Ascent to Buck Peak-S Ridge on 2012-06-09

Climber: Greg Slayden

Others in Party:Craig Willis
Date:Saturday, June 9, 2012
Ascent Type:Unsuccessful - Turned Back
Point Reached:Buck Peak - S Ridge
    Elevation:4260 ft / 1298 m
    Remaining Elevation:491 ft / 150 m (29% left to go)

Ascent Trip Report

It was a very rainy day. After getting a bit lost in locating the start of the Huckleberry Trail that led up to the PCT, we finally found it and soon encountered snow. It was not too bad at first, and when we got to the PCT the winds on the ridge had blown most of it to the east side of the ridge, making the forest floor only covered with about 6" of new stuff. However, as the PCT started slabbing its way north, it was covered by huge drifts of icy leftover snow from winter, covered with a foot or more of new stuff from last night. When there was a steep slope above and below the slabbing trail, the drifts were almost impassable.

After fighting our way north past Devil's Pulpit, and trying to bushwhack a bit on the ridgecrest (less snow, but brushy and cliffy), we returned to the PCT and after a particularly annoying snowdrift we decided to bail. It made sense to return when the PCT was a flat and trivial hike, instead of making it an epic ordeal where we had to fight for every yard. Routefinding in the deep snow was difficult, too--the trail was utterly obliterated in most places.

We returned via Preachers Peak, a low-prominence consolation prize that offered a straightforward snowy bushwhack to a viewless summit area. From there is was easy ridge hiking to the Huckleberry Trail and an easy downhill trudge to the car. We were attending the annual convention of the Highpointers Club that evening, so it was best we returned to Government Camp early anyway.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:1180 ft / 359 m
    Quality:4 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Snow on Ground, Snow Climb
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Snowing, Cool, Breezy, White-out
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:1180 ft / 359 m
    Extra Loss:100 ft / 30 m
    Distance:4.1 mi / 6.6 km
    Trailhead:Lost Lake CG  3180 ft / 969 m
Descent Statistics
Ascent Part of Trip: 2012 - Buck Peak

Complete Trip Sequence:
1(Attempt) Buck Peak2012-06-09 a
2Preachers Peak2012-06-09 b
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Greg Slayden
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
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.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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