Ascent of Cardinal Mountain on 2018-08-08

Climber: Rafee Memon

Others in Party:Alberto Fitting
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Wednesday, August 8, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Cardinal Mountain
    Elevation:13396 ft / 4083 m

Ascent Trip Report

The sixth day of the Sierra Challenge started from the Taboose Pass trailhead. After turning off of 395, it took me 45 minutes to reach the trailhead in my rental Nissan Versa. Parts of the road seemed like no more than a rough riverbed, and it took a great deal of patience to cover the final five miles. I arrived in just enough time to don my boots, pose for the group photo, and start up the trail promptly at 5:00am. This was my first time up the Taboose Pass trail, and I made a concerted effort to pace myself and save energy for the roughly 8,000ft of gain. I forded the creek at around the 3-mile mark, but all other crossing were easy. We reached the top of the pass at 9:05am, and after a snack break, Alberto and I set off towards the county line ridge route of Cardinal. The lower part of the climb was more or less a standard climb up stable talus. At the false summit, I had my first view of Split Mountain just to the north. The climbing quality deteriorated as I traversed across the ridge and to the saddle with the talus becoming larger, loose and unstable. I summited at 10:42am with Alberto arriving about fifteen minutes later. Aside from haze in the valley, the sky was completely clear, and I had perhaps the most spectacular and sweeping view of the Sierra so far in my climbing career. We decided to descend down the south face in a more direct path to the pass. Secor's description of the route as being full of "disagreeably loose rock" is entirely accurate; I would not recommend this route for either an ascent or descent. We stopped at the lake below the chute to fill up on water, eat lunch, and wash out a wound on my hand from the descent. I left from the lake at around 12:30pm and arrived at the trailhead at 3:14pm. Temperatures at the low elevations were in the high 90s, and I was glad to still have some cool water from the lake.

Stats: 5h42m up, 28m at summit, 4h4m down, 17.9 miles, ~8,000ft gained.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:7996 ft / 2437 m
    Grade/Class:Class 2
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Open Country, Stream Ford, Scramble
    Weather:Hot, Breezy, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:7996 ft / 2437 m
    Distance:17.9 mi / 28.8 km
    Route:County Line
    Start Trailhead:Taboose Pass TH  5400 ft / 1645 m
Descent Statistics
    Route:South Face
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Rafee Memon
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Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

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