Ascent of Northeast Cicero Peak on 2012-08-01

Climber: Edward Earl

Date:Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Northeast Cicero Peak
    Location:USA-South Dakota
    Elevation:6240 ft / 1901 m

Ascent Trip Report

From US-385 / SD-89, 4.2 miles N of where they join in Pringle, I headed NE and then N on Sidney Park Rd aka CR-793, which is well-graded gravel. Call this point mile 0.0. At 3.6 miles, the road turned to pavement and I turned R (E) on Flynn Creek Rd aka CR-336. At 4.4 miles I stayed straight where Glen Erin aka CR-337 goes L. At 5.7 miles I stayed straight where Cicero Pk Rd goes R. At 6.7 miles is a grassy valley on the L which had cows grazing at the time. I parked on the N side of the road at a slight widening at the base of the ridge on the W side of this valley. If you reach a fork where Herbert Draw Rd branches off, you've gone ~¼ mile too far. Some topo maps show a road heading up the valley, but in reality this road does not exist, with not the slightest hint of even the faintest abandoned road ever having been there.

If approaching from the N, you can turn S on Woodland Meadows from US-16A, 0.4 mile E of the junction with SD-89 on the E side of Custer. Go 3.7 miles S until the pavement ends; this is where Flynn Creek Rd goes E, and from here you follow the above directions beginning at mile 3.6.

I hiked up the forested ridge, steeply at first, then levelling off and the young pine trees became so dense that I could barely squeeze between them. Farther up, I began to encounter occasional steep open grass which became more frequent, eventually becoming totally open. I could see the forested summit above, ahead, and to my right. Despite the openness, the going was not as easy as it looked from afar because the grass was tall and there were occasional rocks and tree trunks hidden in it. Around 6100', scattered forest began to return and I soon arrived at the summit, which is a small rock outcrop protruding from the grass.

On the descent I chose the same route only as far as the saddle just N of point 5821. Then I left my ascent route for "greener pastures", heading E downhill through scattered pines and eventually heading down the valley where I had seen cows at the beginning. By this time, however, the cows were gone. That route is less steep than my ascent route and avoids some elevation gain and loss. It is definitely the preferred way if there are no cows there, and possibly even if there are cows.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:800 ft / 243 m
    Elevation Loss:800 ft / 243 m
    Route Conditions:
Open Country
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:800 ft / 243 m
    Extra Loss:60 ft / 18 m
    Trailhead:Flynn Crk Rd  5500 ft / 1676 m
    Time Up:40 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Elevation Loss:740 ft / 225 m
    Trailhead:Flynn Crk Rd  5500 ft / 1676 m
    Time Down:30 Minutes

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