Ascent of Mount Moriah on 2014-06-27

Climber: Rob Woodall

Others in Party:Alan Bernier
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Friday, June 27, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Mount Moriah
    Elevation:12067 ft / 3678 m

Ascent Trip Report

After yesterday's Mount Whitney ascent, we spend the morning driving to Moriah with a stop in Ely for provisions. We plan to climb the peak tomorrow from Hampton Creek. However we have the afternoon free so thought we'd have a look at the northwestern approach and see how our standard clearance car would cope with the notoriously rough access road.

Taking the standard route, from Ely we drive east 42 miles on US-50 to N39.17654 W114.39046 where we turn sharp L on the (unsigned) CR-37 which runs initially west then north. Going straight over at a crossroads (CR-36, unsigned), we turn right onto FR-469 (signed) just before a cattle guard. With care Alan is able to drive our rented Corolla about 8 miles until stopped by a rocky section. We parked at a nice grassy area at N39.32059 W114.26251, 2821m. This was just after one awkward rock mid-track which had to be tackled by placing the right wheel directly on top of it. This is close enough for a comfortable afternoon hike so we decide to climb from here.

From our makeshift trailhead we hike the road, passing the tiny Dog Springs Guard House (unmanned but with serviceable outhouse) N39.30402 W114.23482, 2965m, make a significant descent then at a sharp L bend half a mile before the official trailhead mentioned in Petter Bjorstad's report, we turn R onto an old grassy 4x4 track N39.29684 W114.22044, 2950m.

We follow the old track for 50m then shortcut L to pick up its continuation then follow it steeply uphill to the ridge. Here we have a nice view of Moriah. Descending a short way to a saddle we then cross a shallow bowl and head up a ridge, tree covered at first, with a rocky section (which we scramble up onto but is easily bypassed on its R). Then the trees run out and we tackle the steep NW ridge, vegetated at first, then with loose scree, finally becoming rocky with some easy YDS 2+ scrambling (which could probably be avoided in scree...) leading to the summit, which has a small windshelter cairn with a benchmark (with no height stated, and a trig symbol) immediately to its south. The highest point (N39.27323 W114.19884, 3670m) is a large rock incorporated into the shelter. Views include the three nearby ultras Wheeler (impressive), North Schell and (tomorrow's goal) Ibapah to the north. Closer to hand, Moriah's northeast peak looks very inviting so we make the small slightly awkward scree ascent to the saddle then follow its narrow but easy rocky ridge to the summit (outcrop N39.27553 W114.19363, 3637m).

To descend we consider making a loop via Moriah Table but this looks like an extra mile or two. We return to the saddle then I make a slightly awkward descending traverse on scree, crossing a couple of re-entrants to re join our ascent ridge well above the trees. Alan traverses round onto the ridge higher up. We descend the NW ridge, keeping L of the rocky part of the ridge, re cross the bowl, then at the small saddle we keep L to avoid the little ascent, and join the 4x4 track below the ridge. We then reverse our upward route to rejoin the dirt road, which we follow back to the car apart from the first wide ascending switchback which we shortcut via easy sparse sagebrush. Jogging the downhills we're back at the car in 4h55 round trip with 2h46 to the summit, 15 mins on top and 9 mins out to the NE Top. 13.1 mi round trip with around 4000ft of ascent.

The drive out needs care but goes more easily downhill. We notice the tracks of a couple of ATVs which have been up the road since we arrived. Otherwise no contact with humanity.

Back on the US-50 we stop at Moriah's prominence saddle which appears to be S side of road at N39.14297 W114.33657 (convenient parking at N side) my GPSr recorded 2181m compared with 3670m at the summit, suggesting 1489m prominence. Accuracy of recreational units isn't great and a stated horizontal accuracy of 3m should mean elevations are within 6 metres. This seems to suggest that the peak doesn't have the 1500m prominence required for ultra status, although measurements with a survey grade GPS would be needed to accurately establish the peak's prominence.

We are pleased to find a diner still open at the Utah border and enjoy a meal (and wifi) before we are ushered out at 10pm closing time.

We drive a short way towards tomorrow's Ibapah Peak then sleep for the night off Hampton Creek Road.

Mount Moriah photo album
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:3307 ft / 1006 m
    Total Elevation Loss:3307 ft / 1007 m
    Round-Trip Distance:13.1 mi / 21.1 km
    Grade/Class:YDS 2+
    Quality:7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country
    Weather:Pleasant, Breezy, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:2979 ft / 907 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 2749 ft / 838 m; Extra: 230 ft / 70m
    Loss on way in:230 ft / 70 m
    Distance:6.4 mi / 10.3 km
    Start Trailhead:Fr-469   9318 ft / 2840 m
    Time:2 Hours 47 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:3077 ft / 937 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 2749 ft / 838 m; Extra: 328 ft / 99m
    Gain on way out:328 ft / 99 m
    Distance:6.7 mi / 10.8 km
    End Trailhead:Fr-469   9318 ft / 2840 m
    Time:2 Hours 8 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

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