Ascent of Jeff Davis Peak on 2016-09-28

Climber: Marcus Sierra

Date:Wednesday, September 28, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Jeff Davis Peak
    Elevation:9065 ft / 2763 m

Ascent Trip Report

Andrew and Bob have already written good reports of this trip, as such my account will be brief. Our large group met up at the high point on the Blue Lakes Road, being led by Daryn Dodge without whose help this trip would not have happened. We also had David Sanger with us, also a very competent climber who would assist the rest of us all day. We hiked up to the base of the peak coming in on the west side and circling to the south and then slightly southeast. We climbed up some fairly easy class 2/3 rock to get to the base of where the near vertical wall starts, easy so long as you are careful to pull on every hold before trusting it. Once we got to the wall, it is easy to see the class 4 climb to the ledge that others have mentioned in trip reports. It certainly would be possible to free climb this, but with the loose rock that would be a liitle scary. So Daryn free climbed, and then set up the belay system and 1 by 1 we climbed up to the station to join him on the ledge. Daryn actually climbed the entire peak without any aids at all. I found this to be not much more challenging than what I would call class 3, there is just one move near the top where you exit the crack to traverse over a protruding rock that I would have said was class 4. Just test the rocks before pulling and putting weight on them and this is straightforward and super fun. There was plenty of room for foot placement, I felt completely comfortable in hiking boots.

From this spot you have to duck under some rocks and you emerge at the base of a very narrow opening that you need to crawl through until you have enough room to stand up and start climbing the chimney between 2 rocks. Thanks to the tips from Daryn, I found this to be straightforward, there are a couple of key foot holds that once you achieve you are basically up high enough to get up to the start of the boulder field to the summit. This chimney part was climbed without ropes. We all went up to the summit together, except for Daryn and David who were bringing up gear to help us on descent. They joined us about 15 minutes later and we celebrated Jerry's list finish.

On descent we went down the boulders back to the chimney, which looked more intimidating from above than below, since you can't see where to put your feet. Ultimately Daryn roped us for our descents through the chimney. Once we were all down to the ledge where Daryn had set up the belay station, Daryn set up a rappel system, with David going down first to help the rest of us newbies get down safely. I went first and was terrible, I asked Daryn if maybe I should downclimb and he assured me this was better. After about 3 or 4 painful minutes of me not wanting to trust any of the equipment, I finally got the hang of it and was able to awkwardly rappel down, getting better and faster as I got further down so that by the end I felt very comfortable. Once I was down it took a while for everyone else, and we had a rainstorm come through for about a half hour which was not mentioned in any weather forecast.

We all made it down safely and it was then down the class 2 steep section back to the gentle class 1 terrain back to the car. This was my first roped peak (I have taken 2 days of instruction from Sierra Mountaineering Club, although that was over a year ago and under optimal conditions). This was quite a month for me, my first crampon use and glacier travel on Mt. Ritter and now my first class 4 and first roped ascent. Many thanks for Daryn for agreeing to re-climb this peak and to David for his assistance as well. These guys really had a lot of patience for the rest of us, most of whom had very little experience.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:821 ft / 251 m
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:821 ft / 251 m
    Distance:5.2 mi / 8.4 km
    Trailhead:8244 ft / 2512 m
Descent Statistics
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Marcus Sierra
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