The group at Towne Pass. The hike to Towne Peak starts here. This hike will be the 40th anniversary of when TomG along with his dad were rescued from the top of Towne Peak when he was 13 years old. That hike was Tom's first peak and crash site visit. Since then he's gone on the climb over 400 peaks and hunt down and visited over 250 crash sites.
Robin, Sooz, Chip, Laura, Cori, TomG, Kathy, Joe(me) and TomB ready for the hike to Towne Peak.
The hike starts off with a 800 foot climb on a lava covered slope to reach the ridge that we will follow to the peak.
Getting close to the ridge.
On the ridge. From here we can get our first look at the SA-16A Albatross.
TomG pointing to the Albatross across Dolomite Canyon.
Zoomed in on the Albatross. The plane crashed on 1/24/52 after one of the engines failed. All five of the crew members were able to bail out safely.
TomG telling the story from 40 years ago how his brother and friend decided to head straight for the plane by crossing Dolomite Canyon. They headed off with no water while Tom and his dad continued along the rdige to the peak then to the plane. When they reached the plane, they found them sitting under the wing, tried and dehydrated. After returning to the peak, Tom's dad became ill and couldn't continue on. Tom stayed with his dad while his brother and friend went for help.
The group making their way up the ridge. I was moving slow, so I hiked ahead while they took a short break, I knew they would catch up to me.
We followed the old Death Valley boundary line to the peak. In 1994 Death Valley was designated a National Park and grew by 1,200,000 acres. This old bounary line is now well within the park.
Looking at the area the plane came to rest.
Hiking along the ridge. This hike was a few downhill sections on the way in.
This is at about the half way point to the peak.
Kathy and Tom B.
Hiking over one of the few little peaks that are on the ridge.
Taking a snack break. Towne Peak is the peak in the background.
From the break spot, we can see into the Panamint Valley.
On the last section leading to the peak.
Another view into the Panamint Valley.
Approaching the summit of Towne Peak which is a short distance past the rock pile up ahead.
The group on the peak.
Marker on the peak.
Group shot on Towne Peak at 7,287 feet.
TomG was ginen a gift from Larua and a bottle of water from TomB. The plane is marked with the circle.
The gift was a survival kit.
The note that TomG wrote 40 years ago is still in the peak register box.
Not sure what was going on, but the girls got up and started flexing their mussels.
Looking out to the Panamint Valley.
Zoomed in on the Albatross.
Zoomed in on the lakebed in the Panamint Valley.
Telescole Peak off in the distance.
Cori, TomG, Kathy, Sooz and TomB were going to continue on to the Albatross crash site. The rest of us decided to head back down. The temperature was hot and the return hike back to the peak would have to much for me.
The group starting off to the Albatross.
Following the ridge down to the Albatross. It's about a 1,100 foot descent to reach it.
The rest of us headed back down.
Approaching one of the few uphills on the way down.
Nice views on this section of the hike.
Our vehicles on Towne Pass come into view.
Following a little drainage channel down.
Robin, Chip and Laura.
Almost back to the vehicles. Be glad to get back to my truck, not that this was a bad hike, but the temp is in the 90s and I don't deal with heat very well.
Passing another of the old park boundary markers. Din't see this one on the way up.
After the hike, we had dinner at the Panamint Springs Resort. At the gas station there was a bunch of bats going after the bugs that were attracted to the lights. Kathy, TomB and Sooz are taking photos of the bats.
Bat does a fly by.
This one is about to grab a bug.
After dinner we headed back up to Towne Pass where we found a camp site for the night.
Our camp site on the next morning. It was fun being on this hike which not only marked Tom's 40th anniversary of being rescued from the peak, but also the start of his hiking and crash site hunting adventures. He's a great hiking partner and look forward to doing more peaks and crash sites hunts with him.