Ascent of Central Pueblo Mountains Peak on 2009-05-23

Climber: Dennis Poulin

Date:Saturday, May 23, 2009
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Central Pueblo Mountains Peak
    Elevation:8420 ft / 2566 m

Ascent Trip Report

We had a mini SP member convention in late May 2009 to climb several peaks in northern Nevada and southeastern Oregon. Present besides myself and my wife were rfbolton(also his 94 year old father) , Dean, and calebEOC. We all camped in the RV park in Fields.

On May 22nd, Dean and I climbed Duffer Peak in Nevada. That evening the other members of our troop showed up. On Saturday, Bob, his dad, Dean and I headed to Pueblo. Caleb had already climbed both Pueblo and West Pueblo, so he went to Orevada View. Dean volunteered to drive to the Pueblo Trailhead (I think he felt guilty eating all of my wife’s brownies) and I politely acquiesced. Actually, I had been up the road previously and knew it was challenging.

Dean took the lead and Bob followed up Arizona Creek and as the road deteriorated and became more narrow, I was glad Dean was driving. There are long stretches of this road where it is impossible for 2 cars to pass one another. We crept up into the Ten Cent Meadows area. When we encountered large boggy areas that looked treacherous, we got out and checked out the dangers. The bottom of the bogs seemed to be solid, so we continued on and soon we reached 7,000 feet and a fairly flat wide spot where we could all park. Dean and Bob wanted to hike Pueblo. I climbed Pueblo in 2005 and my goal today was West Pueblo.

After seeing Bob and Dean off, I headed down the road to the West Pueblo trailhead another 1.5 miles further. It was easy walking and I was soon at the saddle at the base of the escarpment. This slope is kind of steep and I took my time ascending up to the ridge high above. This slope gets increasingly steep as you approach the top of the ridge. It isn’t technical, just slow going. I kept going and when I reached the ridge I could see the weather was deteriorating. There were dark clouds to the south and west and the wind was blowing a little. I hurried along.

Looking ahead at the summit, I could see the vertical walls of the summit block facing me. I didn’t recall anyone saying this was a technical climb, so I kept going hoping I would find a route up the vertical wall. I aimed for what appeared to be a weakness about in the middle of the block and climbed up a little alluvial fan that actually separated a tall skinny fin from the rest of the summit block. I was now between the fin and summit block and found a Class 3 route up to the top of the block. Once on top I still had a little route finding to do to get to the highpoint. I mostly wanted to avoid the brushy areas.

The views from the summit were really special. Great views of the Steens to the north, Pueblo to the east, and various Nevada peaks to the south. Seeing the escarpment that forms West Pueblo is special also. The clouds were closing in, so I didn’t stay long on the summit. I scrambled back down to the ridge and over to the top of the slope heading down to the saddle. Dean had just arrived at the saddle and I headed straight down.

The total hike was 4 miles from the Pueblo trailhead, gained 1800 ft, and took about 2.25 hours. It started raining on us as we drove back down Arizona Creek.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1800 ft / 548 m
    Total Elevation Loss:1800 ft / 548 m
    Round-Trip Distance:4 mi / 6.4 km
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Open Country, Scramble
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1800 ft / 548 m
    Distance:2 mi / 3.2 km
    Route:East slope
    Start Trailhead:6620 ft / 2017 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:1800 ft / 548 m
    Distance:2 mi / 3.2 km
    End Trailhead:6620 ft / 2017 m

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