Ascent of Morris Peak on 2020-10-10

Climber: David Sharg

Date:Saturday, October 10, 2020
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Morris Peak
    Elevation:7215 ft / 2199 m

Ascent Trip Report

Morris Peak

Total distance: 9.3 miles
Total elevation gain: 2,100 ft
Total time: 4 hours 55 minutes
Start time: 7:30am
Trailhead: Walker Pass; intersection of Highway 178 and the PCT
Accomplishments by list: HPS #83

Difficulty of hike: 5 out of 10. I intended to do more than just Morris Peak, but I got a leg cramp and turned around. But the part I did do wasn't difficult at all. The PCT climbs at a very gradual pace. The use trail is steeper, but it is very clear, and there are no route finding or bushwacking issues.

Views during hike: 9 out of 10. Excellent views at the summit, including the sheer western face of Mount Jenkins, Five Fingers to the southeast, and possibly Russell and Backus peaks to the south. Along the trail, excellent views of Scodie Mountain and possibly Pinyon Peak.

Ascent on the descent: none

People seen during hike: one jogger

Animals seen: A bunch of quail early on

With areas opening up after the fires, I aimed to bag some peaks in the south Sierras (not the South Sierra Wilderness, which was still closed). The goal was to start from Walker Pass, and get Morris, Jenkins, and maybe Owens if I still had time and energy. The day start off easy enough. Approaching Morris, the peak looks daunting, but the use trail skirts the two false peaks visible from the PCT junction before going to the true summit. It's steep, but not nearly the steepest trail for an HPS peak.

The use trail ends about 20 feet from the summit. I reached this point, took one step towards the summit, and got an intense cramp in my leg. This was surprising, as I didn't feel I was exerting myself too much on the use trail.

I crawled up the last few feet to the summit on one leg, and took a long break with food and Gatorade. Looking towards Jenkins, I could see the PCT running through the saddle about 600 feet below me, but the descent looked very steep, even with two good legs. I had two descent routes saved on my phone GPS, Mihai Giurgiulescu's from 5/25/19, and TJ Codras from 4/25/20, but I decided not to try either of them. Instead, I descended the same use trail. When I got back to the PCT, I was still not feeling great in my leg, so I decided to head back, and save Jenkins and Owens for another day. As a result, this hike was not difficult at all.
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by David Sharg
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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.

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