Ascent of Spirit Mountain on 2019-12-07

Climber: Connor McEntee

Date:Saturday, December 7, 2019
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Spirit Mountain
    Elevation:5639 ft / 1718 m

Ascent Trip Report

Spirit is a fantastic desert peak! It's got lots of impressive rock, easy access, and a decent climbers trail. The only thing I can knock it for is that the views from the summit are only nice and not stunning.

I came in from the east to Christmas Tree Pass. Any vehicle should be able to make that drive. There is one water bar that requires care, and there are a couple of rocky sections on the road after it leaves the National Recreation Area.

The route begins with chose your own adventure pathfinding to the first saddle. There's some cactus, but it's not hard to quickly move through this terrain. At the saddle, it appears that people are dropping down to the valley and then going up the preferred drainage. I could see a use trail traversing over, so I thought I'd try that instead. I did find it and there were cairns, but it's not a very well established route. In the end, I'm not sure I really saved any time or effort with the traverse.

Once back on route, it climbs steadily before crossing into the next drainage followed by a big climb up to the ridge. (Surprisingly, the second drainage had a considerable creek flowing.) There were cairns everywhere, so it was pretty easy to find the trail. However, there were frequently two different paths that were both cairned. So, sometimes I ended up on the lesser trail. Right before the ridge, the use trail must do something to avoid scrambling, but I missed that and went right up through the rocks. The summit itself was actually a little craggy, and I had to downclimb through a large fin to even get access to the summit rocks.

From the summit, I enjoyed views of the surrounding ranges and played name that peak for a few minutes. It was stormy and threatening a little rain, so I didn't stay long. I was concerned that if wet the descent could become a little treacherous. It misted a little bit, but the weather never worked its way up to a drizzle. Up high, I must have missed a cairn and pioneered a new path down to where the use trail is more established. I liked all of the terrain I was on, but anyone who does a better job of following the cairns will likely stay on class 2 terrain. At the very end, the final climb back up to the saddle was a little annoying, but it was also nice to just paint by the numbers rather than route find.
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Scramble
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Cool, Very Windy, Overcast

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