Ascent of Van Patten Butte on 2020-09-20
|Date:||Sunday, September 20, 2020|
|Ascent Type:||Successful Summit Attained|
| Motorized Transport to Trailhead:||Car|
|Peak:||Van Patten Butte|
| Elevation:||8729 ft / 2660 m|
Ascent Trip ReportThis was a great way to end a long weekend in the Elkhorns. My knee bothered me a little bit, but other than that I had no complaints. I followed the old road-bed as it turned into a trail, then followed a network of unmaintained trails along the shore of Van Patten Lake. At the head of the lake, there was a brief section of bushwhacking before the basin above opened up. I could see an abundance of good lines ... I picked what I deemed the best one and quickly gained the ridge via a very steep but narrow gully that felt secure. From there, the walking to the summit was trivial, through open rocky slopes. On the way down, I did dislodge a pretty hefty (microwave-size) boulder from the gully that hurtled several hundred feet downslope and did some pretty serious damage to a mid-size tree. This reflects my general experience with the Elkhorns, which is that the rock is often not well-consolidated, and moves around more than you often find in places like the Wallowas.
|Summary Total Data|
| Total Elevation Gain:||2260 ft / 688 m|
| Round-Trip Distance:||6 mi / 9.7 km|
| Route:||Van Patten Lake Trail|
| Trailhead:||Van Patten TH 6469 ft / 1971 m|
| Quality:||9 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)|
| Route Conditions:||Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Bushwhack, Scramble|
| Gear Used:||Ski Poles|
| Weather:||Pleasant, Calm, Partly Cloudy|
|GPS Data for Ascent/Trip|
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Peaks: climbed and unclimbed by George Burgess
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