Ascent of Belknap Crater on 2019-07-02

Climber: JohnE Sarna

Others in Party:my sons
Geoffrey Sarna -- Trip Report or GPS Track
Date:Tuesday, July 2, 2019
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Belknap Crater
    Elevation:6872 ft / 2094 m

Ascent Trip Report

We drove along McKenzie Hwy to the McKenzie Pass sign, across Hwy 242 from the Dee Wright Observatory, but had to backtrack a half mile to find the poorly marked PCT trail junction (5200') with parking on the north side of McKenzie Highway. The trailhead is on an island of soil the Lava flows didn't cover, continues uphill, crosses a short lava field, then again continues uphill through the trees with the lava bed on the left, until all ahead is old lava. A trail has been cut on the lava made up of crushed smaller rocks partially covering the lava, which are difficult to hike over. The spur-trail to Little Belknap is signed but not the spur trail going left off the PCT to Belknap Crater. We passed it by because there was an "X" over it, but eventually began hiking cross-country (west) when the PCT continued north and downward. There were only a few short sections of flat snow to cross, but it soon went steeply uphill on sand and small rocks, where we found the use trail. The steep sandy soil made it difficult walking up, even on the use trail, until it leveled out just before the high point, the deep crater being just past the top. It was much easier coming down, the Belknap Crater spur-trail ending at the PCT. After a short jog south on the PCT, then the well-marked trail to Little Belknap, we followed another use-trail a quarter mile going slowly up with a bit of class 2 at the end to get to the highest point and check out the nearby small lava tube caves.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1772 ft / 540 m
    Total Elevation Loss:100 ft / 30 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Snow on Ground, Snow Climb
    Weather:Cool, Very Windy, Low Clouds
clouds at level of Belknap Crater
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1772 ft / 540 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 1672 ft / 510 m; Extra: 100 ft / 30m
    Loss on way in:100 ft / 30 m
    Distance:3.9 mi / 6.3 km
    Route:PCT north then around north side of peak
    Start Trailhead:pull-off for PCT where crossing McKenzie Hwy  5200 ft / 1584 m
Descent Statistics
Ascent Part of Trip: Belknaps (0 nights total away from roads)

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Belknap Crater2019-07-021772 ft / 540 m
2Little Belknap2019-07-02305 ft / 93 m
Total Trip Gain: 2077 ft / 633 m    Total Trip Loss: 1122 ft / 342 m

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