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Ascent of Sonora Peak on 2013-06-15

Climber: Eric Noel

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Saturday, June 15, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Sonora Peak
    Location:USA-California
    Elevation:11459 ft / 3492 m

Ascent Trip Report

The plan was to do Leavitt since that is a P2000. But there was still a fair amount of snow on the N slopes and it looked like there could be sketchy spots and it would be slow. Late start and slow fat guy considerations too so I decided to bail to Sonora which is shorter. Only a COHP and not a P2000 but still of interest. I had a map but no beta. Started from the pass and hiked to campground and then up an old jeep track. It went up and down a bump. Then towards the ridge. Figured it would connect to the PCT. But no, at 10,000 there is a bootpath up the right side of a gully near some sharp cliffy pinnacles. So I took this path and it worked well and got me up to the PCT. Turned L for 100 feet to a saddle of sorts with the pinnacle area on the L and the S or SE ridge on the right. Here was another visible bootpath going steeply up the ridge. I took this and followed it up for several hundred feet until popping out at a flat spot with snow. Lost the bootpath and here I decided to traverse scree slopes diagonally towards the peak as the route looked viable. This worked but was loose and slow and a mistake. Got to the summit though and it was all good. Wide views. Still a fair amount of snow in the Sierra but less than normal. The register is completely soaked; both it and the jar it is in need to be replaced. Hiked down and stuck with the ridge which had a good bootpath all the way down to the flat spot. Then down the steep bit to the 10,400 pass. Here I figured the PCT would be a more pleasant exit than my looser steeper bootpath ascent route so I took that out. But it is rather circuitous and take took too long for my taste. When I got home I was surprised to see that a lot of people do this from Saint Mary's Pass which didn't even show the trail on my map. Or they do it from the PCT at the switchback too. But I guess a lot of folks go the way that I went too given the decent path that I found for much of the hike. Nice area with views although it reminded me more of the peaks around Leadville than the High Sierra.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:2089 ft / 635 m
    Elevation Loss:2089 ft / 635 m
    Distance:5.3 mi / 8.4 km
    Grade/Class:Class 1+
    Quality:6 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Snow on Ground
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Pleasant, Windy, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:1989 ft / 605 m
    Extra Loss:150 ft / 45 m
    Distance:2.2 mi / 3.6 km
    Route:South Ridge
    Trailhead:Sonora Pass  9620 ft / 2932 m
Descent Statistics
    Elevation Loss:1939 ft / 590 m
    Extra Gain:100 ft / 30 m
    Distance:3 mi / 4.8 km
    Route:South Ridge
    Trailhead:Sonora Pass  9620 ft / 2932 m



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