Ascent of Eagle Rest Peak on 2012-11-18

Climber: James Barlow

Others in Party:Aidan Barlow
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Sunday, November 18, 2012
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Eagle Rest Peak
    Elevation:6005 ft / 1830 m

Ascent Trip Report

Aidan and I started around 8am on this difficult HPS peak. We took the HPS route down San Emigdio Creek/Canyon from Pine Mtn Club. Luckily for us, we have a friend with a cabin at PMC that we stay at on occasion, so we had a 2 mile drive to the trailhead following breakfast at the cabin. We parked at the gate just below the end of the pavement on Nesthorn. Any car can get here. From here, we followed the paved/excellent dirt trail down the canyon to the Wind Wolves Preserve gate. Below this gate, the trail narrows from dirt road width to standard single track. The merge with the east fork of San Emigdio Creek is apparent, and you turn north (downhill) to continue down the drainage. The KCL gate is the end of the good trail. Beyond here, there is about .25 miles of excellent trail that looks like people chop the brush back. Another .25 to .5 miles of hiking follows a well-ducked path through the wash, likely the work of HPS hikers. There is a point where the use trail makes a minor right turn into a more faint trail and then reaches what appears to be a ramp out of the right side of the drainage as the stream turns back left again. This is at approximately 3,840. We made the mistake of taking this ramp out of the wash which eventually led to a brushy hell not a good use trail as hoped. On the gpx track I uploaded, you can see where we ended up wandering all over the place before finally heading up and to the right to side-hill our way down the canyon which then placed us in a marsh (between 3800 & 3760). We ended up crossing the marsh and dropping down a steep embankment into the stream, definitely the best decision of the day. I seriously considered turning back at this point, but we were so close to the beginning of the climb and I did not really want to come back. The brush right in the drainage was much easier going than anywhere above. Below here, it was still difficult, but it eased up as we descended, eventually depositing us in the open field at 3600' as described in the HPS route. The trail up the ridge is obvious when you are in the field and it is very easy to follow all the way to the open field at the base of the summit. Follow the HPS-marked route to the top, which cuts right (east) at first, then left (west). We did not ascend this route, we went up a few rocks which are class 3 as advertised, but on the descent route, we found the HPS-flagged route and it stayed class 2. In spite of other trip reports to the contrary, the top of the peak is class 2, not class 3 if you pick out the correct route. The summit register lid was in the register location, while the main part of the baby wipe box it was in was off in the sand. I figured that an animal may have got into it because I doubt even the most ardent anti-Sierra Club asshole would want to trek out here just to toss a register. I didn't have a spare, so we ate lunch and took pics on top of the summit block. As we were leaving, we encountered the summit register in a plastic bag, intact, probably 30 feet west of the summit. Wow. I grabbed it and put it in the empty baby wipe box that I had placed in my pack (I had intended to pack it out as trash since it sucks as a register and a better register could replace it). We dug through our packs and scoured the summit area in search of a pen or pencil. No luck. Well, we saved the register (which only had 2 entries in it, both from 2012), but couldn't sign into the thing. Oh well...

On the descent, the only area of caution is encountered when descending from 4,840 to 4,720. On our gpx route, you can clearly see where we transitioned from heading NE to due north, then due east during the ascent. On the descent, we overshot this turn off the ridge, but not by much. We backtracked about 100 feet and were back on route. On our re-ascent of San Emigdio Canyon Aidan suggested that we follow the stream to avoid the brush. Aidan is really getting a knack for this. His idea was wildly successful and even though there was some brush in the drainage, we avoided all of the worst brush and made pretty good time up the canyon. We arrived at the KCL gate right at dusk, which was my minimum goal. At least the rest of our hike out would be on well-defined trail/road. We took a break and put on our headlamps for the rest of the hike out, arriving at the car around 6:15pm or so. We greatly exceeded the HPS-advertised hike time of 8 hours, with our hike lasting over 10 hours, mainly due to the brush and difficulty of the route. Pics

GPS track notes:
1) My GPS took a while to zero in on my location on the beginning of the hike, so it starts about half a mile below the trailhead.
2) I only left the GPS on for the hike up the peak and then turned it on again twice on the way back up San Emigdio Canyon to avoid some of the worst parts of our descent route and then again as darkness set in to keep us on track to get to the KCL gate, so follow the return track in the canyon if you want less bushwhacking.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:3845 ft / 1171 m
    Total Elevation Loss:1400 ft / 426 m
    Route Conditions:
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:3845 ft / 1171 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 2445 ft / 745 m; Extra: 1400 ft / 426m
    Loss on way in:1400 ft / 426 m
    Route:San Emigdio Cyn to SW Ridge
    Start Trailhead:3560 ft / 1085 m
Descent Statistics
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

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

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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