Ascent of Cactus 2 Benchmark on 2017-02-17

Climber: William Musser

Others in Party:Karen Musser
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Friday, February 17, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Boat
Peak:Cactus 2 Benchmark
    Elevation:1000 ft / 304 m

Ascent Trip Report

See TR for ascent of the first BM Ord-2. Looking down off the crest of Ord-2 we could see the firebreaks heading up Cactus-2. The upper section of the firebreak dissipates from a wide ski slop looking feature to a rocky scramble. Looking at the aerial - sure enough the route has a steep section where the fire break becomes unmaintainable because of rock and steepness. We had the option to down hike one of the side clay roads and take a much longer route to East Peak or stay with this. Seeing more weather heading our way, Karen urged me to keep climbing the fire break. My boots held the clay and rock and I got up to the class 3 rock scramble and made good time but Karen lingered below for sometime fighting to find good traction in her quick dry stretch shoes. I knew she should have worn supporting boots. This was the only class 3 area we encountered all day and it was mild class 3. It was only tricky because it was wet and drizzling.

On the peak called Cactus-2 you have options to take fire breaks in several directions or down climb again back to maintained clay road below that would eventually take you to East Peak but again, we elected to stay the course on the fire break and take the steeper more direct route because of the weather rolling in.

We rushed over and past point 1280 and 1380, neither of which have enough prominence to bother logging as subpeaks. The fun part of the fire break routes is they are direct, good views of the ridge, solitude, and very hilly. We picked up a lot of additional gain for the day as the landscape of the fire breaks has many rolling features in between peaks to climb and lose vertical. Then we headed on to East Mountain.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:490 ft / 149 m
    Total Elevation Loss:200 ft / 60 m
    Round-Trip Distance:1.6 mi / 2.6 km
    Grade/Class:2 and 3
    Quality:4 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Scramble
    Weather:Cool, Windy
50F and up to 30 mph storm coming
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:470 ft / 143 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 390 ft / 119 m; Extra: 80 ft / 24m
    Loss on way in:80 ft / 24 m
    Distance:1.2 mi / 1.9 km
    Route:fire breaks to dirt jeep road
    Start Trailhead:saddle between Ord-2 and Cactus-2  610 ft / 185 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:120 ft / 36 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 100 ft / 30 m; Extra: 20 ft / 6m
    Gain on way out:20 ft / 6 m
    Distance:0.4 mi / 0.6 km
    Route:East End Light Road
    End Trailhead:saddle between peaks  900 ft / 274 m
Ascent Part of Trip: Catalina

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Ord 2 Benchmark2017-02-17 a952 ft / 290 m
2Cactus 2 Benchmark2017-02-17 b490 ft / 149 m
3East Mountain2017-02-17 c783 ft / 239 m
4East Peak2017-02-17 d1084 ft / 330 m
5(Attempt) Black Jack Mountain2017-02-18 e0 ft / 0 m
6Catalina Point2017-02-18 f265 ft / 81 m
6North Spur 2 Benchmark2017-02-18 g870 ft / 265 m
Total Trip Gain: 4444 ft / 1354 m    Total Trip Loss: 4144 ft / 1263 m

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