. There is very little beta on this ascent, so we will explore several options I have planned out. This will be another exploratory mission, because there is no information that this has been done before. This is extremely rugged country and has had few visitors along the ridge.

The route will have many difficulties and obstacles to surmount.  There is no water on the route so you will need to bring all the water with you from the bottom, and the lower elevations can be very hot. With the heat of the valley floor, you will need to carry 1 - 2 gallons of water for the round trip. There will be scrambling over rocks, bushwhacking, loose scree, routing finding issues and other problems to deal with as well as the  10,000' descent back to the start. The east side ascent is a much steeper and more rugged climb the from the west.  Keynot Peak (11,102') or possibly  Mount Inyo (11,101') will be the main objective.

Only very fit back-country travelers should sign up for this trip. As the trip last year, this is a very difficult venture that will test even the most experienced hiker.

There is a bonus at the bottom of the Valley. The famous backcountry Saline Valley Hot Springs is near the start and we will camp there Saturday night before the hike