Ascent of Bear Mountain-Del Norte CoHP on 1995-08-07

Climber: Frederick Johnson

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Monday, August 7, 1995
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Bear Mountain-Del Norte CoHP
    Elevation:6400 ft / 1950 m

Ascent Trip Report

Last October, after climbing Salmon Peak (Humboldt CoHP) in beautiful weather earlier in the day, Pete Yamagata and I arrived at Doe Flat TH at Siskiyou Pass (4,125') in the early evening with every expectation of climbing Bear Mountain the next day. Instead, with clouds building during the drive up from CA 199, the good weather quickly disappeared and rain began, continuing during the night. By dawn, with no letup likely, we bailed out, driving to Grants Pass and home as the bad weather persisted in the north.

This time I was lucky and, once I hit the trail, all went well, despite the fact that it was raining lightly when I first awoke around 5:30A at the Doe Flat TH. I feared that once again I would be denied Bear Mountain because of bad weather. However, after dozing in my tent until about 6:30A, I awoke again to find the rain tapering off and a bright sun starting to shine through the mists. I quickly dressed, shouldered my daypack, and was off down the Doe Flat Trail by 7:30A. The trail starts as the old road, then, entering the Siskiyou Wilderness andpassing the Buck Lake turnoff. it drops about 825' in 2.5 miles before reaching the junction (3,300') for Devil's Punchbowl. As per Suttle's guide,turn south here,switchback up a steep hillside, drop down to a small lake, then continue on the ducked trail to the Punchbowl and its sparkling lake (4,800') Go clockwise around the east and south shores of the Punchbowl to reach the big talus slopes on the west side of the bowl. Stick to the shoreline rocks to avoid heavy brush. Ascend with care the talus and challenging steep, hard scree slope to the ridgetop, then head for the peak, working through low brush and forest. At the summit there is a benchmark on the first and highest of three summit crags. According to Suttle's guide, " You cross the actual county highpoint just before the peak; the slightly lower county line is about 50 yards SW of the summit." The view is inspiring--the Devil's Punchbowl 1,600' below at the bottom of the impressive drop-off--Preston Peak dominant to the NE--miles and miles of wilderness--and, of course, a glimpse of Mt. Shasta. Bear Mountain: What a memorable place to complete the CA CoHPs. I retraced my steps back down to the Punchbowl and the Doe Flat Trail, arriving at the TH at 8:30P, weary but content. I dawdled, taking my time to savor much of the beautiful, mild day. About 13 hours, with many pauses. Back at the TH, I drove down to CA 199 and Crescent City to enjoy a welcomed shower and comfortable sleep at the Travel Lodge
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:4125 ft / 1256 m
    Total Elevation Loss:4125 ft / 1256 m
    Round-Trip Distance:15 mi / 24.1 km
    Grade/Class:Class 1-2+
    Quality:4 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack, Scramble
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:3200 ft / 975 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 2275 ft / 693 m; Extra: 925 ft / 281m
    Loss on way in:925 ft / 281 m
    Distance:7.5 mi / 12.1 km
    Route:Doe Flat Tr,Devil's Punchbowl
    Start Trailhead:Doe Flat  4125 ft / 1257 m
    Time:6 Hours 
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:3200 ft / 975 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 2275 ft / 693 m; Extra: 925 ft / 281m
    Gain on way out:925 ft / 281 m
    Distance:7.5 mi / 12.1 km
    Route:Devil's Punchbowl, Doe Flat Tr
    End Trailhead:Doe Flat  4125 ft / 1257 m
    Time:5 Hours 

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