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Toted my telescope atop Telescope Peak

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Death Valley Dazed
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Toted my telescope atop Telescope Peak

Post by Death Valley Dazed » Sun Sep 15, 2019 12:26 am

I may be the first and dumbest person to ever pack a real telescope to the summit of Telescope Peak. I got this hairbrained idea about a year ago so this past Labor Day Weekend I made it happen. The peak was supposedly named Telescope because of a visitor "needing to use a telescope to the see the peak." Well, why not take a telescope to the peak to see from there?

I arrived at Mahogany Flat midday, set up camp after scoring the only available site. Late afternoon until dusk I took my pickax and shovel up the trail performing maintenance, clearing larger rocks and debris and level out some rough spots from the trailhead to lower east side of Rogers Peak. It was a lovely afternoon and evening.

To my surprise in the middle of the night, I was awoken by raindrops as I slept in my hammock. Due to cold, damp and windy weather, I took my time not setting out until late morning after most campers had departed for home after the holiday. I only encountered four others on the trail.

The Celestron Powerseeker Telescope weighs 22 lbs of which ten pounds is the counterweight. I don't know how much my total backpack weighed with rain gear, water, food, stuff, and the scope but it was much more than I'm used to day-hiking with. In a way, it was good that it was cold because I did not have to take as much water as if it were sunny and hot.

I was hoping to score some cool day shots with the telescope but it was too cloudy, gray, and smokey from the two major California Sierra fires burning in the west. The novelty of the affair was fun and crazy. Did any of you know that one can see the Charcoal Kilns from the north end of Mahogany Flat? They look really cool in the later afternoon sunlight shining up the canyon.

I summited via the standard trail but returned skirting below and around Rogers Peak and down the service road. The views improved and weather opened up as I descended. I was not prepared to sleep overnight on the summit in hope of using the telescope.

Here's a 2.5-minute video of the day. Actually some of the images were shot the afternoon before while I rested from the trail work.

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TrailHound
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Re: Toted my telescope atop Telescope Peak

Post by TrailHound » Sun Sep 15, 2019 7:50 am

According to the book California Place Names by Erwin Gudde, this is how Telescope Peak got its name.
The peak was named in April 1861 by W. T. Henderson because of the wide, clear view that it afforded. Henderson was one of the California Rangers who are credited with having killed the bandit Joaquin Murietta. Telescope District is shown on Farley's map of 1861. The mountains are mentioned in the Benedire Report (1867) and are shown on the von Leicht-Craven map (1874) west of Emigrant Canyon, on both sides of Wildrose Canyon. Now the term is applied to the section of the Panamints south of Wildrose Canyon.
Farley's Map is online, but the image is too blurry to see much. The von Leicht-Craven map is also online with better quality. See it here:

http://www.davidrumsey.com/maps1951.html

Image

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MojaveGeek
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Re: Toted my telescope atop Telescope Peak

Post by MojaveGeek » Tue Sep 17, 2019 5:58 am

Crazy :)

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Death Valley Dazed
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Re: Toted my telescope atop Telescope Peak

Post by Death Valley Dazed » Sun Oct 13, 2019 6:23 am

Trailhound, thanks for the valuable history lesson and for posting the old map. I love those vintage maps.
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