Ascent of Mount Lemmon on 2017-03-23

Climber: William Musser

Others in Party:Karen Musser
Date:Thursday, March 23, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Mount Lemmon
    Elevation:9157 ft / 2791 m

Ascent Trip Report

For simplicity on this TR I threw any additional gain and hiking distance for the two small subpeaks nearby into this ascent and showed them as zeros. Drove up a beautiful highway forest paved road through amazing cactus species. Lower elevations Saguaro and yellow flowers then up through oak and hoodoos and into Ponderosa pine and eventually snow. The temperature plummeted from 67F to 35F as we drove from 2000 feet to 8000 feet and then hiked to over 9000 feet. The tails were all closed and the road was gated at the restaurant up near the ski resort so we parked there and headed up the paved roadway. A forest service truck stopped us to see if we were alright and we said just out for a hike and he allowed us to continue. Pea sized graupel (dry, round hail-snow) fell from the sky and pelted us along the last 500 feet of climb and the weather socked us in. Gates were open at the top.

On the way down I ran over and tagged the other two peakbagger points and then caught up to Karen. I collected 4 new species of oak leaf on the hike to key out later. Hard hike to rate. If based on the hike itself - a road hike with limited views because of the snow-hail and low clouds and all the junk at the top I would have to say a 2/10. But the drive up to the TH was amazing - one of the most beautiful drives up a mountain I can recall especially with all the spring flowers in bloom so I would say that was an 8/10 drive up. And it is a big prominence peak. The views below the cloud cover and snow was crazy big with the 5000 feet of prominence so.......weighting all factors I would call this a 5/10 day. If I had been able to have the time to hike most of it up it would have surely been an 8/10 for me.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:967 ft / 294 m
    Total Elevation Loss:130 ft / 39 m
    Round-Trip Distance:4 mi / 6.4 km
    Quality:5 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Open Country, Snow Climb
    Weather:Snowing, Cool, Breezy, Low Clouds
T varied from 65G to 35F and snow
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:837 ft / 255 m
    Distance:2 mi / 3.2 km
    Route:see TR
    Start Trailhead:Closed gate at restaurant off   8320 ft / 2535 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:130 ft / 39 m
    Gain on way out:130 ft / 39 m
    Distance:2 mi / 3.2 km
Ascent Part of Trip: Tuscon-1

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Mount Lemmon2017-03-23 a967 ft / 295 m
2Radio Ridge2017-03-23 b 
3Pusch Ridge Wilderness High Point2017-03-23 c 
Total Trip Gain: 967 ft / 295 m    Total Trip Loss: 130 ft / 40 m

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