Ascent of Mount McKinley on 2017-02-05

Climber: David Comerzan

Date:Sunday, February 5, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount McKinley
    Elevation:4926 ft / 1501 m

Ascent Trip Report

This was a scheduled hike to this Lower Peak with Dan Richter as co-leader. Joining us was Jin Chung, Lee Young Ok, Jason Pcot, Sunny Kim, Nadia Ammar and Susan Kang. To get to the trail head, we exited the 210 at Sunland going east on Foothill. The peak guide tells you to continue to Gleason, but I find it easier to turn left (north) on Ore Vista (there is a 7-11 on the corner). Follow Ore Vista approximately 5 miles to mm 2.05. You will see a dirt road coming in on your left. Turn here. Normally, the first gate is open and you can drive 4/10 mile to a parking spot, but today it was locked and we had to park on the side of the road. If you park there, make sure you don’t block the gate.
We started hiking up the road for 2/10 mile to a junction. We took the road on the left, walked around a locked gate. This road is called Gold Creek Rd. From this point, we walked 4.3 miles to Gold Creek Saddle (3700’). There is a very obvious cement water tank at the saddle. On the way up, we saw a ridge that went up to the Yerba Buena Trail and would save up about 1 mile in distance. However, we could not see a portion of it and we did not want to take a chance on it.
After a short break at the saddle, we started up the Yerba Buena Trail. There is no sign, but the trail is obvious. As we went up this trail, we checked out the ridge and could see what we couldn’t see before. We decided it was worthwhile to try on the return. We continued on trail to a saddle just before McKinley. We then started up a use trail that ran southwest to the summit. The trail was steep, about 700’ in 4/10 mile, but the footing was good and the ridge was easy to follow. On the summit we found a register. On the way down, we took the ridge in question on the way up and found it to work out nicely. It definitely saved us distance, but I’m not sure about time since you can walk a road faster than a ridge.
Conditions for the day were comfortable but unfortunately due to a low hanging marine layer, the views on the way up and down were not the greatest. However, at the summit, the views were spectacular, with many of our favorite peaks poking out above the marine layer.
8:00 am Depart. 1900’
10:00 am Gold Creek Saddle. 3700’
11:20 am Mt. McKinley Summit 4922’
2:20 pm Car. 12 miles round trip, 3000’ gain, 6 hours, 20 minutes

Summary Total Data

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