Ascent of Maturango Peak

Climber: Dan Baxter

Others in Party:Dennis Poulin
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Unknown Year
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:4x4 Vehicle
Peak:Maturango Peak
    Elevation:8839 ft / 2694 m

Ascent Trip Report

There were NO signs nor fences to inhibit driving a 4WD all the way to the end of the jeep road, just shy of the dry waterfall. We drove nearly that far (6.4 miles up Bendire Canyon Rd from its start on Nadeau Rd). Note that currently Nadeau Rd is legally accessible only from the south (i.e. Trona) as Panamint Valley Rd farther north remains closed and unrepaired following last July's flash flood rains.
Nor were there any signs or fences on the ascent itself.
At the end of the road is the "structure", probably a flat base built up by a miner for a tent, as there was no evidence of walls around. Here one can see the trail zigzaging upslope, well described by Bob Burd. This trail up over the ridge becomes at places quite built up. The miner spent a lot of time on it. Then up Bendire canyon, occasionally going up the many burro trails to avoid the intermittent dense brush and/or pines clogging the canyon at spots. At 7200' we left the canyon which was described by others as easier to avoid more brush. We went directly west up a ridge line, just south of a small knoll 8328T, and then NW up to the summit. There is a register.
We did it as an overnight backpack. I'm glad we did, because the snow was surprisingly abundant at places. Much more than I saw a few days earlier on a peak at same altitude in Sequoia Natl Park (This is a drought year so far). I post holed in snow up to high shin/knee a dozen times, and twice up to my groin. I.e. we did a slower pace than what we could have done without snow. In better weather one could day climb this if one drove up the road all the way. The road and climb has nothing to indicate either a wilderness area or military boundary.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:4739 ft / 1443 m
    Extra Gain:200 ft / 60 m
    Round-Trip Distance:10.4 mi / 16.7 km
    Trailhead:Bendire Canyon Road  4500 ft / 1371 m
    Grade/Class:Class 1 & 2
    Quality:6 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Open Country, Bushwhack, Snow on Ground, Scramble, Snow Climb
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Nights Spent:1 nights away from roads
    Weather:Cold, Calm, Clear

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