Ascent of Pittock Hill on 2016-08-20

Climber: John E Sarna

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Saturday, August 20, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Pittock Hill
    Elevation:1000 ft / 304 m

Ascent Trip Report

To get some exercise, I took Wildwood Trail from Cornell Road rather than starting at Pittock Massion. This well-populated trail led past the Adams Community Garden on the right and continued up a slow incline, then several switchbacks to the Pittock Mansion Parking Lot. On the other side of the lot, where the Wildwood Trail continued, I took an gated, dirt road (on the right side of the trail) up to the water tower, which is marked on the Peakbagger site as the highest point. Not knowing this at the time, however, and seeing higher ground to the west, I hiked in that direction a short way through woods, to pass along side a house, keeping to the opposite side of their driveway, quickly reaching the end of Hilltop Drive. A short way farther on Hilltop Drive, where the road began to slope down, I climbed up the sloped vegetation between two houses, ending up on the far end of someone's lawn.

I surmised that the highest point around must be this private lawn, since the land appeared to slope down in all directions, and I could see what was probably the Willamette River to the north, over the top of a blue tarp covering what might have been a swimming pool under construction. Two guys suddenly walked up to the other side of the tarp without noticing me, until I startled them by loudly but politely asking if they knew where Pittock Hill was. One asked if I was looking for Pittock Mansion, so I responded that I'm looking for Pittock HILL, the highest point around. He said no but seemed a bit uncomfortable, so I asked his permission to leave, pointing over the lawn, past the house and down the driveway; whereupon I made my way back to the mansion parking lot. I finished with a quick tour the grounds of the mansion, which has the best views of Portland from this angle, and where the USGS put the "Pittock" mark on their maps, though I didn't find an elevation marker on their carefully manicured lawn and fenced grounds. Note it costs a few bucks to tour the mansion, but nothing to tour the grounds, where interpretive signs tell the story of the mansion.

Now this brings me to question where "Pittock Hill" really is. The three options are: 1) the privately accessible highest point at 1040+, 2) the semi-publicly accessible water tank at 1000+ which is now listed on Peakbagger as this peak, or 3) where "Pittock" is shown on USGS maps at 870+ and is fully publicly accessible to the public.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:690 ft / 209 m
    Total Elevation Loss:690 ft / 209 m
    Round-Trip Distance:3.5 mi / 5.6 km
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Bushwhack
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:570 ft / 173 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 490 ft / 149 m; Extra: 80 ft / 24m
    Loss on way in:80 ft / 24 m
    Distance:1.5 mi / 2.4 km
    Route:Wildwood Trail
    Start Trailhead:Wildwood Trailhead at Adams Community Garden   510 ft / 155 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:610 ft / 185 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 490 ft / 149 m; Extra: 120 ft / 36m
    Gain on way out:120 ft / 36 m
    Distance:2 mi / 3.2 km
    Route:Wildwood Trail
    End Trailhead:Wildwood Trailhead at Adams Community Garden   510 ft / 155 m

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