Ascent of Brown Mountain on 2016-03-20

Climber: David Comerzan

Date:Sunday, March 20, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Brown Mountain
    Elevation:4466 ft / 1361 m

Ascent Trip Report

This was a scheduled hike. The co-leader was Coby King. Joining us was Karen Buehler, Mike Johnston, Doris Duval, Phyllis Chung, Marlen Mertz, Illwoo Suh, Jinoak Chung, Bill Faulkner, Wayne Vollaire, Jon Nelson, and Mark Allen. This was my 4th visit to this beautiful Lower Peak. The weather was good, a little warm but acceptable. Some of us met at the La Canada rideshare and drove to the trail head. A few of the folks drove straight to the trail head. We were doing the primary route, starting at Eaton Saddle on the Mt. Wilson Road. I wanted to get an early start partly to beat the heat and partly to get a parking spot at Eaton Saddle. This was the weekend and I knew it could get crowded, but couldn’t believe the cars. The parking lot at Red Box was totally filled. I was the last car up and had to park a short distance from the trail head. When we were doing our introductions at the trail head, a group of about 50 people passed us. It was great to see so many people out hiking.
Starting at Eaton Saddle, we walked the fire road about 1.3 miles, going through Muller Tunnel, past Markham saddle, to a point where the road turns to the east. This is the start of the trail to the Tom Sloan saddle. This trail drops down about 900’ to the saddle. When I did this two years ago, it was quite bushy. Karen told us a trail crew has been in that way working their way to Bear Canyon. They did an excellent job. It was clear all the way to the saddle.
At the saddle, there was a junction. The trail to the right (north) goes to Bear Canyon. The trail to the left (south) goes to the Dawn Mine and eventually to Mallard Canyon. We continued straight ahead (west) on a use trail. The use trail was in good shape and easy to follow. It went up and down over several bumps before coming out on the ridge to Brown. Once on the ridge, we continued west to the summit. There was a large rock cairn on the summit with a register. On the summit, we were treated to a historical presentation, including music, on the history of this peak by Marlen. It seems it was named after John Brown, the abolitionist, who murdered pro-slavery ranchers in Kansas. With a small army, including two of his sons, captured the US arsenal at Harpers Ferry, VA. For this he was tried, hanged and became a martyr of the North. His two sons escaped to California where they gave the name to this peak.
After a relaxing lunch on the top, we returned the same way. Two of our members, Jon and Mike, had wisely decided to stop short of the peak and have a nice long rest before heading back. There were a couple of spots on the use trail that needed good, careful footing to avoid a fall. Also, two others, Jinoak and Illwoo, signed out at Tom Sloan saddle. They wanted to see what the Bear Canyon campground looked like. The rest of us returned to the cars, tired but happy.
8:10 am Depart. 5200’
9:50 am Tom Sloan Saddle. 4086’
11:20 am Brown Mtn. Summit. 4486’
4:25 pm Cars. 9 miles round trip, 2500’ gain, 8 hours, 15 minutes.
Summary Total Data

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