Ascent of Royce Peak on 2018-08-04

Climber: Rafee Memon

Others in Party:Dan Cervelli
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Saturday, August 4, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Royce Peak
    Elevation:13280 ft / 4047 m

Ascent Trip Report

On the second day of the Sierra Challenge, the main festivities were at San Joaquin Mountain for an SPS-list finisher's last peak, but given the thick smoke in Mammoth, I decided to stick to the previous day's strategy of going south. Dan arrived in Mammoth around 10pm the night before, and we decided on Royce and Merriam Peaks. We started from the Pine Creek Trailhead at 5:11am and arrived at Pine Creek Pass at 8:50am. We continued cross-country over very enjoyable terrain to Royce Lakes, and we made our way up the snow field to the Royce/Merriam saddle. We spotted a climber on the north buttress of Merriam; we also heard a dog barking every few minutes from the base of the climb. We thought it was a very odd choice to bring a dog to a climb like this. We went up the south face of Royce, and I summited at 11:25am. From the middle pile of rocks, which is marked as the summit on the USGS map, it appeared as though the next pile to the north was slightly taller. Not finding a marker or register, I spent about twenty minutes wandering around and looking for a class 2 way to the top of the north pile, after which I gave up and decided to trust the map. At this point the haze really started to set in, but the views were still very enjoyable. I passed Dan as I descended, and he told me to continue to Merriam and meet him at the saddle. I had a quick snack at the saddle and made my way up Merriam. I summited at 12:57pm and faced similar confusion; the southern pile of rocks is marked as the summit on the map, but I found a register on the northern pile. I returned to the saddle at 1:50pm, and after having lunch we descended the snow field and headed to Royce Pass and Honeymoon Lake. The dog was still barking at the base of the Merriam north buttress. The haze was very thick, but as we descended into Pine Creek Canyon, the westerly wind picked up significantly and cleared out the haze enough to be able to see the Owens Valley floor. We reached the trailhead at 6:18pm and went to Giovanni's Pizzeria in Mammoth for drinks, pizza, and chicken parmesan.

Stats: 13h7m, ~22 miles, ~7,200ft gained.

My GPS watch locked up midway through the hike, so the track is Dan's.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:6302 ft / 1920 m
    Total Elevation Loss:442 ft / 134 m
    Grade/Class:Class 2
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Open Country, Scramble
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe
    Weather:Pleasant, Breezy, Clear
Very hazy
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:6302 ft / 1920 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 5860 ft / 1786 m; Extra: 442 ft / 134m
    Loss on way in:442 ft / 134 m
    Distance:21.3 mi / 34.3 km
    Route:South Slope
    Start Trailhead:Pine Creek TH  7420 ft / 2261 m
Descent Statistics
Ascent Part of Trip: Royce/Merriam

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Royce Peak2018-08-04 a6302 ft / 1921 m
2Merriam Peak2018-08-04 b863 ft / 263 m
Total Trip Gain: 7165 ft / 2184 m    Total Trip Loss: 442 ft / 135 m
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Rafee Memon
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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