Ascent of Mount Augusta on 2007-10-06

Climber: Edward Earl

Date:Saturday, October 6, 2007
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Augusta
    Elevation:9966 ft / 3037 m

Ascent Trip Report

On US-50 61 miles E of Fallon is the Cold Springs maintenance station. DeLorme shows that Old Overland Road heads north from the highway at a very shallow angle at this point, but this is incorrect. One must continue 3 more miles north on US-50 to a turnoff onto a wide, well-graded gravel road. The turnoff itself is unsigned, but a sign on the gravel road immediately after the turnoff says it is 3 miles to Alpine. After 2 miles, the road passes through the Alpine Ranch. After 1 more mile, I turned left on an unsigned road. The road is uneven and has rock slabs embedded in it, but it is still OK for any street-legal vehicle. After about 1½ miles is a junction where a side road turns sharply left and the main road enters the mouth of Florence Canyon. I parked here by a square-lattice wire fence.

I hiked up the road into Florence Canyon. After about ½ mile, the road switched back sharply left and didn't seem to be of any use in climbing Mount Augusta, so I abandoned it and headed cross-country uphill, on the N side of Florence Canyon, soon gaining the crest of the ridge. From here the route is straightforward, heading directly up the ridge for about 3000 feet of elevation gain. The vegetation is mostly small scattered evergreens. There are several summits on this ridge (6560+, 7562, 8130, 8200+, 8522, ~8700, and 9253). I found it best to climb directly over the top of most of these, with just a couple of exceptions. About half of the 200' loss from peak 8130 can be avoided by traversing its S side, but only if one begins to drop off the ridge well in advance of it, and knows exactly where to do so; otherwise, brush hinders the effort. If one gets very close to peak 8130 while still on the ridge, it is best to traverse its N side, despite the steep talus there. Peak 9253 is easily bypassed well to its N. The ridge eventually joins the main crest of the Clan Alpine Mountains, on which it is an easy scramble N up the ridge to the summit, which has a small radio tower.

On my descent, I discovered that an unmapped road climbs from near the mouth of Florence Canyon to the saddle immediately NW of point 6160+, and this is probably the preferred route. The junction where this road begins is about 1/3 mile up the main Florence Canyon road from where I parked my car.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:4866 ft / 1481 m
    Extra Gain:400 ft / 121 m
    Distance:8 mi / 12.9 km
    Trailhead:Florence Canyon  5900 ft / 1798 m
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Open Country, Snow on Ground, Scramble
Ascent Statistics
    Time Up:5 Hours 30 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time Down:3 Hours 

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