Ascent of Spectre Peak on 2014-03-08

Climber: Eric Kassan

Others in Party:Kevin Ford
Date:Saturday, March 8, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Spectre Peak
    Elevation:4482 ft / 1366 m

Ascent Trip Report

First off, I'd recommend skipping the "usual" trailhead- granted it does lead to a road you can follow to where the real ascent begins, but the road is often very sandy, and takes an indirect route. We saved .2 miles on the return by skipping the road, and could have saved probably another quarter mile had we parked more directly north of the main wash.

Once the real ascending starts, a GPS (and knowledge of how to use it) is key - everything looks like tall piles of rocks. If one takes the most direct canyon, one will occasionally see some cairns, but their value is limited. Usually one route is as good or bad as any other. A key exception is a cairned route around the west side of a 1140m closed contour (hill)- that was a welcome break from the otherwise monotonous rock-hopping/climbing.

Once one reaches the west shoulder of Aqua Benchmark, one can finally see Spectre- and it is impressive. There's a bit of down and up to get to it, so you may be tempted to go straight at it (from the north). While it works, there is a sub-peak on the way on that route, and a bit of class 4 climbing. Heading around to the east side and up from there (where there were some cairns) offers a nice class 3 route. The views from the summit made it all worthwhile.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:3382 ft / 1030 m
    Total Elevation Loss:3382 ft / 1030 m
    Round-Trip Distance:12.8 mi / 20.6 km
    Quality:5 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Scramble
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:3082 ft / 939 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 2782 ft / 848 m; Extra: 300 ft / 91m
    Loss on way in:300 ft / 91 m
    Distance:6.5 mi / 10.5 km
    Route:North ridge
    Start Trailhead:Road at 1700'  1700 ft / 518 m
    Time:4 Hours 45 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:3082 ft / 939 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 2782 ft / 848 m; Extra: 300 ft / 91m
    Gain on way out:300 ft / 91 m
    Distance:6.3 mi / 10.1 km
    Route:East ridge
    End Trailhead:Road at 1700'  1700 ft / 518 m
    Time:4 Hours 
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

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