Ascent of Mount Wilson on 2009-07-11

Climber: Bob Bolton

Others in Party:solo
Date:Saturday, July 11, 2009
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:4x4 Vehicle
Peak:Mount Wilson
    Elevation:5599 ft / 1706 m

Ascent Trip Report

Mount Wilson is the most prominent point in Wasco County, Oregon. As such it was quite high priority for me because I only had 3 remaining counties to complete the list. I am also nearly done with the Oregon 2000-foot prominences list, so on one-day this trip I did one peak from each list, the other being the Lookout Mountain near Carpenter Mountain, which is not officially on the Oregon P2K list, but probably should be because it apparently needs to be climbed in order to be sure of completing the list. Anyway, due to the amount of driving I arrived in the vicinity of Mt. Wilson rather late in the day. I turned off US26 at this junction and proceeded to this junction. Here I faced a dilemma. The signs on the trees warned of no trespassing due to it being Warm Springs Indian Reservation land, yet there was no gate and the road was obviously quite heavily used. The signs mentioned nothing about being a member of the tribe as being a requirement for entry. On one of my maps I had read that one must remain on the "main" roads while on reservation land, and this seemed like a main road to me. I reasoned (or would that be rationalized?) that the signs were there to discourage entry, but that I would be prosecuted if caught only if I were engaging in the specifically forbidden activities of hunting or fishing. So I finally screwed up enough courage to head up the road. I stayed on road S-506 (good gravel road) to here, then turned left on W-300, which started deteriorating almost immediately, but never got so bad that most passenger cars couldn't pass. Soon I drove under the power lines, then back into the forest until I reached this junction, where I turned left up the hill on S-549A. This road soon arrived at the power line corridor, but an old firetruck was blocking the road beyond the power lines, so I was forced to park here and hike the remaining .77 miles to the summit. It was before 8PM, so I figured there would be plenty of time before dark and didn't even carry my headlamp, only my camera, GPS, and a fleece jacket tied around my waste. The road was in great shape except that it has not been cleared of deadfall for years. I hiked it to the summit in under 20 minutes, found the old lookout site and the broken benchmark, which for a change seemed to be on the highest rock. Shot a few pix and headed back down, arriving in plenty of time to retrace my driving route and arrive back at US26 before dark. The area has no recreational value except possibly during hunting season, so there were no signs of other activity while I was there.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:528 ft / 160 m
    Round-Trip Distance:1.5 mi / 2.5 km
    Route:Old road S-549A
    Trailhead:45.05822 N 121.64607 W  5071 ft / 1545 m
    Grade/Class:Class 1
    Quality:1 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike
    Weather:Pleasant, Breezy, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Time:20 Minutes

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