Ascent of Mount Sill on 2013-08-17

Climber: Rich Stephens

Others in Party:BMS 914 -- Trip Report or GPS Track
Collin Kamholz
Date:Saturday, August 17, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Mount Sill
    Elevation:14153 ft / 4313 m

Ascent Trip Report

The TH to Mt. Sill starts just outside of Big Pine, CA at the end of Glacier Lodge Road. One of the California 14ers, Bart said that it was a 20-mile round trip. I figured it would be a 16-hr day hike but it actually turned out to be a 22-hr day hike. We left the TH at 0430 Saturday, 17 Aug, and arrived back to the same TH Sunday morning, 18 Aug, at 0230. It was a long day but the weather was pleasant and the company was good. Collin had actually gotten sick within the first few minutes of the hike. He believes that it was the little bit of Subway sandwich that got him…so he went back to the parking lot. I had studied the route and Bart has a good basemap on his GPS so I knew that we would get along fine without Collin. We are all pretty experienced in the backcountry so I wasn’t too worried.
I had packed a lot of food and a large variety too. I also packed my water filter which we used twice on this trip. We were originally going to do this as a 2-3 backpacking trip but we all decided to do it as a day hike. I’m too keen on carrying a heavy pack to begin with so this decision was well received by me.
The country was beautiful as is always the case in the Sierras. After several miles of walking along the North Fork trail, the trail ended and we made our way up to the higher country. We skirted around Mt. Gayley and up the moraine fields to the base of Mt. Sill. The rocks were loose and I had one very close call where a large rock shifted and nearly pinned my entire leg. My leg would have broken for sure. There was lots of rock fall in this area and the entire area seemed to be one, big unstable mess. I wasn’t so frustrated going up but coming down I was tired and getting irritable. It seemed that every time I took a step, there would be some sort of slippage or rock slide.
Nearing Mt. Sill, the scrambling went from class 3 to class 4 and we worked our way up through the notch and to the ridge and then a slight scramble to the top. There wasn’t anything too easy on this mountain so patience was always required
We made it back down nearly the same way. After 22 hours of hiking, we were all very exhausted. It was a great day though. While Bart , Collin, and Jodie went to look for a hotel, I stayed back with Joel and we went to a nearby campsite. He slept in his car and I had to get out and pitch a tent. I was very tired in doing so but I knew the reward would pay off quickly. I put on some clean clothes and climbed in my bag and went to sleep. Meanwhile, Bart, Collin, and Jodie were searching for a hotel with none to be found. They eventually had to camp as well.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:6246 ft / 1903 m
    Elevation Loss:6246 ft / 1903 m
    Distance:18 mi / 29 km
    Grade/Class:Class 1-4
    Quality:6 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Open Country, Snow on Ground, Scramble, Exposed Scramble, Rock Climb
    Gear Used:
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:6246 ft / 1903 m
    Distance:9 mi / 14.5 km
    Route:North Fork Big Pine Creek Trailhead
    Trailhead:End of Glacier Lodge Road  7907 ft / 2410 m
    Time Up:11 Hours 
Descent Statistics
    Elevation Loss:6246 ft / 1903 m
    Distance:9 mi / 14.5 km
    Route:North Fork Trail
    Trailhead:End of Glacier Lodge Road  7907 ft / 2410 m
    Time Down:11 Hours 

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