A New Year’s Eve geocaching expedition on the southern flank of Peavine Peak from Northwest Reno. All the new development in this area makes it difficult to find the access points to open space–and the City of Reno doesn’t seem to have any maps or directions on line. We parked at a ATV “staging area” off of Avenida de Landa, then crossed over on a road/trail behind some new houses to the drainage with the caches.
This area is at the eastern edge of the August 2006 Verdi fire and still smells of burnt wood. Fortunately, the majority of the pine trees near the geocaches survived the fire.
Track and Profile (the topo map and aerial photo do not show recent development)
Alternative access is at the end of Sandestin Drive (as of 12/2006), but there is only room for about one car except in front of houses.
Skiing 29 Dec 2006 11:59 pm
A quick cross-country ski up at Tahoe Meadows, through the woods up to the first ridge and back.
Skiing 17 Dec 2006 10:43 pm
A short solo cross-country ski run in Donner Memorial State Park this morning after yesterday’s snow storm. First time out in the snow this winter. Nice to get out. There was less snow around Truckee than I expected–just enough but barely enough to ski on the paved roads in the campground area. Below, a photo of Peavine Peak from I-80 just inside the Nevada border on the way back to Reno
A Sunday excursion to Dog Valley to hit two geocaches. We expected no snow would be left from thel last storm that came through on Thanskgiving weekend, but there was snow in the woods and packed snow on the roads in the shade. We hit Tashoo’s Toy Cache first, a steep hike uphill in the snow with the payoff of a glorious view of Dog Valley and the Bald Mountains. Then we drove over to Dog Valley Campground and hunted down the Dog Valley cache–an easy 0.2 mile walk from the campground, but I needed M’s help to find the cache right where it was supposed to be, not even covered with snow.
There were lots of people out cutting Christmas Trees in the Tahoe National Forest, presumably with permits.
After a few weekends “off” for home improvement projects, did a wonderful Fall hike in the Painted Hills area of the Virginia Mountains west of Pyramid Lake. Our destination was Needle Rock, the impressive if not-so-needle-like outcropping pictured above. Another goal was bagging two geocaches, the Neddle [sic] Rock cache and the Wheat Penny Cache. Hunting for the Needle Rock Cache was nearly an exercise frustration, but after much looking M. found the ammo can deep in a rock crevice a few meters from our GPS position of the coordinates at geocaching.com. The Wheat Penny cache was smaller, in an Altoids box, but I found it almost immediately thanks to the hint in the geochaching.com log. The canyon we came down includes some interesting red sandstone features locally known as the “monkey condos”. The hike back to the car was farther than planned because we got confused on the drive in (see below), so we headed cross country in the flats and arrived at the car just as the sky turned red from the sunset.
Directions: From Reno, take the Pyramid Highway (NV 445) northeast toward Pyramid Lake to a turn-off about 1000 feet before the reservation boundary (coordinates in the GeoLocator below). Turn north and follow the roads to any suitable starting point. The road is rough with some washouts and requires a high-clearance vehicle to go far (actually the roads near the highway are worse than farther in). There are more roads now than on the USGS topo maps, with confusing intersections; we ended up at a different place than planned (not a problem going up, but made for a bit longer hike than we intended because we came down a different way). For an out-and-back hike to Needle Rock, I would recommend parking at UTM 11S 4420038N 0275686E. For the loop of the two canyons including the Monkey Condos, a good place to park would be UTM 11S 4419194N 0275452E.
8.9 mi (3.78 mi uphill, 3.68 mi downhill, 1.51 mi flat)
~1950 ft total ascent – 18.1 % uphill grade, 45.4 % downhill grade
6:24:42 total time (4:49:44 moving, 1:34:58 stopped)
0:27:18 pace (2.2 mph average speed, 10.9 mph max speed)
20.803 difficulty, 35.379 effort