DV Feb 2014-- Nova area, Buckwheat Dunes, Fall 1SC

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Gowergulch42
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Post by Gowergulch42 » Sat Mar 08, 2014 7:02 pm

I've seen only one other mention of these dunes on the intrawebs, but I had no idea they were so large! I always they were short, more like the Hidden Dunes than they actually are. Really neat report!

http://starbuck.org/exploring/arcturas- ... unes-dvnp/
All the way at the bottom.
Check out my reports and informative ramblings at http://dvexplore.blogspot.com

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Post by SteveH » Sat Mar 08, 2014 9:16 pm

Gower- I checked out the link. I can see that they hung out and played around what I call Lower Dune 1. That's very close to the parking area. It looks like they got there late in the day but at least they got to check out the bottom of the dunes briefly.

TacoLand- I'm glad you liked the new report on the Buckwheat Dunes. I have a feeling the report will generate a lot of interest for people heading out that direction. These dunes are really special. I can't believe they've mostly been overlooked this long.

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Post by SteveH » Sun Mar 16, 2014 4:39 pm

My next report documents Fall Canyon's 1st Side Canyon. This was a really interesting and challenging hike to carry out. My next new report probably won't be for a couple of weeks. I still have 4 more reports from this trip to write up and may possibly return to the park briefly to do 2 additional hikes.

Fall 1st Side Canyon--
http://www.panamintcity.com/grapevine/fall1sc.html

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Kauri
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Post by Kauri » Sun Mar 16, 2014 5:21 pm

That's definitely a very nice side canyon!! The scenery is quite reminiscent of many canyons in that area of the Grapevines, and the narrows certainly look a lot like the ones in the main part of Fall Canyon.

About how tall is the impasse in the right fork narrows? I'd guess about 18 feet or so from the photo, but I'm not sure...

The left fork of the side canyon definitely looks like one of the best places to view the "striped ridge"! I remember thinking Palmer Canyon would have better views of it, but, if I recall correctly, Palmer Canyon veers too far north to get a good view of the striped ridge, so it would make sense that the left part of Fall 1st side canyon would have a much better view of the ridge!

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Post by SteveH » Sun Mar 16, 2014 6:29 pm

If I remember right, that dry fall is about 15 feet tall. I felt like I could have gotten up it but would have dreaded coming back down. I've learned my lesson in the past with those type of dry falls. I bet there were more nice narrows above, but nobody will ever know about it most likely.

That striped ridge has always been one of my favorite scenic highlights of the Grapevines. The left fork seems to head straight for it and I probably should have pushed a little further just based on that possibility of reaching the face.

Here is another view of the striped ridge which I did not include in the report. This was taken on the ridge above Fall 1SC just before dropping into it. (Looking at this, I should probably go back and add it into the report. It is so impressive)--

Image

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Post by SteveH » Sun Mar 16, 2014 6:53 pm

I took a look at Google Earth and in order to reach the striped ridge, a hiker would turn left at the junction in the upper part of the left fork of Fall 1SC. Then, a hiker would turn right at the next junction and probably have to scramble their way up to the base of it. I'm not sure how practical or possible such an endeavor would be. I seem to recall desert varnish hiking somewhere close to the striped ridge or at least getting some unique views of it back in his days on the forum.

On a completely different note, I've been debating all this week as to whether to get a SPOT Connect or DeLorme inReach for my Death Valley hiking. I'm leaning towards the inReach because it allows for 2 way satellite text messaging and the Connect can only send outgoing messages. But I no longer want to do solo hiking in the park without instant communication with my family so I'm going to get one or the other next week.

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Gowergulch42
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Post by Gowergulch42 » Sun Mar 16, 2014 7:53 pm

I highly recommend the Spot. I have one, and once you figure the interface out it is much simpler and reliable. It's batteries are very good, and I've never charged it in a year.
Check out my reports and informative ramblings at http://dvexplore.blogspot.com

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Post by SteveH » Sun Mar 16, 2014 8:09 pm

Thanks for your input, Gower. I used a SPOT loaner on my last trip, actually when I did the hike posted above. I do prefer the SPOT in the sense that it is lighter, cheaper in cost, and more established. But I find it hard to sacrifice the 2 way messaging of the inReach. It just seems like dated technology to only be able to send a message one way and not receive a response back. I can't ask "how is my little baby doing?" and get a reassuring response while up on a mountain backpacking trip.

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Post by SteveH » Sun Apr 06, 2014 7:55 am

I just returned from a 3 day backpacking trip into Bighorn North and Lost Canyon. Details and photos are over on my blog and I will post links here once the 2 trip reports are written (along with the other 4 I'm still working on from the Feb trip).

http://panamintcity.com/dvablog/

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MojaveGeek
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Post by MojaveGeek » Sun Apr 06, 2014 6:19 pm

That looks like a nice one!

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Post by SteveH » Sat Apr 26, 2014 8:12 am

I finally finished up Part 1 of my backpacking trip to Bighorn North and Lost Canyon. I'm going to get right to work on Part 2 and see how long it will take me. Part 2 will have the most amazing scenery. Part 1 covers the first day and a half of our journey, as we parked on Scotty's Castle Road and backpacked up to the mouth of Bighorn North (the next major canyon north of Bighorn Gorge). The next day, we hiked the entire length of Bighorn North.

Bighorn North & Lost Canyon (Part 1 of 2)--

http://www.panamintcity.com/cottonwood/ ... north.html

In addition to releasing Part 2, I still have 4 trip reports left over from my February trip which I'm trying to finish up. Hopefully they will all be released by June. I've been a bit busy studying astrophotography processing.
Last edited by SteveH on Sun Apr 27, 2014 5:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Kauri
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Post by Kauri » Sat Apr 26, 2014 5:35 pm

Those certainly are some excellent narrows in that canyon! It looks quite difficult to exit the canyon at its head from Google Earth, and even more so from your photos—definitely an epic hike! I'll be looking forward to your Lost Slot report, especially as we weren't able to get out to it on our trip.

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Post by SteveH » Sun Apr 27, 2014 5:29 pm

Part 2 has been wrapped up and released. I hope you enjoy the incredible photo journey into Lost Canyon. As a bonus, I included 13 brand new photos taken in Bighorn Gorge on this past trip.

Bighorn North & Lost Canyon (Part 2 of 2)--

http://www.panamintcity.com/cottonwood/lostcanyon.html

I'm going to take a break for a couple of weeks because these reports take a lot of work and then start releasing my 3 part series on the Nova Canyon area exploration.

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sheepranch
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Post by sheepranch » Sun Apr 27, 2014 8:29 pm

Nice reports Steve , excellent routefinding ability with that supplemental drainage. It seems those rocky approaches aren't bad going in , but rather coming back after all day hiking. Looks like you got rewarded with some nice narrows.
As a side note , you are really talking up the spot , and especially the Delorme , can you expand on that . I don't think most people are familiar with the technology , or the costs involved with such devices.
it is only when you stop searching, do you become lost

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Post by SteveH » Sun Apr 27, 2014 10:11 pm

Nice to hear from you, sheepranch. I'm glad you enjoyed the two reports. It sure is interesting how you and I walked right by both the head and mouth of Lost Canyon 3 1/2 years ago and didn't even realize that it was there. Thinking back to that trip, we sure had a great time going up Tin Mountain that one crazy night when we came down in the dark and your GPS bailed us out and got us back to camp.

You bring up an excellent point about both the Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) and Satellite Messengers. There is an article over at REI which explains both better than I ever could.

http://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/ ... acons.html

For me personally, technology has advanced and costs have lowered enough to the point where I felt like having both a PLB and satellite messenger combined into one unit was mandatory for my hiking. PLBs send SOS emergency distress signals to authorities through satellites if you get in trouble. They also allow for others to track your hikes online and receive an "all okay" message. Satellite messengers add the ability to send text messages either one way or two ways through satellites. This was key for me because with a baby in the house, I need constant communication with my family if I'm hiking to make sure they are okay and to let them know I am okay. And if I'm running late on a hike and my family or friends are at Furnace Creek waiting, I can let them know so that they won't have to worry. For costs, you are looking at anywhere from $100-$400 per device depending on what features you want. Then you are looking at a monthly charge of $10-$35 depending on what tracking and messaging you want. Some companies will allow you to skip paying on months that you don't use your device. A lot of research needs to be done by each person to decide what's best for them. Because I think carrying a PLB at the very least makes for much more responsible hiking, I am now promoting the use of them on my Death Valley Hiking Recommendations Page.

I'm not sure if I mentioned this in my report, but I had several different people watching my entire backpacking trip transpire in real time by monitoring maps all day to see where I was. My device checks in every 10 minutes while hiking and leaves a new ping on a map which be accessed by any computer if someone has the link.

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