Ascent of Cornell Peak on 2012-05-26

Climber: James Barlow

Others in Party:Aidan Barlow
Date:Saturday, May 26, 2012
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Cornell Peak
    Elevation:9750 ft / 2971 m

Ascent Trip Report

The plan for Memorial Day weekend was a San Jacinto HPS cleanout. Aidan and I were at the tram early and caught the 8:40 car up to the top. We ran into a friend that I know through the Sierra Club, Brooke, and her husband John, in line for the tram. They were headed for a day hike of San Jacinto. Once we got off the tram, we made our way to the ranger station to check in. We already had reserved a permit since this is Memorial Day weekend... From the ranger station, we made our way up the easy trail to Round Valley and had nearly first pick of campsites. We chose "Snowberry," the site that seemed furthest from the main trail and all of the foot traffic that would be going past over the weekend. Once we made camp and had lunch, we set our sights on Cornell Peak. The original plan was to just hike to camp on day 1 and save Cornell for day 3. Well, it was still early afternoon and our camp was barely half a mile from the summit, so we went for it. We found the old trail that goes from Tamarack Valley up to the main San Jacinto Trail near Miller Peak and noted that aside from a few downed trees, it was in excellent condition. Another bonus, it was 100 yards from our camp. This would prove useful the next day. We made our way directly towards Cornell Peak as the forest in this area is very easy to walk in due to a lack of underbrush and well-spaced trees. We made our way up to near the top of the ridge to the east of the summit where we picked up some cairns, a standard feature on many an HPS peak. We followed the cairns to the summit register below the summit block where it seems that not all hikers attain the true summit. We signed in and I scouted the summit block before bringing Aidan up. The summit seemed within Aidan's abilities, so I went back down and spotted him from below as he made his way up the crack. I joined him on top of the crack and then made the right (north) turn on to the actual summit. I had Aidan straddle the rock and followed right behind him as he made his way to the true summit, just like my buddy Amin did in his 2010 trip report. We took a few cool photos, including on the very exposed rock 10 ft to the north that seems a little lower, but makes for great photography. I headed down below Aidan, spotting him the whole way down and helping with a few footholds as needed. Aidan added an addendum to our summit register entry, noting that we went to the "very very top." The thought of moving the register up to the real summit crossed my mind, but I didn't want to be rude to HPSers who follow the HPS rule of "summit block optional," though I believe it is not optional. I figured a note from a 9 year old saying that he did the real summit would suffice to shame others to the top. Overall, not as scary as others in the summit register made it seem. If a 9 year old can do it, so can you! The walk back to camp was uneventful, aside from a few deer sightings which Aidan thoroughly enjoyed. Pics from the whole weekend.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1350 ft / 411 m
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1350 ft / 411 m
    Route:Round Valley Trail to South Face
    Start Trailhead:8400 ft / 2560 m
Descent Statistics
Ascent Part of Trip: San Jacinto '12 (2 nights total away from roads)

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Cornell Peak2012-05-261350 ft / 411 m
2Miller Peak2012-05-27 a1240 ft / 378 m
3San Jacinto Peak2012-05-27 b439 ft / 134 m
4Folly Peak2012-05-27 c100 ft / 30 m
5Newton Drury Peak2012-05-27 d160 ft / 49 m
6Jean Peak2012-05-27 e670 ft / 204 m
7Marion Mountain2012-05-27 f282 ft / 86 m
Total Trip Gain: 4241 ft / 1292 m
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by James Barlow
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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. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

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