Ascent of Big Pine Mountain on 2010-05-30

Climber: Amin Faraday

Date:Sunday, May 30, 2010
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Big Pine Mountain
    Elevation:6800 ft / 2072 m

Ascent Trip Report

***Sierra Club HPS Hike

Leaders: Bill Simpson, Peter and Ignacia Doggett
Peaks: Samon Peak (6227'), Madulce Peak (6536'), Big Pine Mountain (6800'), and West Big Pine (6490') in that order
Stats: 50 miles RT, +9,000' for the three days

Breakdown of our Trip:
******Sat. (May 29): Trailhead to Basecamp to Samon Peak ---> 15.5 mi TOTAL, +4300' ******
9.5 mi with +2400' was spent backpacking in to our basecamp (essentially the turnoff for Samon). We stopped at a ridge shy (~0.25 mi) of the actual Chokecherry Spring, dropped our big packs, and did 6 mi RT with +1900' to get Samon.

It took us about 3.5 hours to cover the 9.5 mi to basecamp and an additional 3.5 hours just to tackle the remaining 6 mi RT needed for Samon.

If you camp at the turnoff for Samon, the road is better to camp on (albeit less privacy) than on the ridge itself. It is MUCH less dusty and you will remain cleaner longer. But, I highly recommend camping near the turnoff instead of at Madulce Saddle since the spring is very close to camp (~0.25 mi) and it shaves off 3.5 mi RT of backpacking. Also, if you get water from the Spring, get it from the large metal pipe (cleaner and naturally filtered by the rocks). Avoid the horse trough unless you are desperate!!!!

******Sun. (May 30): Basecamp to Madulce Peak (6536'), Big Pine Mountain (6800'), and West Big Pine ---> 25 mi TOTAL, +4200' ******
Big day. 3 peaks. We started from the turnoff for Samon and tackled Madulce, Big Pine, and West Big Pine. Total time (camp-to-camp) for the day was 11 hr 22 min.

West Big Pine is worth doing last as it has the best panoramic view and a gigantic vertical dropoff (easily more than 1000').

*****Mon. (May 31): Campground to Trailhead ----> 9.5 mi, -2400' loss but with +500' of gain
We left camp at 8:00 AM and finished at 11:20 am and were in Maricopa by 12:20 pm.

I highly recommend the "Big Four" be done this way. Also it was very warm all 3 days (70s, but felt like 80s), so do Samon on the 1st day (as it has the most exposure to the sun and also the toughest in terms of energy expended) and also do the "Big Four" no later than end of April (absolute latest).
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles, Tent Camp
    Weather:Very Warms (70s, but felt like 80s)

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