Ascent of Peak 3494 on 2019-04-20

Climber: Andrew Kirmse

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Saturday, April 20, 2019
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Hi-Clearance Vehicle
Peak:Peak 3494
    Elevation:3494 ft / 1064 m

Ascent Trip Report

Marcus got permission from the Narbaitz Ranch to climb this and a nearby peak. He had done 3494 on his daytime climb of Ortigalita, so I was on my own. I drove in the open gate to the ranch and Panoche Gun Club and continued several miles due west. I encountered an ATV on the way in, but the driver just waved. Behind some buildings with vehicles out front I encountered two cattle gates that I opened and went through. I parked at the bottom of a narrow canyon. I knew from a previous track that there were switchbacks up the side of the mountain, but initially I had trouble locating them through the brush. The old roadbed was quite overgrown, and as I pushed my way through, I discovered what was to be my nemesis for the day: ticks, hundreds of them. Sometimes I would have to stop after taking only a few steps to flick off a dozen from my pants. Over time I got better at swatting them away with my poles, and stepping over bushes where possible, but even so, I set a personal record for ticks in a day. One of the little guys got me on the back of my leg.

At the top of the switchbacks the terrain opened up a little, until I reached the ridge, where the brush was completely replaced by grass. The day was very windy, and the summit only just emerged from fog at this point. I made quick work of the remaining mile to the top on a ranch road. Across the valley I could see smoke emerging from a grass fire in the Panoche Hills area. The most recent rain was only a few weeks ago, but already the hills were brown on all but their north slopes.

On the tedious return through the tick-laden brush, I saw a white truck parked near my car at the bottom. After a few minutes it drove off very slowly. I’d taken the precaution of leaving a note on my dashboard detailing the permission I had, but with the semi-automatic gunfire I’d heard below, I was still a little worried. Fortunately all was well when I returned to the car and drove out without incident. When I drove by the front gate later in the day as I was returning home, it was closed.
Click on photo for original larger-size version.
The south slope of 3494 from nearby 3163 (2019-04-20). Photo by Andrew Kirmse.
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Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1944 ft / 592 m
    Total Elevation Loss:200 ft / 60 m
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1944 ft / 592 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 1744 ft / 531 m; Extra: 200 ft / 60m
    Loss on way in:200 ft / 60 m
    Distance:4.8 mi / 7.7 km
    Start Trailhead:1750 ft / 533 m
    Time:1 Hours 30 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:1 Hours 20 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Andrew Kirmse
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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.

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