Ascent of Ralston Peak on 2015-05-01

Climber: David Comerzan

Date:Friday, May 1, 2015
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Ralston Peak
    Elevation:4559 ft / 1389 m

Ascent Trip Report

This was a private hike with George Christiansen. We started with Wye first since it was the lowest and we wanted to get it out of the way before the heat of the day. From the intersection of I-15 and SR 138, we drove north on the dirt road that parallels the freeway for about ¼ mile. From that point we just started up a ridge that connected to the main ridge to the summit. There are several different ways you can go on this one. At the top we found a Flag, a register, a benchmark and some great views of the Cajon pass and surrounding area. We even saw a trail leading up to the summit. If you continue on the dirt to a train trestle, turn right, go a short distance to an open spot on the right to a trail that starts there. It is a little longer then the way we went, but looked a lot easier.
Next was Ralston. We had very little information on this peak. From SummitPost.Org and a trip report from a Peakbagger, it was not clear where to start. I had 5 different possible ridge routes picked out and as it turned out, we picked the wrong one. We drove down Lone Pine Canyon Rd. from 138 to Swarthout Canyon Road. We turned left and drove about 1.3 miles and parked. We crossed a flat area to a ridge that looked good on the topo. We crossed the PCT at 3600’ went up a fairly steep north-south ridge to about 3900’. That ridge just ended. We had to climb up the side of a hill that was extremely steep, loose and bushy. We had to grab onto the bush to pull ourselves up. We knew we would need to find a different way down. And sure enough, we got to the main east-west ridge; we found a use trail that took us to the summit. The summit was flat and bushy but again had some great views. We did find an empty register can that mentioned. No benchmark. We followed the use trail down and that turned out to be a much better route. It was still steep, but doable. If I were to do this peak again, I would go about ½ mile down Swarthout and head due north for a north-south ridge that goes up to a bump. Turn right (east) at the top drop down to a saddle and pick up the use trail to the summit. This brings up a point to anyone reading this report. If you do a peak that does not have an obvious route, it would be very helpful to those following in your footsteps if you could do a quick trip report giving specific directions as to where you started.
For East Table, we were able to follow an excellent trip report and GPS track by Mat Killiher. It was steep but fairly easy to follow. If fact all the hiking we did today was steep. We made the plateau ok, but it was hard to tell where the summit was. We went to the waypoint I had for the summit and a little beyond. We found no register or BM.
8:00 am Depart. 3160’
8:30 am Wye 3690’
9:00 am Car. ½ mile rt, 500’ gain, 50 minutes.
9:25 am Depart. 3500’
10:45 am Ralston. 4559’
12:30 pm Car. 2 ½ miles rt, 1100’ gain, 3 hours, 5 minutes.
1:00 pm Depart. 5890’
2:10 pm East Table Mountain. 6771’
3:15 pm Car. 1.8 miles rt, 900’, 2 hours, 15 minutes.
Total for the day: 4.8 miles round trip, 2500’ gain, 6 hours, 10 minutes.

Summary Total Data

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