Ascent of Dunderberg Peak on 2018-11-13

Climber: Rafee Memon

Others in Party:AJ Kaufmann -- Trip Report or GPS Track
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Tuesday, November 13, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Dunderberg Peak
    Elevation:12374 ft / 3771 m

Ascent Trip Report

After hiking Mounts Stanford and Morgan in the Rock Creek area the day before, I stayed one more night in Bishop before driving back to the Bay Area. I wanted to get one more peak on the way home, which would in all likelihood be my last SPS peak of the season. I was putting off Dunderberg Peak for years due to my friends' not-so-glowing trip reports, but with AJ agreeing to join me, it seemed like a good opportunity to have someone to suffer with.

We left Bishop at 7am and arrived at Virginia Lakes at 8:30am, and we started cross-country from the trailhead towards the southeast ridge. The climb started as a simple talus climb, but as we progressed up the ridge, it became steeper and more enjoyable. The crux was a class 3 move to climb up and over a pinnacle to stay on the ridge proper -- definitely more enjoyable than trying to negotiate a loose scree slope on either side. After completing the ridge climb, it was a short walk across the plateau and up the final couple hundred feet to the summit, which we reached around 10:15am. The views were spectacular in all directions, although the sky was obscured by high wispy smoke. At least the air we were breathing was fresh.

We descended down a chute directly below the south flank of the summit that led to the eastern edge of Moat Lake. The slope alternated between sand, plunge-steppable scree, and larger talus that required a lot of care. AJ and I stayed close together on the descent to minimize the risk of rock missiles. Partway down, as we were plunge-stepping, we realized that we had started a rock slide that was slowly gaining speed behind us. We only noticed it because AJ had stopped to make sure I was close behind him. I needed to dodge a basketball-sized rock hurtling towards me as we waited for the slide to subside. Near the bottom, the talus became more stable as the slope flattened, and we made a beeline for the trail. It was less than a mile walk back to the trailhead, where we arrived around 12:30pm. I made the drive back across the state through the smoke and arrived in the peninsula at 5:30pm, just in time for dinner. I was already wishing I'd extended my trip a few more days for the sake of my lungs.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2694 ft / 820 m
    Total Elevation Loss:2694 ft / 821 m
    Round-Trip Distance:3.7 mi / 6 km
    Grade/Class:Class 3
    Route Conditions:
Open Country, Bushwhack, Scramble, Exposed Scramble
    Weather:Pleasant, Breezy, Partly Cloudy
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:2519 ft / 767 m
    Distance:1.6 mi / 2.6 km
    Route:SE Ridge
    Start Trailhead:Virginia Lakes TH  9855 ft / 3003 m
    Time:1 Hours 45 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:2694 ft / 821 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 2519 ft / 768 m; Extra: 175 ft / 53m
    Gain on way out:175 ft / 53 m
    Distance:2.1 mi / 3.4 km
    Route:South Slope
    End Trailhead:Virginia Lakes TH  9855 ft / 3003 m
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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