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Ascent of Big Pine Mountain on 2015-05-10

Climber: Kathy Wing

Date:Sunday, May 10, 2015
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Big Pine Mountain
    Location:USA-California
    Elevation:6800 ft / 2072 m

Ascent Trip Report

I hauled 13 pounds of water up the road and then dropped some of the weight to do the side trip to Samon Peak before heading on to camp and try to do more of the Big 4 done over three days. The side trip to Samon Peak was awful - bushes, logs, snakes. It started getting dark before I reached the good camping area near the junction of the Madulce Peak Trail; so I set my tent up on the side of the road. Then in the morning, I had to break camp and head up the road to reset camp at the intended junction; so not an early enough start on Day 2. The hike to Big Pine and West Big Pine were nice - mostly easy terrain except for down trees on the sections that are off the road. It was 4 pm before I got back to the camping spot/junction with the Madulce Trail. It's supposed to be a trail all the way; so at 4:10 pm I figured I'd give it a go and had a good shot of getting back to camp just before dark. The trail turned out to be in really bad condition with tons of down trees; so progress was slow and at 5:40 with .55 mile as the crow flys and 500' gain, I turned back when I saw a bunch more large down trees ahead and not wanting to work my way back on that nasty trail in the dark. I didn't have enough water or ambition to go try Madulce again in the morning before heading out; so I'll have to go back another time to complete the fourth of the Big Four.

I was glad I hauled the bear can because overnight rodents ate the handle and some of the foam off my trekking pole, but my food was safe and secure.

I saw notes in the registers about people doing maintenance up there, but I saw very little evidence of trail maintenance. I wonder if people say they are going to do maintenance just to get a key to the gate.

Even without making it to Madulce, the trip ended up being 47.5 miles with close to 11,000' gain.
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