Ascent of Indian Spring Butte on 2017-09-29

Climber: Michael Wanberg

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Friday, September 29, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Indian Spring Butte
    Elevation:8529 ft / 2599 m

Ascent Trip Report

I pushed on and was able to include this summit after bagging both Graham peaks and traversing some really dicey terrain above High Lake. That last part required extreme concentration and moving very slowly (slow was fine because I was tired). After summiting, I looked carefully at my descent options, and decided that I should stick with trails due to the combination of fatigue, incoming weather, and setting sun.
I opted for the Skyline trail, which meant a descent to High Lake before climbing to the pass at 8172', and then dropping down the Slide Creek drainage. The trail junction that was supposed to branch off and drop down near the falls instead is considerably farther down than shown on the quads. Because I thought I had missed the junction, I backtracked for a ways before bushwhacking across to the cliffs in search of the shown descent. Finding nothing in the vicinity, and judging the downclimb on the cliffs to be too risky, I returned the way I had come, joined back up with the trail, and descended on that for a short ways before finding the actual junction. I was glad I didn't have to bushwhack a half mile across the drainage, but annoyed that this trail junction was definitely the one the map incorrectly showed almost a half mile to the south. After getting on that trail I cruised the long miles back to the car, watching for cougars in the on-setting darkness. About 1-1.5 miles from the car I finally donned the headlamp. I made it back to the car in time to blitz into town just before the restaurants closed, then it was time to begin the long drive home.

Low class 5 climbing on the traverse above High Lake. Shallow snow on trail down to Slide Lake
Distance included with Graham Mtn.

Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2529 ft / 769 m
    Total Elevation Loss:5429 ft / 1654 m
    Grade/Class:Class 5
    Quality:6 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Bushwhack, Snow on Ground, Scramble, Exposed Scramble, Rock Climb
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Pleasant, Windy, Overcast
Rain followed me out, but didn't actually catch up to me
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1729 ft / 526 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 829 ft / 253 m; Extra: 900 ft / 274m
    Loss on way in:900 ft / 274 m
    Route:direct from east
    Start Trailhead:Slide /Mud saddle  7700 ft / 2346 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:4529 ft / 1380 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 3729 ft / 1136 m; Extra: 800 ft / 243m
    Gain on way out:800 ft / 243 m
    Route:Skyline, Slide Connector Trails
    End Trailhead:Slide Connector TH  4800 ft / 1463 m
    Time:3 Hours 45 Minutes
Ascent Part of Trip: 2017-09-29 Strawberries (0 nights total away from roads)

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Graham-Riner Peak2017-09-29 a 
2Graham Mountain2017-09-29 b4170 ft / 1271 m
3Graham Mountain-West Peak2017-09-29 c811 ft / 247 m
4Slide-Riner Peak2017-09-29 d 
5Indian Spring Butte2017-09-29 e2529 ft / 771 m
Total Trip Gain: 7510 ft / 2289 m    Total Trip Loss: 7510 ft / 2290 m

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