Ascent of Gem County High Point on 2017-08-21

Climber: Martin Pyne

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Monday, August 21, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Gem County High Point
    Elevation:7971 ft / 2429 m

Ascent Trip Report

I followed the driving directions provided by Ken Jones, which are still accurate to mile 26.8. At this point I discovered that FR 646 is no longer passable to motor vehicles at its junction with FR 625. Exploring on foot, I discovered that although FR 646 is not drivable (and not pleasant to hike, due to deadfall and berms), one can proceed a bit further on FR 625 and take the next left (labeled FR 625G1 on the topo map). Keep left at the fork and continue uphill until intersecting FR 646 at 5746'. This road appeared eminently drivable to this point, although I elected to hike it due to driving fatigue. There is an area at this junction of FR625G1 and FR 646 to park, at which point one must continue on FR 646 (to the right) on foot due to berms. Once reaching the old Poison Creek trailhead, I successfully followed the reports provided by Ken Jones and Dennis Poulin.

I achieved the summit at about 10:25, signed into Jobe Wymore's 2014 register, then stuck around for a bit over an hour to watch the total solar eclipse. It was fantastic. The view to the west was particularly excellent for watching the approaching shadow.

I didn't try to retrace my steps exactly on the descent through Greenfield Flat as there's really no right or wrong way to cross it. Just make sure to get back to the Poison Creek Trail vicinity eventually.
Click on photo for original larger-size version.
The view east from the Gem County high point, overlooking the Cascade Reservoir, about 75 minutes before the total solar eclipse (2017-08-21). Photo by Martin Pyne.
Click here for larger-size photo.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2804 ft / 854 m
    Round-Trip Distance:14 mi / 22.5 km
    Route:Poison Creek Trail
    Trailhead:FR 646  5167 ft / 1574 m
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Time:3 Hours 3 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:2 Hours 17 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Martin Pyne
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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