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Ascent of Leavitt Peak on 2019-11-06

Climber: Redd Sea

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Wednesday, November 6, 2019
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Leavitt Peak
    Location:USA-California
    Elevation:11569 ft / 3526 m

Ascent Trip Report

I parked my truck at Sonora Pass and took the PCT southbound. I started hiking at 11am. I mostly used Dean Gaudet's GPS track, but I added on two bonus mountains. A half mile from Sonora Pass, I took the climbers use-trail on the way up, and the main PCT on the way down at the end of the day. The use-trail is steep and loose but saves you 1.1 miles.

Margeret Lewis Peak (Peak 11,049): Class 1 (easy class 2 summit block)
There is an easy use trail that starts at the Emigrant Wilderness boundary sign. The summit is an easy side trip on the way to Leavitt peak. I did not find a summit register. I continued along the ridgeline straight towards the next peak.

Pacific Crest Peak (Peak 11,245): Class 1 talus (class 2 spots)
Steeper class 1 boot path from the PCT. You can leave the PCT from the very short viewpoint trail. The ridgeline has some easy class 3 sections (with minor exposure) that can be avoided or gone straight over. No summit register, just a rock pile or two. There is more class 3, which can be avoided, on the Southface along the ridgeline with minor exposure that I went straight though. It's hard to tell that you can easily go around the class 3, though.

Leavitt Peak: Class 1 use trail (Class 2 spots)
There is still a semi-permanent snowfield covering the PCT directly above Latopie Lake. The turn off for Leavitt Peak is immediately before it. The use trail is easy to follow and has small rock towers marking the way. I'm sure this trip would be more difficult and require an ice axe earlier in the year. I saw no evidence of marmots, so at about 500 vertical feet below the summit, I had a snack, drank a water bottle, pocketed my wind jacket and phone, stuck my PLB on my belt, then left my backpack on the use trail. The summit register is an official Sierra Club notepad that was placed a couple of months ago. The notepad is placed only in a large ziplock or two, which will certainly get destroyed soon. A better container is required to house the summit notepad.

Leavitt Peak West: Class 1 (almost class 2)
This peak only added 30 minutes total to my day. It was easy talus the whole way. From Leavitt Peak, you can see the whole route to Leavitt Peak West; there are no surprises. This was a fun bonus peak and it was by far the windiest spot I encountered all day. I included my GPS track from Leavitt West to Leavitt. I summited Leavitt twice instead of traversing around it.


*Latopie Peak (Peak 11,260) Class 3+. **UNNSUCCESFUL due to time and unknown difficulty**
Latopie Peak is only realistic via the SouthWest ridge and it apparently has a Via Ferrata to the summit. I will come back eventually, probably via Leavitt Lake instead, to check that out. I did not have enough time before sunset to climb it today. Latopie Peak would have been a good peak to bag on the way up/down from Leavitt Peak.

*Little Latopie Peak (Peak 11,000) Class 2/3 **UNNSUCCESFUL due to perceived difficulty**
This Peak appears very crumbly and completely surrounded by cliffs. I had a slippery feeling that this crumbly volcanic summit is suicidal without ropes/harness. It looks class 5.
I learned, after my trip, that this mountain is called Little Latopie Peak and it is only class 2/3 with no ropes required. SummitPost says it only adds ~15 minutes to your trip. I would have climbed it had I read SummitPost before my trip.


Today I saw amazing views North of mountains I've recently summited like Round Top/The Sisters/Fourth of July/Melissa Corey/Covered Wagon/Thunder, Deadwood/The Nipple, Pyramid, Airola/Iceberg, Job/Jobs Sister/Freel, Hawkins, and even Mt. Rose/Houghton/Relay were in clear view. I also had great views of some mountains to the North that I really want to climb soon like Stanislaus, Sonora, Moekelumne, Highlands, Silver, and Arnot. To the South you can see all of Yosemite's high peaks. Great view of the desert peaks also.

Todays round trip took me exactly 6 hours and I barely finished before dark. I only saw two small groups of people all day, both on the PCT relatively near Sonora Pass. There was no water easily available today unless you drop well below the trail or melt snow. I started the day well hydrated and brought 3 liters of water, which was the perfect amount for me this time of year.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:969 ft / 295 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Snow on Ground, Scramble
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:969 ft / 295 m
    Distance:0.5 mi / 0.8 km
    Route:PCT/Use Trail
    Start Trailhead:Sonora Pass PCT  10600 ft / 3230 m
    Time:4 Hours 
Descent Statistics
    Time:2 Hours 
Ascent Part of Trip: Leavitt

Complete Trip Sequence:
OrderPeak/PointDateGain
1Margaret Lewis Peak2019-11-06 a2400 ft / 732 m
2Peak 112452019-11-06 b885 ft / 270 m
3Leavitt Peak2019-11-06 d969 ft / 295 m
4Leavitt West2019-11-06 c120 ft / 37 m
Total Trip Gain: 4374 ft / 1334 m    Total Trip Loss: 1480 ft / 451 m
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip


 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Redd Sea
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
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.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file




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