Start: 12/02/2016 End:12/05/2016
Activity: Backpacking, 'splorin, running from the law
Difficulty: Strenuous - big elevation gains, some scrambling and bushwhacking; previous backpacking experience recommended
Do you truly think you have what it took to be a lawless, rugged outlaw? Do you think you could you hang with the bandits and gunslingers of the Gold Rush days, robbing trains and bagging peaks (to dodge the local sheriff)? I mean, we don’t either, so thank god those people are gone.
…but their relics remain! These stop days, ditch the books and test your real mettle with Cate and Clay. We’ll spend Friday just passin’ through some sweet Death Valley hot spots, before hitting the trail early Saturday through SURPRISE Canyon up to camp at the legendary Panamint City. A little bit of history:
“Once called the toughest, rawest, most hard-boiled little hellhole that ever passed for a civilized town, Panamint City got its start after several bandits, who were using the area as a hide-out, discovered silver in Surprise Canyon in 1872.”
“The reputation was so harsh that Wells Fargo refused to open a branch in town.”
“The senators…transport[ed] the silver bullion from the mines by casting it into 450-pound cannonballs, which were hauled to Los Angeles in an unguarded wagon.”
And we’re not just gonna see some stone foundations. The city itself is still littered with standing cabins, abandoned tractors and a very creepy crumbling smokestack; Surprise Canyon features mining ruins, Native American pictographs and WILD BURROS??
After hiking out and spending Sunday night at the equally-abandoned Chris Wicht camp (feat. the 1942 Dodge power wagon Tex Watson used to flee the final Mason Family police raid), if some miner ghosts haven’t chased us out by Monday we’ll hit Red Rock Canyon for MORE exploring on our way home. You’ll even still get a study day, nerds. We’re (so scared) but so stoked!!
And if you need any more incentive:
“My time in Death Valley can kind of be divided into trips before Panamint City and trips after.”
Meet: TroGro @ 9:00AM
Return: Back at USC around 4:00PM
Pre-Trip Meeting: TBD
Cost: Member: $99 Non-Member: $119
- Backpacking pack (can be provided)
- Sleeping bag + pad (can be provided)
- Hiking boots
- Mess kit (cup, fork/knife/spoon/spork, something to eat off of)
- 3-4L of water!!
- LAYERS for dramatic desert temperature fluctuations (windbreaker, fleece, shorts, etc.)
- Beanie, gloves
- Sun protection (hat/visor, sunscreen, sunglasses)
- Ghost stories
- DO NOT BRING any fear or ouija boards