Ascent of Panamint Butte on 2013-11-16

Climber: James Morehouse

Others in Party:BMS 914 -- Trip Report or GPS Track
Joel Brewster
Karen McCann
Mark McCann
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Saturday, November 16, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Panamint Butte
    Elevation:6584 ft / 2006 m

Ascent Trip Report

We started out just after six a.m. and headed up the steep, volcanic slope to the first ridge. Then we basically followed the ridge, which was also the old border for DVNM before it became DVNP. The markers and signs are still there and plentiful. The ridge continues to climb and undulate on the way to Towne Benchmark. From here one continues to follow the ridge until point 7250, where there is a disconcerting drop of over 1250' to a saddle below and the corresponding ascent up the ridge to Panamint Butte. As if the loss of elevation weren't bad enough, the slope is steep, very loose and rocky. We avoided it on the way back by first dropping down into the valley directly instead of retracing our steps over the ridge (see gps track) and found solid, if steep ground with some good rock outcropping good for scrambling over, by heading more to our left (north) and coming up. If I were to do it again, I'd head into the top of Panamint Canyon and head for the saddle to the south of point 7250. That would both cut off some distance and extra elevation gain. Expect a long day on this one. We descended the final slope in the dark.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:6006 ft / 1830 m
    Total Elevation Loss:4381 ft / 1335 m
    Round-Trip Distance:15.4 mi / 24.8 km
    Grade/Class:Class 2
    Quality:5 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Open Country, Scramble
    Weather:Cool, Calm, Clear
Extremely hazy
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:6006 ft / 1830 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 1625 ft / 495 m; Extra: 4381 ft / 1335m
    Loss on way in:4381 ft / 1335 m
    Distance:7.8 mi / 12.6 km
    Route:Up to Towne BM, then over Peak 6500
    Start Trailhead:Towne Pass  4959 ft / 1511 m
Descent Statistics
    Distance:7.6 mi / 12.2 km
Ascent Part of Trip: Towne BM and Panamint Butte

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Towne Benchmark2013-11-16 
2Peak 64802013-11-16 
3Panamint Butte2013-11-166006 ft / 1831 m
Total Trip Gain: 6006 ft / 1831 m    Total Trip Loss: 4381 ft / 1335 m
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by James Morehouse
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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