Ascent of Indian Peak on 2019-12-22

Climber: Alexander OConnor

Date:Sunday, December 22, 2019
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Indian Peak
    Elevation:6545 ft / 1994 m

Ascent Trip Report

The route to this peak is identical to North Franklin until you arrive to the part of the trail where you see a sign that identifies the park boundary and where Castner Range begins. Castner Range was a former artillery and aerial bombardment range, and the big concern with entering Castner Range is encountering unexploded ordnance (UXO). It is for this reason I won't encourage others to make the calculated risk I did.

The way to Indian Peak is not difficult, and is pretty obvious. We continued over the first peak and veered Southeast into a steep saddle. From there, there's really only one way to go. A steep incline up, almost requiring you to use hands and feet, as you make your way up rock slabs and intermittent scree slopes. There is a shed on top.

The shed has several names inscribed on it. The earliest inscription we saw was from 1971! The shed's bulkheads appear to be acting as the summit registry. We added our names. It is possible to climb to the top of the structure, but I wouldn't encourage anyone to compound any risks already taken. Still... it makes for a nice elevated view.

The site was clean and I feel it is clear of any UXO. I would strongly discourage venturing anywhere else within Castner Range if you opt to climb this peak.

Overall, a fun little adventure as we were willing to accept any consequences we might have encountered. Excellent view of East El Paso. It's offset flanking position off the main ridgeline also gives you a unique perspective of the rest of the Franklins. From there you can see South Franklin, North Franklin, and Anthony's Nose as well much of the ridgelines between.

If you choose to climb, do so at your own risk. Leave no trace, and do not tamper with any UXO you might encounter. As always, stay wild, and be safe!
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack

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