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Ascent of Pleasant Point on 1946-06-01

Climber: Frederick Johnson

Others in Party:David McCarthy
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Saturday, June 1, 1946
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Pleasant Point
    Location:USA-California
    Elevation:9690 ft / 2953 m

Ascent Trip Report

My reluctant but faithful friend David, who maintains he really doesn't like to climb peaks but comes along anyway, and I left Pasadena in late afternoon. We were at Keeler by 11:30PM. From here on we were really "in the dark," as I had no map, only verbal instructions for approaching our objective, Cerro Gordo. I had no good directions for the Cerro Gordo road, which was washed out in a heavy storm last August. We found a lone worker at the soda ash plant at Keeler who directed us. The 8-mile road up the mountain had been improved, but the steep grade was a challenge for my 1940 Dodge coup. It boiled over a couple times and stalled in the wrong places. We finally made it to the top of the grade and, with a cold wind blowing, huddled in our sleeping bags beside the car to catch a few hours sleep. When we got up for a very early start, it was barely light as we we caught our first view of Cerro Gordo Peak and the old mining activity below it. However, without benefit of map or much knowledge, we thought the peak looked too low to be Cerro Gordo, and we headed off in the opposite direction toward Pleasant Point, which we knew even less about than we did of Cerro Gordo. Talk about monumental disorientation. We worked our way northward along an old jeep road and up to the ridge, avoiding a couple of bumps with steep dropoffs to the east, until around 6:00AM we reached our summit. There was no register or cairn to be found. And I thought we had climbed Cerro Gordo! We spent about an hour watching the dawning of the new day over the Sierra crest before starting back to the car. Then, as we began driving down I noticed smoke curling from one of the better preserved structures in the Cerdo Gordo ghost town. The place wasn't completely deserted after all, as we thought it would be. We knocked on the door and were greeted by the caretaker of the area, Mr. D.E. Staats. who lived there in complete solitude. We started talking with him about Cerro Gordo Peak and what we thought was our just completed hike to it. It was then when all was revealed and we learned that Cerro Gordo Peak---the reason for our being here--was right in front of us rising above the old mining town. Pleasant Point, though higher, had been a mere diversion. See my Cerro Gordo TR for the finale of this odd venture.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:1690 ft / 514 m
    Elevation Loss:1690 ft / 514 m
    Distance:6.5 mi / 10.5 km
    Grade/Class:Class 1
    Quality:4 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Open Country
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:1590 ft / 484 m
    Extra Loss:100 ft / 30 m
    Distance:3 mi / 4.8 km
    Route:South Ridge
    Trailhead:Above Cerro Gordo town  8200 ft / 2499 m
    Time Up:2 Hours 
Descent Statistics
    Elevation Loss:1590 ft / 484 m
    Extra Gain:100 ft / 30 m
    Distance:3.5 mi / 5.6 km
    Route:South Ridge
    Trailhead:Above Cerro Gordo town  8200 ft / 2499 m
    Time Down:1 Hours 45 Minutes



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