Ascent of Golden Gate Mountain on 2018-03-28

Climber: Dean Gaudet

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Wednesday, March 28, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Golden Gate Mountain
    Elevation:4288 ft / 1306 m

Ascent Trip Report

my ascent was lots of fun, the views up top were awesome, but my descent sucked.

on ascent i went further south on the main trail than paul mclellan or sean phillips. i went to the saddle, and then turned right to head uphill toward a less steep approach to the ridge. i followed some animal trails, and then i started spotting ducks. i stumbled upon a really nice use trail, ducked the whole way to the summit. i'm not sure where the use trail intersects with the main trail, but i strongly suggest seeking out this use trail by heading southward on the main trail and heading toward the east ridge as indicated in my track.

the summit is the point marked 4288 on the USGS map, there's a register. point 4288 is the southernmost of 3 bumps, and wasn't obviously higher than the other two. so i traversed the ridge, which was fun, and quickly discovered the northern two bumps were a couple feet shorter.

what i should have done next is retrace my steps and go back down the use trail i came up on... but what distracted me were white paint spots on various rocks heading downhill from the northern bump. now, white paint is a bit annoying: is it bird shit or is it paint? given that the spots presented a trail-like progression of rocks, i figured it must be another use trail.

in practice the paint spots ended up involving lots of scrambling, no use trail, and eventually cliffed out on a downclimb i didn't want to attempt. i didn't have to backtrack far, but i basically was route-finding through loose rock and cacti the whole way down. if there's a use trail on the north ridge it wasn't where i was. (but you'll note my route didn't take the least steep descent -- there still could be a use trail there somewhere.)

i strongly suggest following the southern leg of my track and finding the use trail i used for ascent.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1421 ft / 432 m
    Total Elevation Loss:1421 ft / 432 m
    Round-Trip Distance:2.1 mi / 3.4 km
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Scramble
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1341 ft / 408 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 1311 ft / 399 m; Extra: 30 ft / 9m
    Loss on way in:30 ft / 9 m
    Distance:1.1 mi / 1.8 km
    Route:east ridge
    Start Trailhead:David Yetman West Trailhead  2977 ft / 907 m
    Time:59 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:1391 ft / 423 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 1311 ft / 399 m; Extra: 80 ft / 24m
    Gain on way out:80 ft / 24 m
    Distance:1 mi / 1.6 km
    Route:north ridge
    End Trailhead:David Yetman West Trailhead  2977 ft / 907 m
    Time:1 Hours 24 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Dean Gaudet
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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