Ascent of Yamsay Mountain on 2009-08-23

Climber: Edward Earl

Date:Sunday, August 23, 2009
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Yamsay Mountain
    Elevation:8196 ft / 2498 m

Ascent Trip Report

The slopes of Yamsay Mtn are quite gentle, and the mountain is not easily identifiable from very many places around it. In fact I would rate Yamsay Mtn second only to the Kaibab Plateau (the HP of the N Rim of the Grand Canyon) in obscurity among major prominences in the USA.

I approached Yamsay Mtn from US-97 via Military Crossing Rd. Though Military Crossing Rd is well-graded gravel and can be driven at 40 mph, the preferred approach is via Silver Lake Rd, which is paved. I therefore provide directions for the Silver Lake Rd approach, even though I used it only on the way out.

From US-97 at virtual mile 227.8 which is 44 miles N of Klamath Falls or 29 miles S of Chemult, turn E on Silver Lake Rd, which has mile posts. Just after 1 mile the road emerges from the pine forest and there are large agricultural fields on both sides. At about mile 5 the fields give way to a marsh, which continues until mile 8 on both sides and until mile 10 on the L side. The road gradually curves around from E to N. A little past mile 15, Military Rd comes in from the L. At virtual mile 21.3 is a sign indicating a turnoff that goes 5 miles to Jackson Creek. Turn R (E) on this red graded gravel road, which is signed as FR-49 after you are on it. Zero or note your odometer at the turn. Shortly after the road turns S is a spur road on the L, at 4.5 miles, to Jackson Creek CG. At 4.9 miles, turn L on FR-4972. At 6.4 miles, turn L again on FR-4973. A light swimming-pool-blue sign provides distances to various destinations, one of which is Yamsay Mtn, though the arrows showing the directions made no sense to me. At 7.7 miles I stayed straight where a side road forked L. At 8.5 miles is another pool-blue sign on the R. At 10.5 miles the road ended at a trailhead, where I parked.

Two trails continue from this point, a lower one on the R and an upper one on the L. I hiked the upper one, which is a bermed-off continuation of the road. Frequent deadfall often hinders the use of the road itself, though boot prints often show a convenient way around the deadfall, usually through the open forest on the L side. After about 2 miles of this, the road makes a L switchback and most of the deadfall ends, though there are still a couple of deadfall areas before the next switchback. Now finally deadfall-free, the road continues through a couple more switchbacks before gaining the summit, which harbors the foundation of a fire tower. The summit lies on the S side of a 180° crater rim arc; a ½ mile wide crater opens N.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:1696 ft / 517 m
    Distance:6 mi / 9.7 km
    Trailhead:FR 4973  6500 ft / 1981 m
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Open Country
Ascent Statistics
    Time Up:1 Hours 40 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time Down:1 Hours 30 Minutes

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