Ascent of Gordon Mountain on 2005-06-29

Climber: Edward Earl

Date:Wednesday, June 29, 2005
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Gordon Mountain
    Elevation:4160 ft / 1267 m

Ascent Trip Report

On US-199, 1 mile W of Gasquet, is a turnoff to French Hill Rd, also known as FR411, which is paved for a fraction of a mile; after that it is unpaved but smooth and well-graded. I stayed on the main road for ahout 10½ miles and parked at "intersection 3181" so I could Earlize to 1000' gain. I walked from there, but aspiring Martinizers will want to continue 4 more miles, staying right at a fork after 2 more miles, to the HP area.

The topo map shows three 4160' contour loops. First I climbed the north area, whose summit is covered by scattered trees and brush. I built a cairn next to some brush where I think the HP most likely is, but I stepped on all other high areas I could find just to be sure. A few places near the north summit are open enough to have a view of the south summit, and from this vantage point it appears that the south summit is lower, but I think a hand level would be necessary to confirm it.

I climbed the middle summit from the point where the road passes through the saddle between the two summits. This was a mistake, owing to heavy brush on the north end of long skinny 4160+ area. For a minute I thought I had reached the highest point in this area, but then I noticed higher ground farther south in the more open midsection of the area. So I headed there and walked around to be sure I stood on the highest ground. I tried to backsight to the north summit, but the brush and trees at the north end of the middle area precluded any useful view. I then proceeded farther south to investigate the tiny southernmost 4160' contour NE of a mine, but it is not even discernible in the field, and it is so tiny on the map that I can rule it out as a HP candiate.

Thus the mountain really has only two possible summits, which I shall henceforth call north and south. The north area is probably the HP because it is wider and steeper and the south summit seems lower when viewed from the north summit, but a more careful survey would be needed to rule out the south area. Future prominence visitors to Gordon Mtn can avoid the heavy brush at the north end of the south area by climbing it from the road where it passes closest to the midpoint of the long skinny south area.
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