Ascent of Mount Bailey on 2019-11-09

Climber: Connor McEntee

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Saturday, November 9, 2019
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Bailey
    Elevation:8368 ft / 2550 m

Ascent Trip Report

Going in, I was a little concerned about conditions. It was high enough that I was pretty sure there would be snow, but it would definitely still be early season conditions. Several trip reports talk about an exposed ridge and a notch and class 3 moves. I was hoping that that wasn't going to be iced over and problematic. As it turned out, conditions were fantastic. There was a minimal amount of snow, and the cool weather made for a comfortable ascent. The "crux" notch is pretty trivial, and even if it were icy there are tons of ways to bypass it on the wide-open slopes leading to the summit. It's only the very top of part of the N-S ridge that has gendarmes.

I drove in the night before and parked on NF-3703. This was actually an accident because I drove a little too far. But, it worked out really well. I started from the junction between that and NF-300, because the road descends and it looked muddy. Turned out that it would have been fine and I could have easily driven the 1.6 mi or at least most of it. The trail might be nicer, but it's a little longer and gains almost 600' more.

I enjoyed hiking the well-established trail that winds through the trees progressively giving better views of Thielsen across Diamond Lake. The snow never became continuous, but by 7,000' I was encountering large patches of it, and much of it was rather crusty. The summit crater was neat, and also signaled that I was almost done. The trail traversed to the true northern summit on the west side of the ridge. The slopes are open but loose in places. Eventually, it crossed back to the east side going up a notch in a 4-foot cliff band. The summit itself held snow and had some small wind-loaded cornices. With a big bowl on the east side and moderately thin trees, I was thinking that maybe I should have saved this peak for a winter ski ascent. Oh well.
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Snow on Ground, Scramble
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Cold, Windy, Clear

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