Ascent of Aeneas Mountain on 2007-06-29

Climber: Eric Noel

Others in Party:Dean M
Date:Friday, June 29, 2007
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Hi-Clearance Vehicle
Peak:Aeneas Mountain
    Elevation:5167 ft / 1574 m

Ascent Trip Report

Aeneas "I had not intended to do Aeneas on this particular trip. But as I was driving back from another peak I saw county road signs pointing the way towards Aeneas/Lemanasky Lookout. Since I knew that Aeneas possessed an outstanding lookout and was a prominence peak it was of obvious interest to me. I decided to check it out on the hope that the county road signs were an indication that it could be driven or nearly so. I followed these signs for approximately 20 miles until the final spur road. This road was not bad at all and I was able to drive it in the Accord. However, I unexpectedly came upon a gate with a house to the left of it. There was a no trespassing sign as well as a sign indicating the road was private and the gate was locked. I thought the signs were fairly dubious as this is DNR land, with signs showing it as a county road, and the county had basically been advertising the way here from Tonasket. But the road was fairly narrow and parking would have meant possibly blocking the road unless I parked in his driveway. I also had no topo so I turned back deciding to come back another day after checking out trip reports and arming myself with a topo. As I headed back a person who I presumed to be the owner of the house drove in towards his property. He was not happy at all about me being on the road. He claimed the road belonged to him and even the DNR was breaking the law by using the road. Right. It might not be open to the public but I highly doubt that the Department of National Resources does not have a right of way to a LO on a mtn and road that has existed for 90 years. He informed me that I best leave before the sheriff came and arrested me. And he made a show of pointing out that he was armed. Naturally I was deferrential, apologetic and left quickly. In summary, this guy is probably not someone you want to run into or bother asking for permission. I'll be back though, one way or another.

In retrospect, I know now that there are numerous cabins/houses up on that mtn so it is quite possible that the person I talked to does not live at the house by the gate." -2005

EN: "I returned to this mountain with Dean. We headed up to the turnoff road which goes north from Lemanasky Lake. There are old signs on this gate which probably forbid entry although they are now so fragmented and faded that they are illegible. It's still not clear to me that this is a private road but it may be that it is. After a few miles we came near to the house whose owner I had met last time. We didn't approach all the way to the gate. Instead we followed what we first thought was a spur but turned out to be basically a driveway. I won't describe where we parked because I would strongly recommend not parking thereabouts. We were lucky no one was around but it was a big risk to leave our car where we did. Definitely take only one car when doing this hike. I'm not sure where you could park, maybe back at Lemanasky Lake. Maybe a spur road that shows on the map heading northwest towards the main ridgeline. Anything else, well, you'd be taking a chance.

"From the car we went off-trail on a mix of meadows, unmapped roads, and brush. Basically we were to the east of the summit road. The details are better left forgotten, but, in summary, gaining permission from several private property owners would be necessary to do this hike legally for the path we took. Eventually, we hit the summit road at about 4500 ft. From there we walked the road to the summit. Moralists and private property advocates need not fear about us getting away unscathed. We were forced to slog through wet brush while being pelted by a strong hailstorm as lightning and thunder flashed and boomed around us. I received a few scratches from barbed wire. We were racing darkness with heads on a swivel on the return. For a couple of miles and 1200 feet of gain on a peak with a road to the top, it was quite a trial.

"There is some new logging going on up there. There are gates with signs. There are cabins--not a ton but more than one or two. In my opinion, trying to go legit on this would be a futile effort frankly as we know the first landowner is hostile and there are others to charm besides him. You either go for the down low, while trying to stay legal and considerate by avoiding crossing anything that is signed or coming near to homes. Or you walk the road--with chest puffed out--to expedite the trip and hope that you come across no one and if you do you claim you thought it was OK to go to the lookout. Going in hunting season may or may not be of benefit. It would depend on whether they were more inclined to tolerate people out hunting or if they were more likely to be eagle-eyed about keeping people out because they knew people were out hunting. Either way, you want to step lightly." --Eric Noel, June 29, 2007
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:1267 ft / 386 m
    Distance:4 mi / 6.4 km
    Trailhead:3900 ft / 1188 m
    Grade/Class:Class 1
    Quality:4 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Open Country, Bushwhack, Snow on Ground
    Weather:Thunderstorm, Cool, Breezy, Overcast
Rain, then a hail storm then clearing skies

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