Ascent of Mount Ferguson on 2021-01-16

Climber: Mihai Giurgiulescu

Others in Party:Gary Novotny
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Saturday, January 16, 2021
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:4x4 Vehicle
Peak:Mount Ferguson
    Elevation:8353 ft / 2545 m

Ascent Trip Report

Driving access: I recorded a GPS track of the drive - available by request. The turnoff from Highway 361 is between Calvada and Petrified Summits, and easy to miss. Keep an eye out for an unsigned dirt road on the north side of the asphalt. The dirt road is in pretty good shape as it heads northerly and down towards Petrified Wash. High clearance is sufficient, with the only tricky spots being some minor wash crossings. Near Petrified Wash you reach a T-junction, with roads going left and right. Turn left and continue westerly on a poorer road. There is one sandy spot along this road that can be a bit of a challenge without 4WD or AWD. One problem is the fact that one wheel rut is higher than the other, so the vehicle will be tilted downhill; the other is the deep hole that you have to go through before getting across to more level ground. Similar to desert road situations, you will want to keep going once you are in the ruts and not stop until the vehicle climbs out of the hole. It's very easy to get the wheels spinning in the sand if you stop, like we did. Eventually traction was found and we pulled through. This spot is easier on the way out, but don't launch blindly into it. There is one more right turn to be made, heading towards Petrified Wash again. We stopped at the top of a rise and parked in the brush. Beyond this the last road drops steeply toward the main wash, and I suppose a properly equipped truck or jeep could negotiate the deep gashes in the road, but the rewards in doing so are minimal as the distance saved is less than a quarter mile. Easier and faster to walk it.

Route: I decided to use Gaudet's way up. We made our way into the main wash coming down from the north, which meets up with Petrified Wash to the east. We stayed in the wash for a bit, meandering northerly, then took a gully heading easterly towards an obvious subsidiary ridge. I chose to ascend to the ridge a bit north from Gaudet, using some wide-open slopes. Terrain is nothing difficult here, just steep and rocky. Once on the ridge, we followed it northeasterly. As mentioned, there is one class 2+ section requiring a downclimb; I recommend staying on the left (west) side. The rock is more solid and more fun here. We chose the other side on the way up, and were not happy as the rocks are loose, including an edge that broke when I stepped on it, dropping me a couple of feet and giving me a mini heart attack. Past the scramble there is a sidehill traverse along a minor bump, a small saddle, a burro trail bypassing another bump, then another saddle where you have to turn left and contour along to the steep slope looming to the north. We encountered surprisingly deeper snow on this contouring section, across which I broke trail, occasionally sinking in to my ankles. There is also more vegetation on this NE facing slope, so the most efficient way across is not obvious. However, the distance is very short, and soon you will be at the foot of the steep slope. We powered our way up a 600-ft climb, at the top of which the angle relents. This is the peak's SE ridge proper. We wove our way through more vegetation toward the summit, encountering patches of snow along the way. I broke trail across a few of these. Before long, we were at the high point, taking in an expansive panorama in all directions. From this location, one can take in the entirety of the Toiyabe Range to the east, with Arc Dome standing out clearly. The north slopes of Ferguson drop precipitously for several hundred feet, then fall away in gentle-looking ridges and canyons. Since we had another peak on the schedule that day, we didn't linger long at the top. The weather was unbelievably warm for January, with just the slightest of breezes touching us here and there. We followed our track back to the subsidiary ridge, then down into the wash and up the road to the car. The last thing to mention is that navigation is important descending the SE ridge, as it's really easy to get sucked going into the wrong direction due to the lack of obvious landmarks on the ridge, and its flatness. I had to do course corrections several times to make sure we dropped down the steep slope close to where we had come up.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2470 ft / 752 m
    Total Elevation Loss:2470 ft / 752 m
    Round-Trip Distance:6.4 mi / 10.3 km
    Route Conditions:
Open Country, Snow on Ground
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:2160 ft / 658 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 1853 ft / 564 m; Extra: 307 ft / 93m
    Loss on way in:307 ft / 93 m
    Distance:3.2 mi / 5.1 km
    Route:SE Ridge/Slopes
    Start Trailhead:Ferguson Parking  6500 ft / 1981 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:2163 ft / 659 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 1853 ft / 564 m; Extra: 310 ft / 94m
    Gain on way out:310 ft / 94 m
    Distance:3.2 mi / 5.2 km
    Route:SE Ridge/Slopes
    End Trailhead:Ferguson Parking  6500 ft / 1981 m
Ascent Part of Trip: Western Nevada Prom 2021-01

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Mount Ferguson2021-01-16 a2470 ft / 753 m
2Garfield Hills High Point2021-01-16 b1520 ft / 463 m
3San Antonio Mountains High Point2021-01-171910 ft / 582 m
Total Trip Gain: 5900 ft / 1798 m    Total Trip Loss: 5900 ft / 1798 m
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

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