Ascent of Merriam Peak on 2019-09-15

Climber: Sandy Lara

Others in Party:Phil Bates
Rod Kieffer
Jack Kieffer
Jason Seieroe
Amin Faraday
Julia Tock
Alejandra Schubert
Date:Sunday, September 15, 2019
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Merriam Peak
    Elevation:13103 ft / 3993 m

Ascent Trip Report

From Pine Creek TH took trail almost to Honeymoon Lake. Turned left onto Pine Creek Pass Trail. At the pass, we left the trail, went between the two little lakes, and continued west to Royce Lakes. This is a much easier route than going by Treasure Peak since there is more trail and the last xc part is very easy terrain. About 9.5mi, 4500' to the southernmost Royce Lake. The Royce Lakes area is barren. Some nice tent sites do exist but try to get some wind protection (ridge or boulder). It got down to freezing at night (mid-Sept in this huge snow year). There was still a considerable snowfield between the two peaks which required crampons. It's fairly low angle. We got onto dirt/rock below the saddle. (Originally we planned to do the class 3 route up Merriam but had a group of 8 with an inexperienced person so opted for the safe class 2 route from the saddle.) There are two summit blocks. From this direction, the one on the right is the fun one but the one on the left has the register. We did both. We then descended to the saddle and climbed Royce, where we did not find a register on either the topo summit or the other two possible high points. We returned to the saddle, donned crampons when we got to the snow which was a little soft on top but we didn't sink in, back to camp, and packed out. One participant had 23.5mi, 8250' for the weekend.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:8250 ft / 2514 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Open Country, Snow on Ground, Scramble, Snow Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Crampons, Headlamp, Ski Poles, Tent Camp
    Nights Spent:1 nights away from roads
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:8250 ft / 2514 m
    Distance:23.5 mi / 37.8 km
    Start Trailhead:4853 ft / 1479 m
Descent Statistics

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