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Ascent of Carson Peak on 2020-05-25

Climber: Ian Jones

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Monday, May 25, 2020
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Carson Peak
    Location:USA-California
    Elevation:10892 ft / 3319 m

Ascent Trip Report

Started from Rush Creek TH, crossed the creek before Agnew lake at the foot bridge. Ascending the switch backs was relatively painless, only a few drifts covering the trail. At the top I strapped on crampons to cross a moderately steep drift but could likely be circumvented with more creative route finding. Once in Spooky meadow, snow covered the ground and what I thought was the west slope route didn't reveal an obvious route as seen below. I traversed further up through the scree heading SSE trying to find a more straightforward weakness in the ridge.

Nearing approx. 2/3rds into the meadow and about 1/3rd up the scree slope, I spotted a narrow chute with 30 foot crumbly granite towers on either side to be the most promising chance to gain the summit ridge. I scrambled up a miserable amount of loose rock of all sizes to find myself class 3-ing on some loose talus with larger basketball-sized boulders being trundled in the process. The chute was about 100 feet long and eventually I attained another more gently sloping scree slog. The angle slowly tapered to the ridge proper and I scampered to the summit. A dollop of snow covered the summit proper on an otherwise snowless ridge. No summit register found.

In my descent, I opted to find a similar 'weakness' as my ascent. I slid down about five chutes of scree, each ending with me reaching steep cliff bands on poor rock. None looked solid enough to enter the class 4/5 territory so I found my way back to my original ascent chute. In my opinion, this peak is more destination than journey. The sheer amount of boulder trundling and sketchy traverses made many sections not enjoyable (mostly type 2 fun). All this said, the summit views were outstanding with unobstructed views of the entire Ritter range. I'm glad to have ticked this June Lake icon but would be hard pressed to find myself bagging it a second time.
Summary Total Data
    Grade/Class:3+
    Quality:7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Bushwhack, Scramble, Exposed Scramble
    Gear Used:
Crampons
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Bluebird
Ascent Statistics
    Time:2 Hours 40 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:2 Hours 38 Minutes



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