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Ascent of White Mountain Peak on 2011-09-10

Climber: James Barlow

Others in Party:Greg Slayden
Date:Saturday, September 10, 2011
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:White Mountain Peak
    Location:USA-California
    Elevation:14246 ft / 4342 m

Ascent Trip Report

I failed on White Mtn 10 years ago due to weather and conditions, so it's been a long time coming. Did this one with Greg Slayden on mountain bikes via the normal route. Greg has been waiting to climb this one for 20 years since his failed attempt in 1991. So, we were both quite determined to summit this peak on our way to the Mt Grant event in Hawthorne.

After leaving the 106 degree heat of 29 Palms, CA at 5:30pm, I made it to the 11,600 ft trailhead by 12:15am. Greg pulled in not long after (12:45am), but I was already knocked out in my warm sleeping bag. The original plan was to start riding at 5am. I awoke to find my sleeping bag and mat covered in frost. Quite a rude awakening after leaving the deserts of Joshua Tree 12 hours earlier. It was still pitch black, so Greg came over and we decided on 6am. We hit the trail at 6:25am, making the first 2 miles to the research station in about 30 minutes on our mountain bikes. It was really cold, but huffing and puffing up White Mtn Rd on our bikes warmed us up after 2 miles. We walked the bikes up the steep section behind the research station and then rode almost the whole way to the sub-peak at 13,175 ft. We then foolishly rode our bikes down to the saddle over crap rock on a steep road. After attempting the first switchback, we ditched the bikes and hiked the last 1k ft or so to the summit. Neither Greg or I are seasoned mountain bikers. We just figured it could save a lot of effort over the flat parts. We made the top around 10:45ish, and took the obligatory summit photos. One for the P5k set, P2k set, CoHP set, etc.... After chatting with 2 hikers and a trail runner on the summit, we were headed down. We picked up the bikes at the saddle between White and 13,175 and walked them up 13,175. There was no way we were riding that. We then made it back to the cars in just under an hour from the top of 13,175. Never would have happened on foot... The last 2 miles were perfect bliss, coasting down White Mtn Rd, and we earned every second of it.

If you are actually good at mountain biking, take a bike on this one. Greg and I did fine and we are more of hikers who would rather ride downhill to save the knees. I would ditch the bike on top of 13,175 below the final summit switchback section unless you are really good at riding uphill. As always, White Mtn is a magnet for afternoon thunderstorms and lightning. Start early and haul ass!

Stats:
15 miles RT, 2646 ft gain

Link to pics

Peak #1 of 10 on my week-long CA-NV-UT peakbagging extravaganza!!
Next up: Mt Grant, NV: Mineral CoHP/P2k/Great Basin Peaks List/NV 11k
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:2646 ft / 807 m
    Gear Used:
Bicycle
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:2646 ft / 807 m
    Route:White Mountain Road
    Trailhead:11600 ft / 3535 m
Descent Statistics



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