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Ascent of Tuscan Buttes North on 2019-05-27

Climber: Dean Gaudet

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Monday, May 27, 2019
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Tuscan Buttes North
    Location:USA-California
    Elevation:1868 ft / 569 m

Ascent Trip Report

although i'd seen these peaks numerous times, from red bluff or CA-36, i didn't have a reason to investigate them until jerry's new "CA fire lookout" list turned it into a listed peak.

i parked at the BLM "hog lake plateau TH" across the road from the gate. the gate has no negative signage, only the FAA identifier for the huge antenna on tuscan south. there's a spattering of BLM land south of CA-36, but the majority of the land is not marked as BLM... at any rate, given the lack of negative signage i went for it.

the access road had no evidence of any recent travel, vehicle, human or cow. on the ascent i followed the road as it veers left, i was tempted by the obvious straight shot up the power line clearing through the forest, but i figured i could use it for descent when i could check out the top of the clearing. i quickly became bored of the road's gentle ascent and started following cow tracks for a bit, traveling through the grass, littered with volcanic rock. eventually i rejoined the road further up.

i decided i'd bag the south butte... it's not in PB, but it is in LoJ. it has only 200' or so clean prominence, but whatever. i was chugging my way uphill, mind off in la la land, and scrambling on the rocks at the south summit before i realised i had breezed by some poison oak... in fact i was surrounded by it! the south summit rocks are encrusted with PO. after i got myself extracted i quickly rinsed my hands with some alcohol wipe... and i realised i'd better just finish up quickly so i could wash arms/legs with tecnu back at the truck. (i also downed a benadryl just in case!)

i decided to go straight up to the north butte from the saddle between the two (because the road would require extra descent/regain). this is steep, and you need to pick your way through brush... and the PO starts up again as you approach the summit. but it was mostly avoidable.

the lookout is long gone, replaced by a radio tower. views aren't bad -- but all the peaks near lassen were clipped off by clouds, so i didn't get the full effect. this is definitely more of a peak than the jed's overlook on the north side of CA-36 (on the chico list).

for descent i started following the road until i reached the powerline clearing, and lo and behold there was an obvious use trail underneath the power lines, suggesting other humans must come up here. again, more PO left/right of the trail and generally avoidable... a bit steep, but for downhill it was great. other than encountering some red clay mud in the flat section (also avoidable) this went well. you could probably use the direct approach for ascent if you want short and steep.

at any rate: PO generally above 1400'... easily avoided if you just stay on the road. but that didn't seem fun to me!
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1365 ft / 416 m
    Total Elevation Loss:1365 ft / 415 m
    Round-Trip Distance:6.1 mi / 9.8 km
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Overcast
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1365 ft / 416 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 991 ft / 302 m; Extra: 374 ft / 113m
    Loss on way in:374 ft / 113 m
    Distance:3.8 mi / 6.1 km
    Route:via tuscan south
    Start Trailhead:hog lake plateau TH  877 ft / 267 m
    Time:1 Hours 40 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:991 ft / 302 m
    Distance:2.3 mi / 3.7 km
    End Trailhead:877 ft / 267 m
    Time:54 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip


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

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