Ascent of Wagontire Mountain on 2009-04-06

Climber: Lane Johnson

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Monday, April 6, 2009
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:4x4 Vehicle
Peak:Wagontire Mountain
    Elevation:6513 ft / 1985 m

Ascent Trip Report

The standard route is from the south, starting from a dirt road off Hwy 395 just south of the deserted site of Wagontire, Oregon. However, I came in from the north, turning off Hwy 20 at the Gap Ranch, then driving 13 miles and turning west for another half-mile to park at Couch Spring. It's a good desert road with only a few rough spots, but NOT to be attempted when there's any chance of mud. There are several "No Trespassing" signs, but they generally refer to property adjacent to the road (although ranchers are known to place their signs with deliberate ambiguity, leaving outsiders the impression that the road right-of-way is off-limits too). From where I parked it was a beautiful 2-mile hike to the top, with a 1,500 ft. elevation gain. Since the route was from the northeast, there was still plenty of snow (though melting fast); so on the way down I launched off a high ridge and enjoyed more than 1,000 vertical feet of beautiful "stridin' and glidin." Awesome view from the top: the Sisters and Mt. Jefferson to the west; Abert Rim to the south; the Steens to the SE, looking like a glimmering jewel in the morning light; Strawberry Mt. to the NE; etc.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:1471 ft / 449 m
    Distance:4 mi / 6.4 km
    Route:Northeast flank
    Trailhead:Couch Spring  5042 ft / 1536 m
    Grade/Class:Class 2
    Quality:2 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Open Country, Snow on Ground
    Weather:Cold, Calm, Clear
Clear and cold
Ascent Statistics
    Time Up:2 Hours 
Descent Statistics
    Time Down:1 Hours 

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