Ascent of Pine Mountain on 2011-03-24

Climber: Eric Noel

Others in Party:James N
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Thursday, March 24, 2011
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Pine Mountain
    Elevation:6814 ft / 2076 m

Ascent Trip Report

This is all public land. From the exit 268 it is 18.3 miles to the TH. Follow the road E to Dugas and then after 7 miles cross a creek that might be running high. Not so much on this day but it was in December 09. Continue on and follow the signs towards Pine Mtn which involves 2 signed right turns. The road is OK, prone to muddiness but otherwise passable probably to a passenger car. The TH is back a bit at Salt Flat at 5100 rather than what is shown on the topo. Serviceable BYOW car camping here.

From the TH you cross the creek and hike the old abandoned road after examining the trail network on the sign board. You'll quickly cross to the S side of the wash. Follow this trail to Nelson's place which features miscellaneous debris and intermittent rock walls. Trail is occasionally faint due to all of the pine needles on the ground. Nice pleasant forest in the creek bed with the water and such rather than the usual desert scenery. Continue on the gentle flat forest trail as it weaves back and forth across the creek and after maybe 2.5 miles you'll hit the split at 5700'. We went left and continued W and then hit the rim saddle at 6400'. This section started to feature some burned terrain and occasional annoying sticker bushes along the trail. From the saddle it switchbacks up at a little bit steeper grade up to the peak and then once you are NW of it a short signed spur trail takes you to 6814. Flattish summit with various rocks and views to the E. I then headed back and continued S on the trail as it passed right by the 6800+ spot. I think either this one or 6814 is the summit. High ground is sort of in the bushes but you can find a cairn and some various candidates. Back to the trail and then on to 6810. My GPS had the high ground on 6810 maybe 100 feet N of the local HP and I doubt this one is in the running anyway. But the trail goes right up to it so no issues. I continued on then just a little bit past the looped junction and went L or S so I could tag the last candidate. I walked to the S end of the contour and then hiked up the contour and found that the double cairn at the N end did seem to be the local HP. Yeah, all four down and that was that. We finished the loop by taking the other trail down to close the loop. Then the final slog back to the TH. Some snow on the route which was probably from Monday's storm. No real issues on this one. Decent hike. Very gentle elevation gain.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:1874 ft / 570 m
    Extra Gain:80 ft / 24 m
    Distance:10 mi / 16.1 km
    Route:Clockwise Loop
    Trailhead:Salt Flat TH  5100 ft / 1554 m
    Grade/Class:Class 1
    Quality:5 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Open Country, Bushwhack, Snow on Ground
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Very Nice

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