Ascent to Old Man Mountain-Phoenix Lake on 2009-07-18

Climber: Joe Gaffney

Others in Party:Rich Turner
Date:Saturday, July 18, 2009
Ascent Type:Unsuccessful - Turned Back
Point Reached:Old Man Mountain - Phoenix Lake
    Elevation:7000 ft / 2133 m
    Remaining Elevation:789 ft / 241 m (4% left to go)

Ascent Trip Report

I have often looked at this peak while driving up I-80 to go skiing. Since I'm turning 60 this year, it's my year to tick off some goals. I'm going after this one on a two-night trip in July. I'll park near the Meadow Reservoir, NNE of the peak, and walk in on the Beyers Lake trail. I'll turn south at Baltimore Lake and overnight at Phoenix Lake.

I plan on going up the ridge on the NNE side of the peak. I've looked at it on Google Earth and it looks doable. If I have time the same day, I'll also climb the 7,572-ft peak just north of Phoenix Lake. The view of Old Man Mountain from there should be pretty good.

I'll be back with the trip report.

Added Later:

We never made it to the summit. When we got to Phoenix Lake, there were no campsites available. It's all granite slabs and I didn't have enough pad. We ended up climbing out of the Phoenix Lake basin to the northwest (a steep scramble) to Baltimore Lake. The skeeters at Baltimore were THICK, so we continued downhill to French Lake, arriving after sunset. We ate a quick dinner and bedded down. The skeeters woke us up around 5:30 and we decided we'd had enough. We hiked east, back over the ridge (no trail, much bushwacking) to Meadow Lake and the car. After a dip in the lake, we drove out.

I'll go back again, but better prepared. More DEET, a better sleeping pad and a better plan to scale the summit.
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Open Country
    Gear Used:
Tent Camp

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