Ascent of Mount McLoughlin on 2003-08-20

Climber: Patrick Shannon

Date:Wednesday, August 20, 2003
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount McLoughlin
    Elevation:9495 ft / 2894 m

Ascent Trip Report

From my Pacific Crest Trail journal ( So by midafternoon, with clean feet and a full stomach, I continued on, now climbing steadily to the base of Mt. McLoughlin. I passed a couple of horses along the way. It's funny how I've seen so few horses along the trail. Finally I reached the split of the PCT and the McLoughlin Peak Trail. I had a little more than two hours of light left, so I decided I could still run up the 3.5 mile trail and make it back before dark.

I stashed my pack, chugged a bunch of water, and started running up the trail with only my camera. I figured I would give myself an hour and fifteen minutes to peak. Wherever I was at that point, even if I hadn't peaked yet, I would turn around. Early on, I passed by two older guys that essentially told me there was no way I was going to make it. It was on! Now I had to make it just to prove them wrong!

As it became closer to seven (my time limit), it became clear that I wasn't going to make it to the top by then, so I naturally decided that it would be okay to go to 7:15. That was it, though. No matter where I was, that was the last possible minute I would turn around. Well, I was so close to the top by 7:15, I just had to finish the climb, so I went until 7:20 to peak. Many seem to think that experienced outdoors people make smarter decisions out in the wild. I don't think that's true at all. I think we just figure out a way to survive more of our stupid ones.

The sun was low in the west by the time I finally peaked. Mt. Shasta, Brown Mountain, and Fish Lake all lie to the south; Fourmile and Upper Klamath Lakes to the east; and Thielsen to the north. It was cool to see so many landmarks to the north and south along the trail.

Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Scramble
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Ascent Part of Trip: Pacific Crest Trail 2003

Complete Trip Sequence:
1San Jacinto Peak2003-05-09 
2Mount Baden-Powell2003-05-22 
3Mount Jenkins2003-06-09 
4Owens Peak2003-06-09 
5Mount Whitney2003-06-182898 ft / 883 m
6Half Dome2003-07-01 
12Mount McLoughlin2003-08-20 
14Mount Thielsen2003-08-25 
15South Sister2003-08-30 
Total Trip Gain: 2898 ft / 883 m    Total Trip Loss: 2898 ft / 883 m

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