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Ascent of Mount Wilson on 2013-12-21

Climber: Rich Stephens

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Saturday, December 21, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Wilson
    Location:USA-Arizona
    Elevation:5445 ft / 1659 m

Ascent Trip Report

Knowing about two, different routes to the summit, I chose to do something a little different than my buddy Bart (BMS914). I chose to go the route as discussed on SummitPost by driving to Temple Bar Road off of US 93 and then accessing a 4WD road from there. Once at the turnoff to the gravel road, it is a 2.5 mile drive to the actual trailhead. I have a Jetta and since my car doesn’t do well on gravel roads, I typically park along a gravel road and start hiking. It was no different this time as I found a place to park about a ½ mile from Temple Bar Road. I believe that if I really wanted to, I could have driven the full 2.5 miles to the trailhead because the road is actually in fairly decent shape. Other than a couple of iffy spots, I believe a sedan could make it okay without too much trouble.
Once at the TH, I proceeded up the old mining road which would eventually lead into a wash. The plan was to follow this wash up and then when the wash split, I was going to go right and then climb the ridge on my right-hand side that would eventually get me a direct route to the summit. With no waypoints, this didn’t happen since I missed the turnoff in the wash and I continued on up the wash/old road to an old prospect mining camp (shown as “prospects” on the USA topo maps). I was going to hit this area on the way down so I really didn’t mind missing the turnoff. The camp (35.989156,-114.589972) consists of a small cave, parts of an old stove and bed. There is a rock that has the inscription, “Grace Porter, Missouri Spr, Fri July 23 1915. Grace Porter also made another inscription on the peak.
From here, I left the wash and climbed the ridge on my right-hand side and went on up to around 4800’. You would think it would be a straight shot to the summit from this point but this was not the case. There were numerous points protruding from the top ridgeline and I traversed around each one. At one time, with so many points protruding from the ridgeline, it was difficult to know which one was the actual summit. So it helped to have the summit waypoint marked in my GPS.
I was worried that this unplanned route would take a lot longer than my more direct route but I don’t think I lost much time, if any. I reached the summit in 4 hours.
I left the summit down a steep decline on the east side that went into a wash via Wildhorse Spring. There is actually a small dam and trough that were built for the animals but it was dry as a bone. The wash eventually brought me out about 0.75 miles north of the old road that I came in on. I headed south to the old road and made the long trek back to my car. The descent was 3.5 hours.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:3723 ft / 1135 m
    Distance:15.2 mi / 24.5 km
    Route:Alternate route beyond the end of 4WD road
    Trailhead:4WD road off of Temple Bar Road  1722 ft / 524 m
    Grade/Class:2
    Quality:3 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Open Country, Bushwhack, Scramble
    Weather:Pleasant, Breezy, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Time Up:4 Hours 
Descent Statistics
    Time Down:3 Hours 30 Minutes



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