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Ascent of Whorl Mountain on 1996-08-31

Climber: Richard Carey

Date:Saturday, August 31, 1996
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Whorl Mountain
    Location:USA-California
    Elevation:12033 ft / 3667 m

Ascent Trip Report

The name appeared on the first 1911 edition of the Bridgeport 30 min. map. It was probably named by the USGS during its 1905 to 1909 survey. The name apparently is meant in the botanical sense, such as several leaves or branches growing out of the same place. (Browning, p. 238) The middle highest summit was first climbed by Herbert Blanks, Kenneth May, and Eliot Sawyer on July 9, 1933.

The mountain is usually approached from the north through the Hoover Wilderness. A permit is required for overnight trips from July 1st to September 15th. For permit information contact the Toiyabe National Forest office in Bridgeport at: P.O. Box 595, Bridgeport, CA 93517. Phone: (760) 932-7070

The peak is usually done as a backpack combined with a climb of Matterhorn Peak. The approach is from Twin Lakes south up Horse Creek to a small lake at the head of Spiller Creek which makes a good camp spot. Refer to the Matterhorn Peak writeup for a description of the route in to this lake. From the lake hike southwest along a bench to a small lake shown on the topo map at an elevation of 10,480 ft. which is 0.4 miles ENE of Whorl. Then start climbing higher to the south side of the mountain to an elevation of about 11,000 ft. at UTM 291100E, 4216140N (NAD27). Looking up at the south side from here note the tilted summit pinnacles to the right, a lower mushroom-shaped rock in the center, and a higher rounded rock on the left. Go up the slopes on mixed rock and sand to the gully left of the mushroom-shaped rock. Keep climbing until near the head of the gully and then traverse right through a slot in the ridge. There is a narrow ledge that leads into the next broad gully which has the big, 10 ft. chockstone at its head. Climb up under the big chockstone to an opening on top. (I suggest removing your pack and sunglasses for this!) Once above this chockstone follow the ducks up and to the right on class 2 rock and then straight up to the ridge top with a view on the NW side of the summit. Go along an obvious 3 ft. wide sandy walkway for about 200 ft. to a 2 ft. wide slot that leads to the east side. From here go left up the easy ledges to the summit. The route is about 1.5 miles with a gain of 1400 ft. and takes about 2 hours to the top. 8/96 RLC
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