Ascent of Peak 13221 on 2018-08-12

Climber: Rafee Memon

Others in Party:Sierra Challenge participants
Date:Sunday, August 12, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Peak 13221
    Elevation:13221 ft / 4029 m

Ascent Trip Report

The tenth and final day of the Sierra Challenge called for a long hike behind the crest to Peak 13221, or "Sky Blue Lake Peak". A large group of thirteen of us started off from the Cottonwood Pass Trailhead promptly at 6:00am, and we made our way up to the low pass and towards the Rock Creek drainage. We contoured around the corner to avoid some elevation loss and ascended up the drainage on a pretty good use trail. We ascended the granite slabs to Primrose Lake where several people were stopping for a swim in pursuit of the aqua jersey. From the back of the lake, there appeared to be several route choices to the ridge between Sky Blue Lake Peak and Mount Pickering, including a class 3 scramble and a class 2 sand slog ending in a few chutes, some of which were snow-covered. I opted for the sand slog, which unsurprisingly turned out to be pretty tedious. Partway up, I spotted Bob nearing the top of a chute, and I followed him up what appeared to be a clear path to the ridge. I made my way across the ridge to the top of the peak and arrived at 11:50am, joining Sean, Tom, and shortly thereafter, Chris. While signing the register and plotting our next move to Pickering, we heard one clap of thunder and collectively cursed. We decided to continue on and reconsider if the storm got closer. We reached the summit of Pickering at 12:30pm, and after only a couple minutes, Sean dropped down to continue the ridge traverse to Joe Devel. We followed, and Sean and Tom soon gained distance between me and Chris as the ridge became pretty tedious, but never more than class 2. The thunder became more frequent and the Kaweahs were covered in storms, but we pressed onward. There were a few snow flurries as we traversed the ridge. Once we reached the low point, it became an easier talus hop, and we reached the summit at 1:45pm after passing numerous false summits. Eager to get down from the high point, I made my way down the sand slope, boulders, and bushes on my way back to the trail. I stopped at a trail junction near Rock Creek to have a snack and empty my boots, and Sean, Tom, and Chris passed me after swimming in the creek. I continued on, and they passed me yet again after another swim. We trail ran from the top of Cottonwood Pass, with me pulling up about halfway down to give my knees a rest. I arrived back at the trailhead at 6:40pm where the rest of the group was waiting and celebrating all of the finishers. We hung out for a couple hours having beer and snacks and sharing stories until it got dark. It was sad that the challenge was coming to a close, but I was thankful for all of the new friends that I made and the future trips that we'll have.

Stats: 12h40m round-trip, 28.8 miles, ~6,700ft gained.
Summary Total Data
    Grade/Class:Class 2
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Scramble
    Weather:Pleasant, Breezy, Overcast
Ascent Statistics
    Route:South Slope
    Start Trailhead:Cottonwood Pass TH  
Descent Statistics
Ascent Part of Trip: Sky Blue Lake/Pickering/Joe Devel

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Peak 132212018-08-12 a 
2Mount Pickering2018-08-12 b 
3Joe Devel Peak2018-08-12 c 
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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