Great Basin

August 10, 2010


Nevada.  America’s 34th state, and most arid.  Chock full of desert.  A mere 86% of Nevada’s land is owned by the Federal Government.  Not only that, but it’s home to North America’s largest continuous endorheic basin.  Which means, the average 5 inches of rain it does receive each year does not drain to the Pacific, nor the Atlantic, but right back onto itself.  This 10,000 square mile drainage is called the Great Basin, and makes up much of Nevada and Utah.  To give you a little perspective, that is more area than the entire state of Vermont.

Salt Lake City’s Famous Internet Skiers latest mission was to go and reconnoiter the national park named after this geographical phenomenon – Great Basin National Park.  A park hundreds of miles from the nearest town with any petroleum, and home to Nevada’s tallest peak: 13,063 foot Mount Wheeler.  In addition to being the tallest peak completely within state bounds, it is also the second most prominent.   Meaning the height of Wheeler Peak is 7,568 feet above the lowest contour line encircling it and no higher summit.

Geography lesson over, onwards with the fun.

We packed up on Friday evening for a rumble through the Great Basin.  Here is what the route looks like from space:

maps rock

Hundreds of miles of alkali flats and sand dunes separated us from our objective.   Dwyer was so jazzed up to get out of town that he laid down his best heel clicker just two miles off of the highway.

heel clicker, because its FKNA cool

The endless expanse had all kinds of great things in store for us, including:

Skitchable sand dunes.

we aint leaving until we get a faceshot

And sunsets of western grandeur.

leaving on a jet plane

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Read about the author:   Porter Haney
Enjoy this TR? Read another: TR: Spearhead Traverse in a Day

11 Comments

  1. Harvey44
    wrote on August 10th, 2010 at 8:24 pm  
    1

    In 6 months, we expect pictures from that same spot in the 3rd to last pic!

    • Greg
      wrote on August 11th, 2010 at 10:40 am  
      2

      without a doubt, FIS is setting the bar high with expectations for the winter!!

    • Porter Haney
      wrote on August 11th, 2010 at 1:39 pm  
      3

      More like 10 months. Next May/June is probably the season. The park road closes and makes it a 2/3 night trip to tag any of this midwinter.

  2. Beef Wellington II
    wrote on August 10th, 2010 at 9:01 pm  
    4

    Excellent, thanks for sharing. UT rocks! :)

    • Beef Wellington II
      wrote on August 10th, 2010 at 9:03 pm  
      5

      …and NV, too!

    • Porter Haney
      wrote on August 11th, 2010 at 1:39 pm  
      6

      Rocks and rolls Wellington. Come explore the wilds of the west.

  3. christian
    wrote on August 10th, 2010 at 10:46 pm  
    7

    i would say the fancy is a little to tickler’s right. let us know how she giggles, boys.

  4. christian
    wrote on August 10th, 2010 at 10:52 pm  
    8

    i would say the fancy is a bit to tickler’s right… let us know how she giggles, boys.

    • Greg
      wrote on August 11th, 2010 at 10:39 am  
      9

      comment of the week!

    • Porter Haney
      wrote on August 11th, 2010 at 1:45 pm  
      10

      COTW

  5. Sam
    wrote on August 11th, 2010 at 1:48 pm  
    11

    loving that last photo

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