Ascent of Kitching Peak on 2014-02-23
|Date:||Sunday, February 23, 2014|
|Ascent Type:||Successful Summit Attained|
| Elevation:||6598 ft / 2011 m|
Ascent Trip ReportI have been wanting to hike this peak for sometime and finally got around to doing it. I called Morongo to see if they would allow us to pass through the reservation but they refused. I even offered to join the players club at the casino, they still said no. We decided to hike from Whitewater Preserve. The people at the Whitewater Preserve are so helpful and friendly. I made arrangements with them so we could start at 5am. The walk to Stills Landing was scenic. Once we left the pct, there is really no trail up the river valley, but its easy walking. From Stills Landing we started up Grape Canyon. The trail is basically nonexistent in most places. There are lots of game trail to follow, but we really just followed the general direction the trail was heading on the map rather than try and find the exact location of the trail. Reaching the drainage that comes down from The Sink was fairly easy. There was a nice stream there. We crossed the canyon at about 4200'. From there to about 6000' on the NW ridge of Peak 6264 was the toughest section. It was steep, no signs of a real trail, and the brush is somewhat thick. Once we crossed the ridge, there is a nice section of trail still intact that contours below peak 6264 to the junction of the Kitching Peak Trail and the East Branch Millard Canyon Trail. We found a metal trail sign here. From that junction to Peak 6476 was generally a followable trail, but it is overgrown in most places and easy to lose. From 6476 to Kitching Peak was not much of a trail and the final 100' or so to the peak we had to crawl through a tunnel of brush. We found a register on top that was full of red ants. We dumped out the ants and signed in. The last entry was in 2010 by large group from the SBNF (I guess they can get access to the area but the rest of the public can't?) Before that was an entry from 2007 by Terry Flood and friends. It took about 7 hours to reach the top. The hike out was uneventful other than finding a Honda 80 moped on the steep canyon slope above Grape Canyon. How that thing got there is a mystery. I would love to hear about it. We made it back to Whitewater preserve around 5:30PM. It was about 21 miles round trip and the gain was about 4800'
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| Route:||from whitewater preserve|
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