Ascent of Keynot Peak on 2020-10-13

Climber: Kathy Wing

Date:Tuesday, October 13, 2020
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Keynot Peak
    Elevation:11101 ft / 3383 m

Ascent Trip Report

I took the Union Wash Route. I parked at 5,100' just before the washout of the 4WD road. My stock 4WD Tacoma with KO2 tires did fine on the last 1/2 mile to the starting point but it is a rough 4WD road that requires good clearance and good tires. Up until the last 1/2 mile the dirt road was good and most vehicles could make it to that point but I'd suggest something with more clearance than your standard low slung sedan.

This was my fourth and last time up Union Wash. My first time was a day hike to Mount Inyo. Then it took me three tries to make it to Keynot. First I tried Keynot as a day hike but turned back due to snow when I got on the ridge. The second time I tried Keynot, I wasn't paying attention as I was driving on the old 4WD trailhead and dropped into the washed out area where I ended up high-centering in my Tacoma. Five hours of building up rocks and jacking up the truck got me out but I was done for the day and my arms were exhausted from dragging around rocks. Finally, on this trip I knew enough to park right before the washout at 5,100'. I decided to do an overnighter to celebrate my 60th birthday. I drank a lot of water before I started and hauled 4.5 liters of water with me, which turned out to be plenty. This trip I went up Union Wash to where the old miner's trail switchbacks up the hill before the canyon narrows. I followed the switchbacks religiously and did not take shortcuts to save energy. It worked and I felt great when I got to about 7,600 at the top of the switchbacks. After that it got harder - the miner's trail has gotten looser over the years and it was difficult going until where I crested the hill east of bump 9,155'. After that it was an easy trek to where I camped at 9,400' in Bedsprings Camp. The next morning it was an easy trek to the saddle at just over 10,000' and then the trek along the ridge was also easy until a little less than 1/3 mile from the summit at about 10,800'. I made the mistake of trying to stay up on the ridge for that last section. I dropped down once and tried to go back up to the ridge only to have to dropped down again. I lost a lot of time and when I finally dropped down the second time and found a faint use trail under the northeast side of the ridge that made all the difference. The use trail took me to near the summit. The trek back was much easier as I just stuck to the use trail that side-hills under the loose crappy ridge. On the way out I followed the trail all the way and did not scree ski down that last section like previous trips and my legs thanked me - I used to love to scree ski, but these days I'll opt for gentle switchbacks if they area available.

I uploaded the GPS track of my descent route where I stayed on the easier use trail from the final part of the ridge near before the summit.

Day 1 was about 4 miles with 4,200' gain and Day 2 was about 8 miles with 2,200' elevation gain; so, a total of about 12 miles with 6,400' elevation gain counting all the ups and downs.
Summary Total Data
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

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

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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