Ascent of Paiute Peak on 2020-10-10

Climber: William Musser

Others in Party:HC Liang; Dan Connors
Date:Saturday, October 10, 2020
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Paiute Peak
    Elevation:13088 ft / 3989 m

Ascent Trip Report

Parking lot near trail was full making us park back at the winter parking lot and then taking one car to the next lot and it was about 0.7 miles short of the TH. We followed trails up to the big Blue Lake then started contouring and scrambling slabs up to the next alpine lakes. This can be done with class 2 hiking but we saw beautiful granite rock and deliberately followed a line that took us through class 2+, 3, and 3+ formations for fun. HC had hiked the typical class 2 route around the cliff band to the NW where the topo shows tight spacing and it is a talus slog.

Dan and I spied a solid rock rib at a 45 degree angle guarding a scree gully that looked unpleasant and surmised that that path would get us to the top in much shorter distance and allow for some fun scrambling. The rock provided so many nice opportunities we never once had to go into the scree gully despite the fact it was full of boot prints. Why would anyone go in there when you can have solid rock?

Truthfully, you can navigate up and around the rock rib with 75% class 2 routes, 20% class 2+ and perhaps a spot or two of easy class 3. But you can also find plenty of class 3, 3+ and 4 to play on all the way up. Yes we found a few places with loose rock and glad to have helmets on for that but most of the rock is solid and way more fun that a scree gully. You can get about 600 feet of scrambling in and avoid the gully. This put us near the top without having to hike along the ridge far. The summit is confusing with several subpeaks that all look about the same height. The topo implies the "true peak" is the one to the far NW but having traversed back and forth they must be a foot apart and I could not tell what was higher. A boulder in the middle of the peak looks higher than the NW subpeak but who knows? the traverse over to the "true peak" is easy class 3 with some exposure.

Then we set our sights on Audubon which can be done as mostly class 1 with some 2. but coming directly along the ridge between this peak and Audubon does provide very large slab boulders that is MUCH easier than a talus climb. Excellent rock all the way to the peak of Audubon and if you still want to play on some class 3 there are a few extra credit formations where you can still climb (or go around easily and keep to a simple class 2 traverse) whatever you desire.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2941 ft / 896 m
    Total Elevation Loss:13238 ft / 4033 m
    Round-Trip Distance:6 mi / 9.7 km
    Grade/Class:1 thru 3+ on this ro
    Quality:9 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Bushwhack, Scramble, Exposed Scramble
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:2941 ft / 896 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 2741 ft / 836 m; Extra: 200 ft / 60m
    Loss on way in:200 ft / 60 m
    Distance:5.8 mi / 9.3 km
    Route:see GPS track
    Start Trailhead:See GPS  10347 ft / 3153 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:13038 ft / 3973 m
    Distance:0.2 mi / 0.3 km
    Route:see GPS track
    End Trailhead:saddle between peaks  50 ft / 15 m
Ascent Part of Trip: Audubon

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Paiute Peak2020-10-10 a2941 ft / 896 m
2Mount Audubon2020-10-10 b673 ft / 205 m
3Mount Notabon2020-10-10 c166 ft / 51 m
Total Trip Gain: 3780 ft / 1152 m    Total Trip Loss: 13388 ft / 4080 m
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by William Musser
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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