Ascent of Stonewall Peak on 2019-07-25

Climber: Jake Weeks

Others in Party:Gabe Bueno
Date:Thursday, July 25, 2019
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Stonewall Peak
    Elevation:5730 ft / 1746 m

Ascent Trip Report

A quick day hike with Gabe who was visiting from Texas en route to the Philippines. We originally planned to climb San Jacinto but high heat and a nasty high pressure storm system dissuaded us from the long drive with a low chance of success. The same heat forecast must have kept the crowds away because we were the only party on the mountain until we encountered another on our descent. We started at around 8:30, and halfway up we encountered a rattlesnake in the center of the trail, out in the open but nestled up against a low rock. Gabe completely stepped over it before I saw it and uttered a fitting expletive. Despite the close call, the snake never rattled or moved, and after a minute or so just slithered off the trail, probably annoyed that we ruined their sunbathing session. There are lots of rattlesnakes in this area, but being the first party to climb the mountain on a given day makes an encounter much more likely. I had Gabe leading because I was unsure of his physical fitness and wanted him to set the pace, but it was a fortunate reminder that I should be leading as I was more vigilant about possible threats. There is a large swarm of wasps nesting at the true summit, with tens of thousands of dead husks on the surface and many more buzzing around. Besides a quick closer look, we spent the rest of our time on the summit slightly farther down. After about 30 minutes exploring the summit dome and an easy descent, verifying that the rattlesnake hadn't returned to his post, we were back at our car after about 2 hours and 20 minutes.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:858 ft / 261 m
    Total Elevation Loss:858 ft / 261 m
    Round-Trip Distance:4 mi / 6.4 km
    Quality:6 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
    Weather:Pleasant, Breezy, Partly Cloudy
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:858 ft / 261 m
    Distance:2 mi / 3.2 km
    Route:Paso Picacho trailhead
    Start Trailhead:Paso Picacho campground  4872 ft / 1484 m
    Time:1 Hours 1 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:858 ft / 261 m
    Distance:2 mi / 3.2 km
    End Trailhead:4872 ft / 1484 m
    Time:0 Hours 46 Minutes

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