Ascent of Flat Top Mountain on 2013-07-21

Climber: Rob Woodall

Others in Party:Richard Carey
Shelley Rodgers
Mark Adrian
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Sunday, July 21, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:4x4 Vehicle
Peak:Flat Top Mountain
    Elevation:10620 ft / 3236 m

Ascent Trip Report

After my Deseret Peak climb, met Mark Adrian, Richard Carey and Shelley Rodgers, drove together to Ophir. For trailhead, drive thru village, road becomes good unpaved surface, cross creek (easy with normal low clearance as of July 2013), trailhead signposted right at N40.38168 W112.23809, large new parking area at N40.37788 W112.23335, 2070m. While we looked at the signboard, my car locked itself with the keys inside. Took a couple of hours via rental company to get someone out; once a local "locksmith" was identified he was with me in 30 minutes and got into the car in less than a minute.

Plenty of camping further up the main valley past the trailhead; toilets e.g. at N40.39201 W112.23275. Quite busy on a weekend.

Next morning we convoyed to the trailhead, left my car there and the four of us continued up the road beyond the trailhead in Richard and Shelley's sturdy high clearance 4x4s. The road is pretty rough! In 0.9 mile we turn R at N40.36836 W112.22277. Mark has been in touch with the Ault family who own several parcels of land here and they do NOT want people going (too far) L here; Mark had been given a letter giving permission to trespass (seems an oxymoron!). In another mile or so we park at an obvious wide flat area at N40.35148 W112.21947, 2457m, in a saddle below Porphyry Hill.

The main dirt road turns R here but we take a smaller steep road which soon ends. Looking L, find a small cairn (N40.35254 W112.21688) marking the start of a trail. This is a bit overgrown in places but zigzags uphill then traverses a gentle slope to a shallow col. At a small cairn N40.35661 W112.20772 a narrow path keeps R and contours. This is the route Petter Bjorstad describes. Perhaps the easier route, although from the description it could be brushy further on before it reaches the col before Lewiston Peak.

Anyway we turned L at this cairn, taking a clear trail climbing up to the L. This essentially runs out in trees, but heading straight up the slope we summit a quite nice rocky peak, N40.35864 W112.20377, about P20m. We descend N to a small saddle then contour R of another bump to reach the broad saddle at the foot of Lewiston Peak. From here a trail, sometimes indistinct, leads to the summit of Lewiston Peak, N40.36011 W112.19408, 3169m, cairn and bench mark.

To get to Flat Top we retrace our steps a short way then descend R through open woodland, a little brushy, finding the main trail which leads along the ridge, across a bump where we find a memorial to one of the Ault family. Trail then bends R along ridge, quite bouldery in places, to reach the summit of Flat Top. Outcrop at N40.37209 W112.18919, 3233m with register, or flat grassy summit a few metres further on with cairn, N40.37238 W112.18889, elevations look very similar.

After 30 mins we head down. Back at the Lewiston saddle we decided to go back over our little rocky top as there is no sign of a trail round and the bypass route doesn't look that appealing anyway. From its summit we head down the ridge to join the main trail at the cairn N40.35661 W112.20772, whence back to the vehicles. Some trail bike and horse activity on the 4x4 road.

Th 07:40, summit 10:50-11:20, Th 12:58, duration 5h18

The drive back to the main trailhead is pretty jolting, but preferable to walking the road in midday heat.

Leaving the San Diego trio I commence the long drive back to Seattle for the second part of my trip: Cascades volcanoes. Quick drive up Amabilis Mountain tomorrow in passing but next main ascent is Mount Baker a couple of days hence.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:2910 ft / 885 m
    Elevation Loss:2910 ft / 885 m
    Distance:8 mi / 12.9 km
    Grade/Class:YDS 2
    Quality:6 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Open Country
    Weather:Hot, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:2746 ft / 836 m
    Extra Loss:328 ft / 99 m
    Distance:4 mi / 6.4 km
    Trailhead:8202 ft / 2499 m
Descent Statistics
    Elevation Loss:2582 ft / 786 m
    Extra Gain:164 ft / 49 m
    Distance:4 mi / 6.4 km
    Trailhead:8202 ft / 2499 m
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Rob Woodall
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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