Mount Dubois, Montgomery Peak, Boundary Peak
By: Steve Smith
A ridge traverse across the northern White Mountains seemed like a good way to reach three DPS peaks and determine just how difficult the prominent 12,175 foot deep notch saddle between the Jumpoff and Montgomery Peak is to cross. Late last Spring, my father and I drove to the 8,200 foot roadhead of Middle Creek which is passable for conventional cars and reached by turning off Nevada highway 3A at the Fishlake highway maintenance station. Middle Creek is a perennial stream in a scenic desert setting with many excellent undeveloped camping sites.
We began the excursion by heading west up Middle Creek and climbing straight up an obvious ridge that leads to the crestline just north of the Jumpoff at 13,400 feet. Attaining the crest involves a rather arduous 5,200 foot elevation gain but the ridge is firm, there is not too much brush, and virtually no elevation loss. Leaving our packs at The Jumpoff, it was a relatively easy level two mile walk south through shallow snowdrifts and past a huge rock cairn to reach Mount Dubois, my 70th DPS peak, with its good view of snow-covered White Mountain and Pellisier Flats to the south.
Returning to our packs, we headed north and began descending the necessary 1,275 feet. Although steep and characterized by loose rock, the south side of the saddle is class 2 and presents neither technical climbing difficulties nor suitable bivouac areas. Necessitated by nightfall, we made camp on a small rocky slope about 500 feet up from the saddle. Next morning, the ridgeline going up to Montgomery looked rather formidable as we quickly reached the saddle and investigated the remains of a light plane that crashed several years ago just 30 feet below the saddle on the east side. The 1,266 foot ascent up Montgomery required several hours of class 2-3 climbing, but presented no technical difficulties or problems in route finding. It was possible to follow the ridgeline most of the way although at several points it was necessary to drop off the ridge to avoid bad exposures. Attaining Montgomery qualified Fran for his DPS emblem while he was still DPS Chairman. The traverse across to Boundary Peak and descent back into Middle Creek was uneventful except that several miles of thick brush were encountered.
To climb just Boundary and Montgomery, starting at Trail Canyon roadhead is probably best since this provides a direct route with little brush. To also obtain Dubois, starting at Middle Canyon, attaining the Jumpoff, and making the ridge traverse provides a good route to obtain all three peaks in two days while traversing a scenic crestline with spectacular views.
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