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Ascent of Boulder Mountain on 2019-03-06

Climber: Vic Hanson

Date:Wednesday, March 6, 2019
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Boulder Mountain
    Location:USA-Arizona
    Elevation:6320 ft / 1926 m

Ascent Trip Report

UGLY!! (Written upon reaching the summit)

We were planning on climbing Browns Peak today but the NF road was closed from both directions. We tried taking the 4 Peaks Rd first but the gate was locked so we decided to go around on Hwy 188 and come in on El Oso Rd. We guessed it was due to the large snowfall about 10 days ago, so we called the NF office and they said El Oso was closed also. They said they hoped it would be open on Saturday, 3/9/19. Looking at the "Nearby Peaks" on the Peakbagger app we found Boulder Mountain, the nearest high peak, so we decided to do that. We were on Hwy 87, just a few miles from Sycamore Creek Rd., the road to Boulder, so we figured it was the perfect choice. Also thankfully, Smiley was driving his 4 Runner, as the road gets super rough almost right away. He has a stock 2016 model and I was amazed at how well it handled the trail. It is steep, has huge ruts, lots of side angle, mostly rocks, some quite large, but it never once scraped the bottom and never spun a wheel! Part of that was Smiley's skilled driving and picking the right line but the truck is super capable as well. Coming back down he used the hill descent feature and it again performed flawlessly.

At some point we came across a good parking location so we stopped there and walked the rest of the way. It was shortly before a beautiful little waterfall down in the creek off to the left. We walked the "road" until we were as close as it went to the peak and then bushwhacked up. At this point the road turned right and went away from the mountain.

It was a rough bushwhack, lots of Catsclaw and other catchy and scratchy plants, sometimes we could follow a zigzag open path, other times we just had to push through it. We had to cross deep ravines a few times, staying in one of them and following that up for awhile, before going back to a ridge to continue up. We finally got to the lower point on the west end of the summit ridge and then made our way along the ridge to the high point on the east end. There was a good sized cairn there but couldn't find a register. From the good view of the 4 Peaks we could see there was still quite a bit of snow on the east side.

For the descent we went back to the west end of the ridge and tried to follow that ridge line back down. It worked well for awhile but then but we got too far to the west once due to boulders and no clearings. We were following a fence line down for awhile, sometimes on one side then the other, back and forth a few times. It was with great joy that we finally got back to where we left the rough road, and were able to follow that back to the truck. Expecting a hot day, we wore shorts. My legs were quite tan, they are almost white now, from all the scratches, with a few bloody spots to add some color. This is not a climb I expect to repeat!

3,718' of gain, 7.7 miles, 5:50 R/T according to ViewRanger.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:3187 ft / 971 m
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Open Country, Bushwhack, Scramble
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:3187 ft / 971 m
    Distance:7.1 mi / 11.4 km
    Start Trailhead:3133 ft / 954 m
Descent Statistics
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip


 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Vic Hanson
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. Peakbagger.com accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

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