Sunday, August 4, 2019

Nunn Too Hot For July

eBird list 1
eBird list 2

Hike track link

Bob, Hikin' Bill and I had a plan, a good plan.  We planned to do the Big Pine Lakes loop, a lovely thirteen miler up in the Sierra.  The weather had a different plan, monsoonal rain, not showers, but rain.  Real rain, the kind where if you are the wicked witch of the west, you would surely melt.  Not being a big fan of rain, it was time for plan B.  That didn't pan out either, so eventually we settled on plan F.  Maybe the F is for fail, but we headed to the Inyo Mountains to bag Mount Nunn in July.  Yes, a desert peak at the height of summer.  What could possibly go wrong?

First a little history.  Mount Nunn is named for the founder of Deep Spring College.  Unless you are a California birder who has done the desert loop in the spring and fall searching for vagrant birds, you have probably never heard of this college.  It is a small two year liberal arts college.  On the surface that would make it sound like many other colleges.  It isn't.  It has less than 30 students, who in addition to academics, also work on the ranch (it is also a working ranch and farm), and provide self governance for the college (things like choosing the students and faculty for the next year, and choosing what is taught during the year).  They have an excellent website explaining this much better than I did.  You can find it here: Deep Springs College.  

Back to L.L. Nunn, from the Deep Springs history page, he was an electricity tycoon and philanthropist who founded Deep Springs College in 1917 to prepare students for a "life of service to humanity".  That basic philosophy continues 100 years later at the college. I have enjoyed my interactions with the students and faculty over the years, and this was the basic inspiration for my desire to climb Mount Nunn.  I think of it as a tribute to the philosophy of the college.

So, how was the hike.  I didn't think it was that bad.  I think Bill tends to disagree.  I did manage to lose Bob and Bill along the way, but we reunited at the top.  Not my finest hike leading moment.  We had cloud cover for most of the day and it never got above 80 degrees.  We did though go in the wrong season and instead of flowers we had seeds to pick out of our socks.  I already have a five mile loop in mind for the next May when we get enough rain to support fields of flowers.  It will be lovely.  I can already imagine it.

The direction we are headed.  Our mountain is hidden.

Yes it is the desert.

The flowers are dried to a crisp.
Looking back the way we came.
Random mining happened here.

We can finally see our peak.

Deep Springs Lake with the Sierra.

A seriously cool map that I wish I had more than a photo of.
We know some of these people.  36 hour death march.  Now that sounds like fun.

Last Chance Peak that we climbed in June.
It is raining in them there hills.

Our car is at the bottom.

1 comment:

  1. So well written. No need to comment on the photos, but EXCELLENT as always.