Ascent of Mount Pinchot on 2015-07-12

Climber: Eric Kassan

Others in Party:Dan Baxter
Jose Witt
John Ide
Harlan Stockman
Date:Sunday, July 12, 2015
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:4x4 Vehicle
Peak:Mount Pinchot
    Elevation:13494 ft / 4112 m

Ascent Trip Report

Please note- GPS track has problems (has been approximated in some cases and in others, particularly lower Armstrong Canyon, it is clearly significantly off).

This was a challenging outing. The fun begins with the road which is not really dangerous (except for wide vehicles), but still quite stressful. As mentioned on summitpost, there is a boulder blocking road access into the canyon (very narrow vehicles with brave drivers may be able to pass the boulder on the uphill side), so I recommend parking at the large parking area just to the right of the mining road junction (2450m).

The next challenge is which side of the canyon to take. When the road ends, it ends below the south sub-canyon. This is a long steep haul, but quite doable. One can either take the trail on the right side where loose sand causes you to slide back a half-step for every step you take, or rock hop up rocks on the left side.

I came down the main (north) sub-canyon. While it is much more pleasant above, the lower 400' or so was poor with no trail or easy route that I observed. To take this up, start up the slope to the left of the canyon and eventually join (or at least approach) the main canyon. Once it gets less steep, stick to the left of the main drainage.

After the canyon gets less steep, it's easy to make one's way to the top of the canyon (3150m). From there, head up and to the right following the trees while below the treeline.

When you crest the ridge, that's where you need to make the next decision. In theory, one may be able to follow the jagged ridge, but we thought it looked pretty bad. On our way up we dropped down and skirted around the next ridge to the northwest. This was HORRIBLE. On the way back we nearly summitted the peak atop that ridge (3820+m) and had a much better time (and saving about half a mile), so that's what I recommend for both directions.

Once around that obstacle, the broad plateau around 3720m is a welcome relief. If the depression below 3720m has water or snow, that's a great place to camp (which is what we did), but otherwise you will need to drop down to the north for a camp with water.

From the plateau, the hike from camp to the summit was 2 miles round trip with 383m (1250') of gain. The ridge is not a cake-walk- its class 2-3 depending on your route. The class 2 is annoyingly loose.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:6112 ft / 1862 m
    Total Elevation Loss:6112 ft / 1862 m
    Round-Trip Distance:12 mi / 19.3 km
    Quality:6 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Scramble
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles, Tent Camp
    Nights Spent:1 nights away from roads
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:5718 ft / 1742 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 5456 ft / 1663 m; Extra: 262 ft / 79m
    Loss on way in:262 ft / 79 m
    Distance:6.2 mi / 10 km
    Route:Armstrong Canyon
    Start Trailhead:Mining road junction  8038 ft / 2449 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:5850 ft / 1783 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 5456 ft / 1663 m; Extra: 394 ft / 120m
    Gain on way out:394 ft / 120 m
    Distance:5.8 mi / 9.3 km
    Route:Armstrong Canyon
    End Trailhead:Mining road junction  8038 ft / 2449 m
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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