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Ascent of Bear Mountain-False Peak on 2015-10-23

Climber: William Musser

Others in Party:Wayne Lundberg and Bill Weinaug
Date:Friday, October 23, 2015
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Bear Mountain-False Peak
    Location:USA-Arizona
    Elevation:6470 ft / 1972 m

Ascent Trip Report

Because people had placed all the little bumps along the trail in peakbagger, I decided to hit those subpeaks on the way down. For most, this is the peak top. The end of the trail but it is not the highest point. Trip Report for the Bear Mountain Middle Peak give an account of the top of that slightly higher (36 feet higher) true highpoint but frankly, the views are not great over there and the game and bushwhack trails are crowed with Agave and Yucca species that will cut and scratch you. So this report, explains the route and findings to the main destination (the trail end of the Doe-Bear Trail).

Wayne and Bill and I had talked about hiking or backpacking together for years. Wayne has completed many trips with me but Bill never before. We were happy to have your buddy accompany us for once. Bill had a very god time.

The trail from the parking lot is obvious and well marked at least across the plain and gullies. It is easy to follow up through the first wall. But once you obtain the first bench the wall in front of you will tend to mislead you to think that the trail must penetrate the next larger wall over by the two pinnacles to the right where the wall disintegrates and creates a noticeable valley. The trail is narrow and not as easy to follow in this area. You take a left but at the junction there is a slab of rock that feels like a smooth roadway towards the pinnacles to the right. We were not the only ones to make the mistake and head off right to the NE when we should have stayed NW. There are many herd trails and apparent rock climbing trails to the pinnacles but once there you will find you are off trail. This mistake causes us to get a bit of additional gain for the day in retracing our steps.

The steepest area and some minor scrambling (or better described as scampering 2+) in a few very short places occurs in the last penetration of the steep wall onto the middle mesa bench. From there the hike is all class 1 for some ways and the first few subpeaks stay just to your left. There is more up and down hiking in this area than the map would suggest so there is some additional gain as you ascend. The neck ahead is once again steeper and you go through some very interesting pillowed white sandstone formations that allow for some fun off-trail routes if you like up most of the rest of the way to the upper mesa.

Despite all of the wrong turns and we made at least 3 or 4 wrong turns, we made the false summit peak in 2 hours.
The views are better and better as you reach the west wall along and near the false peak.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:70 ft / 21 m
    Total Elevation Loss:450 ft / 137 m
    Round-Trip Distance:0.5 mi / 0.8 km
    Grade/Class:1, 1+, 2 to minor 3
    Quality:7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack, Scramble
    Weather:beautiful
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:60 ft / 18 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 50 ft / 16 m; Extra: 10 ft / 3m
    Loss on way in:10 ft / 3 m
    Distance:0.2 mi / 0.3 km
    Route:bushwhack
    Start Trailhead:saddle between subpeaks  6420 ft / 1956 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:440 ft / 134 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 430 ft / 132 m; Extra: 10 ft / 3m
    Gain on way out:10 ft / 3 m
    Distance:0.3 mi / 0.5 km
    Route:Doe-Bear Mtn Trail
    End Trailhead:saddle between subpeaks  6040 ft / 1840 m
Ascent Part of Trip: Bear Mountain Trip

Complete Trip Sequence:
OrderPeak/PointDateGain
1Bear Mountain-Middle Peak2015-10-23 a2266 ft / 691 m
2Peak 64662015-10-23 b46 ft / 14 m
3Bear Mountain-False Peak2015-10-23 c70 ft / 21 m
4Peak 61512015-10-23 d131 ft / 40 m
5Peak 56792015-10-23 e69 ft / 21 m
6Peak 56952015-10-23 f175 ft / 53 m
Total Trip Gain: 2757 ft / 840 m    Total Trip Loss: 2741 ft / 835 m



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