Ascent of McCoy Peak on 2010-09-13

Climber: Eric Noel

Others in Party:John Roper
Jim R
Date:Monday, September 13, 2010
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:McCoy Peak
    Elevation:5856 ft / 1784 m

Ascent Trip Report

We approached the obvious way on solid passenger car caliber roads to this public peak. One minor change is that the map shows the trail taking off between a road junction and Bear Creek. Actually, at that road junction it has a sign saying to go L/Up and then you immediately come across a trail sign so that is where the start is. The mapped way might or might not work too.

This trail gains ground quickly and fairly efficiently as it passes through open forest. Unfortunately it is one of those motorcycle trails and so it has a big rut down the middle which makes for awkward walking for much of the trail. It's not bad on the way up but a bit annoying coming down. We made good time to the turnoff at about 4550' which was not signed but fairly obvious. From here the trail drops about 300' quickly to Bear Creek and then resumes going upward. It is a bit rockier and it could probably stand to be brushed out but this is still a very good trail. It continues basically as mapped until the junction at 5200'. This trail fork is faint and for this section the brush is winning out. This was more manway than trail. We followed this with a fair amount of ease as it traversed L and ascended maybe 200 vertical feet. Then as best as we could tell the path headed up in a way that constructed trails do not normally do. We still had a somewhat discernable path once you moved the brush aside but it was more like a dirt slope as it angled under a rock promintory and then gained a shoulder of the ridge at perhaps 5550'. Good views of Hood and Adams from here. We then followed a path of sorts that ascended on the edge of the exposed ridgelet we were on to just L of the rock promintory's highest ground. From here we pretty much lost the path but we more or less went through open forest over a few minor bumps to a little 20' bump from which we could see the two summits. We continued as before, traversing in forest to the E bump and we felt this to be lower. From here we picked up a sandy path that took us to the high ground. Nice views. Then another 50 horizontal feet beyond this find the BM and glass from the old lookout which has been fused by lightning.

For our descent, we were not thrilled with the manway or the circuitous nature of the route and so we elected to take the forest basin down to McCoy Creek. This turned out fairly well and I htink it saved us some time. We dropped down steep grass and forest to a flat spot at 5500'. From here we picked up and lost several good animal paths through the woods. Mostly it was open forest with no brush even where there was not a path and so we had no real problems. We stayed right of the stream that points directly down from McCoy and meets Bear Creek below the trail at 4150'. As we neared the low spot in the trail where it hits Bear Creek we did run into a bit of brush for the last 100 yards or so. Oh well. From there it was a bit of uphill and then the slog out on the rutted trail. No issues. Remembering of course that 5 is 4 and 4 is the magic number. I think our descent route might not appeal on paper when the paper shows a trail option but 259A ain't much of a trail. This would actually be a good way to do the peak in late Spring IMO as you could hoof it up to the crossing of Bear Creek and then take snow through the forest to the summit.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:3856 ft / 1174 m
    Elevation Loss:3856 ft / 1174 m
    Distance:8 mi / 12.9 km
    Grade/Class:Class 2
    Quality:5 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Bushwhack
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:3556 ft / 1083 m
    Extra Loss:350 ft / 106 m
    Distance:4.5 mi / 7.2 km
    Route:Rough Trail
    Trailhead:Road 2900-115  2650 ft / 807 m
Descent Statistics
    Elevation Loss:3506 ft / 1068 m
    Extra Gain:300 ft / 91 m
    Distance:3.5 mi / 5.6 km
    Route:McCoy Basin and Rough Trail
    Trailhead:Road 2900-115  2650 ft / 807 m

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