Ascent of The Fortress on 2019-01-21

Climber: BMS 914

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Monday, January 21, 2019
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:The Fortress
    Elevation:4163 ft / 1268 m

Ascent Trip Report

This is a peak I had been meaning to try for a while, but most of my regular climbing buddies had already done it. So I had some extra time with taking MLK day off, so I drove out the the paved parking lot at Anthem East Trailhead and started.

The initial paved pedestrian path has many switchbacks, which I tried my eco-best to not cut. This eventually gave way to dirt trails, where the folks out for a walk petered out. Eventually the dirt trails narrowed and hit a wash. I could see three chutes leading up to The Fortress: the left looked like it had some big pour-overs with large vertical sections, with the center and right side gullies looking more promising. I picked the right side gully which came out on the right/south side of a large gendarme, which was the wrong side to get to the peak. The traverse beneath its west face proved easy, at which point I came out at the top of where the center gully would have left me had I tried that. All that remained was the final summit block.

I had heard the summit block was Class 4 on horrible rock. My view didn't disappoint, as it looked difficult. The rock itself actually seemed pretty stable once I started climbing - I think its reputation for rotten rock is exaggerated. I began climbing out to the southwest of the block, over the deep gully. There is some exposure here, but the only very beginning had smaller holds, and that part wasn't exposed. I think the whole thing is more like exposed Class 3 rather than true Class 4 - I can't imagine a party wanting to use ropes here. The summit area was in a howling wind, so I tagged what looked like both candidates for the high point, had a quick break with some photos, then descended via pretty much the same route I ascended.

I still had some daylight, and opted to tag Rattlesnake Mountain during the descent - please see the trip report under that entry for the rest of the info.

Stats are from the Anthem East Trailhead up to the summit of The Fortress, then back down to the low point of the wash with Rattlesnake Mountain. GPS track shown is for the entire outing.
Click on photo for original larger-size version.
Approaching The Fortress from the west (2019-01-21). Photo by BMS 914.
Click here for larger-size photo.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1763 ft / 536 m
    Total Elevation Loss:1235 ft / 375 m
    Round-Trip Distance:6.2 mi / 10 km
    Grade/Class:Class 3
    Quality:4 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Scramble, Exposed Scramble
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Cool, Windy, Overcast
Cool and cloudy, with patches of sunny skies
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1760 ft / 536 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 1591 ft / 485 m; Extra: 169 ft / 51m
    Loss on way in:169 ft / 51 m
    Distance:4.7 mi / 7.6 km
    Route:Wash from west, then NW Face
    Start Trailhead:Anthem East Trailhead  2572 ft / 783 m
    Time:2 Hours 9 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:1066 ft / 324 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 1063 ft / 324 m; Extra: 3 ft / 0m
    Gain on way out:3 ft / 0 m
    Distance:1.5 mi / 2.4 km
    Route:NW Face, then wash
    End Trailhead:Wash/saddle with Rattlesnake Mountain  3100 ft / 944 m
    Time:1 Hours 19 Minutes
Ascent Part of Trip: Fortress_Rattlesnake

Complete Trip Sequence:
1The Fortress2019-01-21 a1763 ft / 537 m
2Rattlesnake Mountain2019-01-21 b928 ft / 283 m
Total Trip Gain: 2691 ft / 820 m    Total Trip Loss: 2691 ft / 820 m
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by BMS 914
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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