I went out to the Desatoya Mountains, for a quick hike and scout of current NV conditions. The Desatoyas are located in the western portion of central Nevada, just east of highway 50, and about an hour east of Fallon. They are a fairly typical NV mountain range, with lots of sagebrush, cows, rolling terrain, and a couple tall peaks. The tallest (South Desatoya Twin), also happens to be the highpoint of Nevada's Churchill County. I've been thinking about getting up there for a while, and so I made the last minute call to leave Reno around noon for a quick evening mission.
Keep it moooooooving.
I'll admit that I've never really thought the Desatoyas would be good skiing. There isn't a lot of steep terrain thats easily accessible, and they sit in a part of the state that rarely receives snow. The western part of the Great Basin is a textbook example of snow-shadowing. Most storms that hit the area dump their snow on the Sierras, leaving little moisture for the Desatoya's and surrounding area. So I wasn't surprised to find a lack of snow.
Quit horsing around and get up that mountain!
After driving a long series of slightly snowy 4wheel drive roads, I parked high on the shoulder of Desatoya Peak. It was 3:30, perhaps a little late for a summit attempt. Undeterred, I jogged up the mountain, and made it to the top in less than an hour. It was windy AF! I wouldn't have minded if there was less wind and more snow.
Views from the top were spectacular, with vistas out to the Sierras, the Toiyabes, and nearly all directions in the great basin. In general, it looked like the area needed more snow (verifying what the snowpack map has been saying).
I checked out the surroundings, fought through the wind, and headed down. It was nice to be at the top of Churchill County, but I wouldn't have minded warmer and calmer weather. I hauled ass down hill, and got back to the truck just before dark. Just in time to get lost on the long series of dirt roads that sit on the Eastern Side of the Mountain.
After getting back down to the valley, I also found a nice spot to stretch out for a few minutes. Mission success! Now just pray for more snow. Nevada needs it.