Ascent of Van Patten Butte on 2018-08-12

Climber: Steve Fountain

Date:Sunday, August 12, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Van Patten Butte
    Elevation:8729 ft / 2660 m

Ascent Trip Report

Had thought about this one more than once, but did this on the spur of the moment when I ended up in LaGrande for the night. I remembered something about a short hike to the lake, then some game trails to near the summit. Except I didn’t see anything more than “an elk once passed through” on the way up - roughly from the rocky notch in the lake toward the 8646 summit - though a little too high on the ridge meant more scrambling than was necessary - dropping just a few yards lower meant a much easier descent. Scoped out a couple of different places to work up to the summit plateau (either probably would have worked) since there are multiple gullies and notches in the ridge.
On the descent ran across some game trails, but didn’t find them very useful. New trailhead parking is near the old road junction. The trail is initially a one-mile road hike (though one ATV had driven to the end). I don’t think this is drivable by any but the most specialized rock crawling rig or ATV. I am guessing that the 2 guys fishing with float tubes cut their carry in half with the ATV. On this summer weekend, I passed a dozen people on the way up and there were probably that many scattered around the margins of the lake.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2289 ft / 697 m
    Total Elevation Loss:2289 ft / 697 m
    Round-Trip Distance:5.1 mi / 8.2 km
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Bushwhack
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:2289 ft / 697 m
    Distance:2.6 mi / 4.2 km
    Start Trailhead:6440 ft / 1962 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:2289 ft / 697 m
    Distance:2.5 mi / 4 km
    End Trailhead:6440 ft / 1962 m

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