Ascent of Palen Mountains High Point on 2021-01-31

Climber: Richard Hensley

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Sunday, January 31, 2021
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Hi-Clearance Vehicle
Peak:Palen Mountains High Point
    Elevation:3848 ft / 1172 m

Ascent Trip Report

I could see the gully I wanted, straight on, as I drove in. Looked steep and brushy, so I decided to go up Kassan's route (variant of DPS "C"), and descend the DPS "B" from the north ridge. As I walked up the main gully, I got a profile view of my first choice, not so steep, so I backtracked to start up that gully.

The lower part shared the same gully as the "B" route. This was the funnest part of my day. Deep and narrow gully (almost a slot at times), with lots of clean rock, and a few dry cascades to scramble. It ended in a wall, with the "B" route steeply dropping in from the right, and a narrow ledge allowing my exit to the left. Once up from that chasm, I could see the rest of my gully heading northwest. Though gradual enough, it was slow-going with rocks and brush. Thankfully, no catclaw until a few higher up, and they were easy to go around. I thought "No wonder no one has reported this." A few scrambles starting up the south ridge, and some bouldery tops to bypass on west side.

Looked over at Kassan's route; looked easier, but it also got steep on rocks higher up.

So I descended the "B" route; it seemed most popular. Quite a scramble to get started on the north ridge. The entry into the main gully was also steep and somewhat loose. Gully had some fun parts, but also some pesky catclaw, some that couldn't be avoided. Down low, I crossed over my ascent, since I didn't need to re-do the slot gully, and the route ahead looked easy. It was, until I needed to drop into the big wash. Steep and loose, I chose to walk a ways to find a decent way down. Should have made a gradual re-entry into that slot gully when I had the chance.

Overall, I guess that Kassan's route is easiest and fastest. My route gets you some fun scrambling, without the catclaw problem. If I were to do it again, I would ascend the "B" route for its great scrambling in the gullies and the north ridge, then make an easier and quicker descent via Kassan's track. Just my two cents.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2895 ft / 881 m
    Total Elevation Loss:2895 ft / 881 m
    Round-Trip Distance:5.2 mi / 8.4 km
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Open Country, Scramble
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:2723 ft / 829 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 2540 ft / 774 m; Extra: 183 ft / 55m
    Loss on way in:183 ft / 55 m
    Distance:2.7 mi / 4.3 km
    Route:S face gully to S rij
    Start Trailhead:Patton's Cabin Rd  1308 ft / 398 m
    Time:3 Hours 17 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:2712 ft / 826 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 2540 ft / 774 m; Extra: 172 ft / 52m
    Gain on way out:172 ft / 52 m
    Distance:2.5 mi / 4 km
    Route:N rij; E side gully
    End Trailhead:Patton's Cabin Rd  1308 ft / 398 m
    Time:2 Hours 53 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

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