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Ascent of Pruitt Mountain on 2010-10-03

Climber: John Hasch

Date:Sunday, October 3, 2010
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Pruitt Mountain
    Location:USA-Missouri
    Elevation:1582 ft / 482 m

Ascent Trip Report

CoHP – WASHINGTON COUNTY, MISSOURI
1582 ft.
Pruitt Mountain

Sunday, 10/3/2010

I collect Washingtons. I prefer the green ones with George’s face on them. But a close second is the ascent to the summit of any county having Washington in its name. After a successful start to the day in Sublette Park in St. Louis, I headed for Pruitt Mountain, the Washington of Missouri.

I followed Bob Schwab’s directions to Route BB, and I eventually found the gate he described. It was similar to the entryway onto farms of the west, having a wood rail fence on each side and two high vertical posts holding a horizontal post across the road. The high horizontal post had a wooden sign hanging from it, demarking the entrance to “Pruitt Mountain”.

The gate was open (it appears to be permanently open), so I drove through and traveled generally south up to the first buildings I found. I never saw any buildings that looked like housing. This building(s) looked like a barn or maintenance facility. I stopped and called out to see if anyone was nearby. Getting no response, I continued south until I came to the open turkey field described by Bob Schwab. Indeed, to my left was a hunting blind, and to my right across the field was some kind of contraption, which I concluded was some kind of feeding stand.

I parked in this open field, and I quickly drafted a note to leave on my windshield to describe my mission on the chance that someone came along after I left. To the south ahead of me was the overgrown track first described by Dave Covill. My GPS put my truck at about 1300ft. at N37.74657 W90.83739.

I followed the track uneventfully south, noting that it got fainter the higher I ascended. When I got to the top, I wandered around a bit to test the highest ground. I also encountered the rock outcrops noted by Dave, but I never did find the cairn or the register that he put there. The highest bolder I encountered was about 10ft tall. I climbed it easily. It was located at N37.73968 W90.83488.

The faint trail was difficult to find for the trip back down the mountain. After searching unsuccessfully for a few minutes, I decided to just bushwhack back to the truck. With GPS in hand and compass around my neck, I set off basically due north down the mountain. While descending, I got going too fast at one point and tripped. My right knee contacted the ground just above the kneecap, and blood and a tear in my jeans were the result. (The injury was nothing too great. I was slightly swollen, and a bit of discomfort existed for the next couple of days.) I resumed the trip downhill, and I eventually intersected the path within eyesight of the truck that rested a couple hundred feet away.

At the truck, I searched for ticks but did not find any. Perhaps the cooler weather of October had already passed the tick season. In any event, I was thankful for my “no find”. I retrieved my windshield message, turned the truck around, and headed down the mountain. At the barn, I noted a truck was there that had not been there upon my arrival. Again, I called out. Again, no one answered. So I drove on my way, another Washington successfully under my belt. Trip statistics: Time = 54 minutes from truck to summit and back; Distance = 1.62mi for the round trip – trail up and bushwhack back; Elevation gain = 456ft total gain, or 282ft truck to summit and 174ft extra gain.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:456 ft / 138 m
    Total Elevation Loss:456 ft / 138 m
    Round-Trip Distance:1.6 mi / 2.6 km
    Quality:6 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack
    Weather:Pleasant, Breezy, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:369 ft / 112 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 282 ft / 86 m; Extra: 87 ft / 26m
    Loss on way in:87 ft / 26 m
    Distance:0.8 mi / 1.3 km
    Route:Faint trail to the summit
    Start Trailhead:Meadow just below summit trail  1300 ft / 396 m
    Time:30 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:369 ft / 112 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 282 ft / 86 m; Extra: 87 ft / 26m
    Gain on way out:87 ft / 26 m
    Distance:0.8 mi / 1.3 km
    Route:Bushwhack north down mountain
    End Trailhead:Meadow just below summit trail  1300 ft / 396 m
    Time:24 Minutes



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