Ascent of Mount Pinchot on 2008-07-26

Climber: Greg Gerlach

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Saturday, July 26, 2008
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Pinchot
    Elevation:13494 ft / 4112 m

Ascent Trip Report

I left Los Angeles at 7:30 a.m. for the 250 or so mile drive to the trailhead. I had about a 30 minute wait at the Inter-Agency Visitor Center located south of Lone Pine while several groups of people ahead of me were issued permits. Permit in hand, I traveled up Highway 395 in search of the Sawmill Pass Trailhead. I had forgotten the map and struggled to find the correct turnout from the highway. After several wrong turns, I finally made it to the trailhead and was hiking up the trail at 1:00 p.m. The trail goes south from the trailhead parking area up through the desert sand and sage brush, switch backs up to the ridge, then drops down a little bit into Sawmill Canyon. I continued up the trail, passing the scar of an old fire, and reached Sawmill Lake at 7:00 p.m.

The next morning, I was hiking up the trail by 7:30 a.m. I went up over Sawmill Pass and dropped down the other side to the John Muir Trail, where I headed north and made my way to my planned campsite located at the lake basin just east of Mt. Wynne. I quickly made camp, threw some gear and water into my day pack, then headed off toward Mt. Pinchot at about 1:00 p.m. I traveled north up towards the peak’s east ridge, made a left turn at the ridge and climbed just below the north side of the ridge toward the summit. I crossed back to the south side of the ridge, continued up to just below the summit crags, then scrambled to the top. The route was mostly class 2 and I arrived at 3:10 p.m. I descended the summit by way of the southeast face, which was steep in places but only class 2, and I was back in camp at the lake at 5:10 p.m.

The next morning, I left for Mount Wynne at 6:00 a.m., making my way up the peak's east ridge. At around 12,800’ in elevation, I circled around to the south side of the peak, then made my way up to the summit. I was on top at 7:20 a.m. and the route was mostly class 1 up the ridge and class 2 near the summit. The weather looked a little iffy, so I quickly made my way back down the peak to camp, packed my gear and headed out by 8:30. I arrived at Sawmill Pass at 12:00 p.m., the car at 4:00 and was home by about 9:00.

Please see my 07/27/2008 Mount Wynn trip report for additional trip stats.

Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:10895 ft / 3319 m
    Elevation Loss:10895 ft / 3319 m
    Distance:35.5 mi / 57.1 km
    Grade/Class:Class 2
    Nights Spent:2 nights away from roads
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:9895 ft / 3015 m
    Extra Loss:1000 ft / 304 m
    Distance:17.8 mi / 28.6 km
    Route:East ridge
    Trailhead:Sawmill Pass trailhead/JMT  4599 ft / 1401 m
Descent Statistics
    Elevation Loss:9895 ft / 3015 m
    Extra Gain:1000 ft / 304 m
    Distance:17.8 mi / 28.6 km
    Route:East ridge
    Trailhead:JMT/Sawmill Pass trailhead  4599 ft / 1401 m

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