Ascent of Sonora Peak on 2019-07-28

Climber: Brett Marciasini

Others in Party:Arthur Marciasini -- Trip Report or GPS Track
Date:Sunday, July 28, 2019
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Sonora Peak
    Elevation:11459 ft / 3492 m

Ascent Trip Report

This was a backup plan for the weekend after plans for Glass Mountain fell through. I needed to find a good hike on my way to Hawthorne for Mt. Grant the following day, but I would have my kids along, so I didn’t want a lot of mileage. Sonora looked good as a 5-mile out and back trip and if the kids were feeling, go for Stanislaus Peak.

The hike up from the St. Mary’s Pass wasn’t bad. One snow drift we had to maneuver around but it was easy. Once we reached the Pass, the views were unbelievable. Talk about a “wow” moment. We went up a small hill here and it opened to high plateau which was easy walking across to the massive summit. There is a great use trail up the summit through the dark rocky sections and in no time we were on the summit and my highest peak to date.

We spent 30 minutes up here and never could find a register. My son saw a pencil way down in the rocks and saw a lone piece of paper deep in the windshelter that I could not fish out without toppling it. Met a few others on the summit that came from the PCT trailhead on Sonora Pass and recommend we descend that way making a loop.

This was all good for awhile before we lost the trail. On my descent track, you will see a section where plunge stepped a steep hill down to the PCT. This would have actually been a very quick descent if not for the kids.

Once down to the PCT, there is one narrow section of snow on steep ledge. This was very scary to do with the kids and I had to assist them each time. The drift is 20 feet or so long and there is a nice snow berm for most of it on the downhill side that provides some safety. However, there is a 3-4 step section that is very slick and very exposed. There aren’t any ways around it and it looks like it will be this way awhile longer.

After that, the PCT is easy to follow. I did try going over one snow drift further down and ate it pretty hard, sliding about 4-5 down into the mud. This was easy to walk around as well. Dumb move on my part.

Followed it all the way down to 108 where we had a 15-minute walk along the shoulder to get back to the truck. Passed the fellows we met on top coming up the highway as we looped in opposite directions. Had I known the loop was gonna be 7 miles, I think we would have just tagged Stanislaus Peak instead. 2.5 miles up, 4.5 down

Beautiful area and my first time hiking along Sonora Pass.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2227 ft / 678 m
    Total Elevation Loss:249 ft / 75 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:2227 ft / 678 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 1978 ft / 603 m; Extra: 249 ft / 75m
    Loss on way in:249 ft / 75 m
    Distance:7 mi / 11.2 km
    Route:Over SM Pass, loop to PCT
    Start Trailhead:St. Mary’s Pass TH  9481 ft / 2889 m
    Time:2 Hours 15 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:3 Hours 5 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Brett Marciasini
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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.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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