Ascent of Huckleberry Ridge on 2006-11-10

Climber: Greg Slayden

Others in Party:Eric Noel
David Olson
Date:Friday, November 10, 2006
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Huckleberry Ridge
    Elevation:2673 ft / 814 m

Ascent Trip Report

The lower gate at Camp 2, elevation 431 feet, is only open from the first Saturday in November through the second Sunday in November. We scheculed our trip for Friday, November 10th, which unfortunately turned out to be one of the wettest days in the history of the area--solid hard rain the entire time. The lower gate was open, and after crossing the narrow bridge over the West Fork of the Elcohman at the end of Route 407 we turned left on Road 700. In about 1 mile we turned right on Road 710 at 626 feet to take the steep shortcut, which led us uphill 2 miles to the parking area at the upper gate, elevation 1700 feet, near the "Quarry" on the USGS map.

The upper gate was closed, so we got out to start hiking. We followed the easy grade of Road 700 northwest for about 5 miles, halfway along encountering a bulldozer making road repairs--large dump trucks bringing gravel to the worksite forced us to the side of the road every ten minutes while we were below the bulldozer.

We reached an intersection area in a small open area after 5 miles and did not see the sign for Road 825, so we mistakenly headed downhill on the right-hand turn, a continuation of Road 700. After a couple minutes we knew this was wrong, returned to the intersection, and saw the left fork was Road 825. We followed that briefly through an area of deep mud to a col with a clearcut on the far side and a four-way junction. There the right turn was an overgrown road led steeply uphill to the summit area. We found the benchmark to the left of the road as you hike uphill, just before the radio towers. I heard radio chatter coming from the small metal house, but it was thoroughly locked. We did not stay long due to the drenching downpour.

On our return hike we saw the bulldozer had moved up the road a bit, repairing cracks and washouts in the otherwise excellent road. Just before the upper gate we saw the dump trucks were coming uphill with their gravel loads from a road from the north, probably the "4WD" track from "BM 11 HJH". We also saw that the padlock on the upper gate was just hanging there, not locked. But today would not have been a good day to drive the upper road anyway, due to the construction activity.

Advice for this Highpoint: Wait for a dry day during the 9-day November window when the lower gate is open (although in 2006 there were none!), and take a mountain bike--you should be able to easily bike over 10 miles of the 11-mile roundtrip distance from the always-locked upper gate to the summit. When the lower gate is locked, a mountain bike becomes even more essential. The elevation gain from the lower gate to the upper gate is 1300 feet, which can be gained in 3 miles using the Road 710 shortcut (8.2% grade), or 6.3 miles using the switchback of Road 700 (4% grade). My guess is most mountain bikers would opt for the long route, making for a total ride of over 22 miles.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:973 ft / 296 m
    Distance:10 mi / 16.1 km
    Route:Logging Road
    Trailhead:1700 ft / 518 m
    Quality:3 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike
    Weather:Raining, Cool, Very Windy, Low Clouds
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Greg Slayden
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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.

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