Ascent of Grays Peak on 2019-05-03

Climber: David Sharg

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Friday, May 3, 2019
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Grays Peak
    Elevation:7920 ft / 2414 m

Ascent Trip Report

Grays and Butler Peaks

Total distance: 15.1 miles
Total elevation gain: 2,900 ft
Total time: 7 hours 30 minutes
Start time: 7:35am
Trailhead: Fawnskin, Rim of the World Drive, 3N14
Accomplishments by list: HPS #30 and #31

Difficulty of hike: 6 out of 10. Most of this hike was flat to slightly uphill. The off trail section on Grays between 2N13 and 1W06 was somewhat steep, but not that bad. Most of the climb to the Butler summit area wasn't steep at all, but the summit area itself is quite steep, though not too long.

Views during hike: 10 out of 10 for Butler, 6 out of 10 for Grays. The lookout tower on Butler has excellent views in all directions, particularly towards San Bernardino and Anderson Peaks, as well as towards Baldy and Cucamonga. The summit of Grays has a lot of vegetation on it that obscures a lot of the views, but at the right points, excellent views of Bernardino and Anderson can be seen as well. The trail to Butler has several points where excellent shots of Baldy and the Butler summit can be seen together.

Ascent during the descent: From the summit of Grays, you have to descend about 800 feet back to 2N13, before regaining it again on the climb to Butler. Not much more besides that.

People seen during hike: none.

Animals seen during hike: 3 deer, about 1/2 mile from the start of 2N13.

My plan for this day was to hike the Grays Peak Trail, 1W06, to the Grays summit, then follow Naresh Satyan's tracks from 6/10/18 to go cross country to 2N13, then hike to Butler. However, upon reaching the trailhead for 1W06, it said that the eagle mating season, which normally closes 1W06 until April 1st, had been extended into June. So my Plan B was to drive into Fawnskin, and hike about a mile down Rim of the World Drive to the start of 2N13, then take that to Naresh's off trail tracks. This plan worked out pretty well, as I was able to completely avoid the closed off area.

On the ascent of Grays, I went a bit too far east, which may have made the climb a bit more difficult than necessary. My descent tracks, more to the west, should be followed, as that route has more cairns to guide the way.

After descending from Grays, I took 2N13 the rest of the way to Butler Peak Road, or 2N13C. Keep in mind that not all maps show these two roads connecting, but they do, in fact, connect, at least for hikers. Afterwards, climbing 2N13C wasn't too difficult most of the way. I did start seeing snow around 7,900 ft on the trail, but I could go around it. However, once I reached the summit area, the snow covered the trail completely, and was too dangerous to continue. What I decided to do was to climb the boulders to the left of the trail, which were only partially covered in snow. This Class 2-3 climb was only possible because I could find a path not covered by snow, otherwise I wouldn't have attempted it. I did reach the watch tower, though, and was able to climb back down safely.

The traverse from Butler to Crafts Peak was completely covered in snow, so not something I wanted to try.

On the descent, I did have a peak at Hanna Rocks, to see if I wanted to climb those, but those looked like at least Class 3, not something I wanted to attempt that day. I may come back a different day to try those out, though.
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Open Country, Stream Ford
Ascent Part of Trip: Grays and Butler

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Grays Peak2019-05-03 
2Butler Peak2019-05-03 
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

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