Ascent of Big Craggies on 2020-07-29
|Other People:||Solo Ascent|
Only Party on Mountain
|Date:||Wednesday, July 29, 2020|
|Ascent Type:||Successful Summit Attained|
| Motorized Transport to Trailhead:||Hi-Clearance Vehicle|
| Elevation:||4619 ft / 1407 m|
Ascent Trip ReportNOTE: mileage and elevation is for entire ridge traverse
North approach confirmed. No gates. Roads are improved from 2017 fires, however they will likely not be maintained, especially the section between Snow Camp Mt and Big Craggies TH.
Note that as of time of posting the road section just NE of Snow Camp Mt is steep - coming from North I made it down just fine in my Honda Element, but I question whether I (or similar SUV, i.e. Subaru) would have enough torque to get back up this section. This approach may be an option if the South road gate is closed, though it would be unreasonable to attempt both without confirming since it's a 3 hour drive around. On the other hand, coming from the North with the South gate closed requires being able to reascend road. It is almost 5 miles one-way to TH from this road section.
NOTE: this route has ~3 years before the rhodis, manzanita, and other scrub brush overtake the firebreak. Get it while you can!
I do not recommend my unorthodox start time of 13:30 in late July, but it worked out fine for me. There is zero water and essentially no shade anywhere along this climb, so come prepared. I thankfully had a nice intermittent breeze but was also using my sunbrella the whole first half and carried and drank 4L water.
A satellite-visible firebreak was made along the entire ridge in 2017. It is still accessible the whole way but is starting to be overgrown by brush. It's not an established hiking trail, but considering the misery of earlier trip reports, dare I say the ease of following this clearing made this climb borderline pleasant? It's still a demanding climb but I was never in any doubt of where to go and which footing/clearing to choose.
The climb starts with a nice gentle warmup. Stick to the side of the clearcut to avoid tripping over all the cut branches. Green Craggie is 700 feet climb from where you can then see Peak 4150 and Big Craggie. After dropping 500 feet Peak 4150 is another steep 750 feet up. This West slope is the worst section, a tedious mix of brush, rock, and sand that is ripe for tripping, especially on the way down. Be sure to bring at least one trekking pole! The lower slope of Big Craggie is steeper but has more manageable and predictable scree. The descent of the NE ridge of Peak 4150 is near a steep dropoff which makes for great views of the larger mass of Big Craggie. A direct approach up the ribs of Big Craggie could be taken but there is an obvious clearcut going NNE up to the Western summit. At the saddle scramble directly along the rocky ridge to the blocky summit. Return the exact same way you came, with all the up and down...
On a personal note, this climb wrecked me. Overweight and out of shape after Covid is not the best condition to do strenuous climbs in. I hit the wall on the final ascent to Big Craggies summit. It then took me 30 minutes longer for the return than the approach despite only 1000 feet gain. I returned in the dark right at the end of my water and snacks.
0/1 ACCESS (roads, restrictions) - North and South road options. North for mid-clearance. Gate access on South.
1/1 REMOTENESS (popularity, sight/Sound) - not a single car on drive
0/1 CONDITION (trail/route) - fire break is easy to follow but it's still off-trail
1/2 VARIETY (flora/fauna, geology, terrain) - several interesting differences in geology
2/2 VIEWS (frequency, quality) - great views of Big Craggie plus surrounding region
1/1 AWE/UNIQUE (does it inspire) - it's called Big Craggies for a reason!
2/2 DANIEL FACTOR (would I enjoy climbing this again: 0=No, 1=Meh, 2=Yes) - this was a rewarding climb
(does not include difficulty since hikers may prefer opposite extremes)
ALWAYS looking for partners -- don't hesitate to contact me!
Washington Ultimate CoHP/CoPP/Top100e/Top100p/Bulger
Oregon Ultimate CoHP/CoPP/Top100e/Top100p
US Ultimate WEST HP/PP/Iso/2ndLap/4kP/Top100e (doesn't include East of the plains, and WA, OR, CO, AK, HI)
US Ultimate EAST HP/PP/Iso/2ndLap/4kP/Top100e (doesn't include West of the plains)
|Summary Total Data|
| Total Elevation Gain:||3974 ft / 1210 m|
| Total Elevation Loss:||3974 ft / 1210 m|
| Round-Trip Distance:||8.4 mi / 13.5 km|
| Quality:||7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)|
| Route Conditions:||Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Scramble|
| Gear Used:||Headlamp, Ski Poles|
| Weather:||Hot, Breezy, Clear|
| Gain on way in:||2874 ft / 875 m|
| Gain Breakdown:||Net: 1474 ft / 449 m; Extra: 1400 ft / 426m|
| Loss on way in:||1400 ft / 426 m|
| Distance:||4.2 mi / 6.8 km|
| Route:||West Ridge|
| Start Trailhead:||FS 462 3145 ft / 958 m|
| Time:||3 Hours 30 Minutes|
| Loss on way out:||2574 ft / 784 m|
| Loss Breakdown:||Net: 1474 ft / 449 m; Extra: 1100 ft / 335m|
| Gain on way out:||1100 ft / 335 m|
| Distance:||4.2 mi / 6.8 km|
| Route:||West Ridge|
| End Trailhead:||FS 462 3145 ft / 958 m|
| Time:||4 Hours |
|Ascent Part of Trip: Big Craggies|
Complete Trip Sequence:
Total Trip Gain: 3974 ft / 1211 m Total Trip Loss: 3974 ft / 1211 m
|GPS Data for Ascent/Trip|
GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks: climbed and unclimbed by Daniel Mick
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
This page has been served 90 times since 2005-01-15.