Ascent of Ontario Peak on 2019-08-14

Climber: David Sharg

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Wednesday, August 14, 2019
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Ontario Peak
    Elevation:8693 ft / 2649 m

Ascent Trip Report

Sugarloaf and Ontario Peaks

Total distance: 9.5 miles
Elevation gain: 3661 ft according to my GPS, 4000 ft as estimated by me
Total time: 10 hours exactly
Start time: 6:30am
Trailhead: Icehouse Canyon, Falling Rocks Canyon
Accomplishments by list: HPS #45

Difficulty of hike: 10 out of 10 for the uphill, 5 out of 10 for the downhill. Took me 6 1/2 hours to climb the peaks. Getting a bit lost in Falling Rocks Canyon didn't help. But on the downhill, the trail was better maintained since the first time I climbed Ontario, so that part was done quite quickly.

Views during hike: 10 out of 10. Very clear from the summit of Ontario this day, got great views of Catalina, Santiago, San Jacinto, Cucamonga, Three T's, and Baldy. Near 360 views from Sugarloaf as well, with great views towards Baldy, Thunder and Telegraph, the city of Mt Baldy and the road to Manker Flats.

Climbing on the descent: The quarter mile ridgeline to Sugarloaf has a few false peaks, and Sugarloaf itself. About 250-400 feet of extra gain in this section.

People seen: No one in Falling Rocks Canyon, on Sugarloaf or Ontario summits, and the trail to Kelly Camp. 1 person between Kelly Camp and Icehouse Saddle. About 10 people between the saddle and the trailhead.

Animals seen: There was some bird circling me for about 5 minutes on the summit of Sugarloaf. Not sure what kind of bird it was.

I don't think you should follow my trail for the lower part of Falling Rocks Canyon. I read other TRs recommending to "keep left", so at the first sign of an impasse, I went left. I found a large scree field that was pretty solid, so I'd figure I'd climb it. The higher I went, the looser it got, and it seemed to be heading away from the canyon and the GPS tracks I downloaded, so I tried to cut back. That put me into some very precarious positions, though eventually I did make it back to the gully where I was supposed to be. After that, I had no problem following the GPS tracks.

From the Sugarloaf-Ontario saddle (which has a shovel hanging there for some reason) to the main trail to Ontario, the trail is very steep and difficult to follow, with light bushwacking necessary at some points. Here, the GPS tracks are nearly a must as much as the first part of Falling Rocks Canyon.

The first time I climbed Ontario, via Icehouse Saddle and Kelly Camp in 2018, the trail was very overgrown, with swarms of bees right on the trail. This time, it was much better maintained, and gave me no issues.
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack, Stream Ford, Scramble, Exposed Scramble
Ascent Part of Trip: Sugarloaf and Ontario

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Sugarloaf Peak2019-08-14 
2Ontario Peak2019-08-14 
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by David Sharg
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
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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