Ascent of Mokelumne Peak on 2016-08-04

Climber: Andrew Kirmse

Others in Party:David Sanger
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Thursday, August 4, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mokelumne Peak
    Elevation:9334 ft / 2845 m

Ascent Trip Report

We followed the directions on SummitPost from CA Route 88 to the Tanglefoot Trailhead. The Bear River Reservoir road is newly paved and in great shape. The dirt roads past this point are in reasonable shape and do not require high clearance. We found one other car and a huge number of yellow jackets at the trailhead.

After 1.5 miles, we emerged at the rim of Tanglefoot Canyon. Mokelumne Peak was just visible peeking over the far side. We descended 500 feet into the canyon, stashed some water at the dry creek bed at the bottom, then ascended 800 feet up the far side, to a lake at 7100 feet. At 7900 feet we found three squat cairns that indicated a good place to leave the trail to the right and go cross-country through dwarf manzanita and sparse forest. We angled up to the saddle with the hill marked 8628 on the topo map, then followed the edge of the forest up to the final summit ridge and the last 300 feet of climbing. The peak itself is a mess of talus. Aiming for the vegetated areas on the final slope reduces the amount of boulder-hopping required.

Views from the top were outstanding, taking in the entire Mokelumne Wilderness, and out to Mt. Vaca and Mt. Diablo, despite smoke from a fire near Monterey. Corral Hollow Hill (a county high point) is visible nearby, though inaccessible from this direction due to the huge canyon of the Mokelumne River. The register showed many ascents this year, most from the Camp Winton Boy Scout summer program just a few days previous.

The day was quite warm and made the 18-mile round trip a tiring slog. Fortunately the sun had descended behind the canyon wall for the last ascent on the way back.
Click on photo for original larger-size version.
The final talus slope up to the peak (2016-08-04). Photo by Andrew Kirmse.
Click here for larger-size photo.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:3834 ft / 1168 m
    Total Elevation Loss:1000 ft / 304 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Open Country
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:3834 ft / 1168 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 2834 ft / 864 m; Extra: 1000 ft / 304m
    Loss on way in:1000 ft / 304 m
    Distance:17.8 mi / 28.6 km
    Start Trailhead:Tanglefoot Trailhead  6500 ft / 1981 m
    Time:5 Hours 30 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    End Trailhead:Tanglefoot Trailhead  
    Time:5 Hours 

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