Ascent of McLeod Mountain on 2019-05-28

Climber: Milda Tautvydas

Date:Tuesday, May 28, 2019
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:McLeod Mountain
    Elevation:8099 ft / 2468 m

Ascent Trip Report

From end of FS Road 500, just before the hairpin, walked the road a ways to the hairpin and followed path and old road scars to the burn below peak 7670, then went up slope to the summit of peak 7670 and traversed the ridge NE to McLeod Mountain summit. On the descent, took McLeod's south ridge to point 7093 and descended due south to our car at the rock blockade on road 500. We watched a bear walk up the road towards Goat Peak Lookout. McLeod summit was covered in the greatest numbers of ladybugs we have ever witnessed. Millions upon millions on ladybugs. Nearly no summit rock could be visible under the thick mats of ladybugs. It was very difficult to tip toe between the boulders to the top without killing any insects. The thickest mats were on the North and West summit rock, and descended a good way down the steep north face. Absolutely phenomenal. Saw mountain lion tracks in the snow on the ridge between Point 7670 and McLeod summit. The burn on McLeod's south slopes was extensive and burned deep into the forest duff. The ash was thick, but still wet from snow melt so dust and flying ash was not a problem in spring.

NOTE: see report for Sunrise Peak: Note from Sunrise Peak can consider climbing McLeod, or vise versa: Investigated climb up Bullhorn Peak's north ridge in an attempt to combine ascents with McLeod, but about 200 feet from the top, the broken, friable rock steepened and the risk wasn't worth it, despite being so close to the top; in addition, it was difficult to tell if the route would go once we got over Bullhorn's summit (in retrospect, after having climbed McLeod the following day, it looks like it would be relatively straightforward to get from Bullhorn's summit to McLeod); a safer way to connect these two peaks, rather than climbing Bullhorn's steep and broken north ridge, would be to descend Sunrise's SW slope to the west basin and contour at 6,000 feet all the way to McLeod's NW ridge that runs between the forks of Hurricane Creek. McLeod is an easy ascent from there. Or, from McLeod, attain Sunrise Peak's summit from McLeod by reversing this route suggestion. Another way to connect to McLeod from Sunrise is to descend into the basin east of Bullhorn Peak to between the forks of Panther Creek's headwaters; then find the obvious gully that takes you over Bullhorn's west ridges and contour to McLeod's West ridge, then ascend the ridge. This way is longer than the Hurricane Creek basin route, and more involved route finding. We climbed McLeod the following day from the end of FS Road 500, at the rock pile blockade). With David Salinger.
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