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Ascent of White Mountain Peak on 2020-07-24

Climber: William Musser

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Friday, July 24, 2020
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:White Mountain Peak
    Location:USA-California
    Elevation:14246 ft / 4342 m

Ascent Trip Report

So the drive. Yes it is a long way from Big Pine and the road from Big Pine is wavy undulating and curvy and you can not go fast and it is paved. Turning on to White Mountain Road it starts paved but is also winding and then eventually becomes miles of rough road but passable by 2 wheel drive. From Big Pine to the gate is 2.5 hours. But is an interesting drive with miles and miles of alpine. The old Bristlecone pines are struggling to live in white dolomite rock which gives a surrealistic landscape like few I have seen before.

At the upper parking gate there is a restroom outhouse. People parked and set up tents. It was windy so I helped a few people with their tents as I was going to car camp. I met Niels Braaksma there a 30 year old engineer from Holland that had been working in San Diego for 2 years. He amazed me as he said he had no issues with acclimation. Raised at sea level and living at sea level, he was not kidding as I saw him race to the summit and never needing extra oxygen. That evening we met a lot of nice people including a man from OR who used to make Mountain House foods and his daughter who now lives in Mexico. They were quite interesting. Also met a man from Germany.

In the morning, I accidentally slept in a bit and was not he first to rise and take off. One party was a full hour ahead of me and the other about 20 minutes. I caught the 20 minute team at the research station and never saw them again as they turned back. The other couple I caught at the beginning of the switchbacks and they were slow to summit. I made the 7.6 mile journey in exactly 3 hours and zero minutes.

Niels left an hour behind me and summitted only 30 minutes behind me doing the climb in a rapid pace of 2 hours and 30 minutes passing 4 groups of people. He has his sites on catching me but when I saw him on the ridge coming fast I knew he wanted to catch me but I was not going to let that happen. At the top we had the summit to ourselves for sometime as all other parties were well behind and we had a good laugh at the old "you are not passing me deal" Neither of us wanted to be passed by anyone all day so we got along great.

I wanted the wilderness HP too and the climb down was very sketchy. He was a good sport and waited for me to climb down touch it and climb back for safety. that is one nasty group of decaying ledges. We then decided to not race each other down which is good as he would have beaten me easily and destroyed my aching feet in the process. But I talked him in to joining me for an extra credit climb of Barcroft on the way back. I enjoyed having his company and discussion on the long trek back.

My GPS track failed but is looks like everyone else that has loaded one other than I showed by descent to the Wilderness HP (see next TR) and up and back distance and gain for that is built in to the metrics of this leg.

Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:3409 ft / 1038 m
    Total Elevation Loss:840 ft / 255 m
    Round-Trip Distance:12 mi / 19.3 km
    Grade/Class:1
    Quality:8 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
40F morning to 60F down 5 mph winds
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:3114 ft / 949 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 2569 ft / 783 m; Extra: 545 ft / 166m
    Loss on way in:545 ft / 166 m
    Distance:7.6 mi / 12.2 km
    Route:roadway to top
    Start Trailhead:Upper Parking lot at gate  11677 ft / 3559 m
    Time:3 Hours 0 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:295 ft / 89 m
    Gain on way out:295 ft / 89 m
    Distance:4.4 mi / 7.1 km
Ascent Part of Trip: NV-CA

Complete Trip Sequence:
OrderPeak/PointDateGain
1Mount Davidson2020-07-211700 ft / 518 m
2Slide Mountain2020-07-21 b877 ft / 267 m
3Mount Rose2020-07-22 a2361 ft / 720 m
4Church Peak2020-07-22 b226 ft / 69 m
5Mount Houghton2020-07-22 c1284 ft / 391 m
6Boundary Peak2020-07-23 a4329 ft / 1319 m
7Trail Canyon Saddle Peak2020-07-23 b695 ft / 212 m
10White Mountain Peak2020-07-24 a3409 ft / 1039 m
11White Mountains Wilderness High Point2020-07-24 b 
12Mount Barcroft2020-07-24 c645 ft / 197 m
13White Mountains Peak 109202020-07-24 d276 ft / 84 m
14Silver Peak2020-07-24 e182 ft / 55 m
15Peak 90802020-07-24 f559 ft / 170 m
20Rattlesnake Mountain2020-07-25400 ft / 122 m
Total Trip Gain: 16943 ft / 5163 m    Total Trip Loss: 2595 ft / 791 m



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