Monday, January 16, 2012

McAfee Peak Snowshoe

With the winter weather still good, Dan and I went on another winter outing.  This time we selected McAfee Peak in the Independence Mountains of Northern Nevada.  The drive down was a little long and extended by our choice to use Maggie Summit and NV-226 to reach the peak.  After leaving Boise at 5am, it was after 9am before we were hiking.  We were amazed at how little snow there was at the 7800' trailhead!

The route to the peak follows a 4x4 road for awhile before crossing a mix of open and forested terrain to reach the summit ridge.  The forested terrain was bouldery with a thin layer of snow which made things a little treacherous.  It was the annoying "too much snow for boots, too little for snowshoeing" problem - I preferred snowshoes despite hearing them scraping rock much of the time.  Eventually we got above the rocks and into deeper snow near the summit ridge.  Once higher, the wind picked up and it started to get a little chilly.  The summit ridge was even windier but with intermittent patches of bare rock and soft snow.  We eventually got annoyed crossing rock and ditched the snowshoes, instead just hiking the last few hundred vertical feet to the summit.

The peak has great 360° views of a huge part of northern Nevada.  Oh, and lots of brown terrain!  Other than the steady wind at the summit, it was a perfect winter day.  We relaxed for a bit (out of the wind), refueled, signed the register, and identified the nearby peaks.  The descent was much easier and proceeded without issue.  We were back to the vehicle in just over 6 hours having climbed a 10000' peak in January.  Not bad!

On the way out we drove from Jack Creek Summit directly to NV-225 which got us home in 3 hours.  This route was much faster but one that is rarely possible in mid-January!

McAfee Peak Pictures!
GPS Track
Dan's Trip Report

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