Ascent of Pine Mountain on 2012-04-05

Climber: Gustav Sexauer

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Thursday, April 5, 2012
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Pine Mountain
    Elevation:9550 ft / 2910 m

Ascent Trip Report

After sleeping at the intersection of Brady Field Road and 430 I woke up before sunrise and started driving. To begin, I made a wrong turn off the highway towards the highpoint, moreover, it was the same one that my incapable Honda van made three or four years ago. This road is called Co Rd 81, but I'm not sure if there was any signage to signal that in reality. After a ways I arrived at an abandoned farm. I took a right here on a very narrow one lane dirt road. Don't go this way if it is wet, and know that there are easier ways. After about 2.5 miles the road brings you into the bottom of the green ditch. I took a left/south turn (after going the wrong way). This brings you up to an intersection with a sign that faces south so you have to go past it to read it. It has two or three places, but not Pine Mountain on it. Nevertheless, take the road west from this intersection. There are no more splits in the road until you get to the base of the slopes, and it is pretty much straight forward. Unless of course, you happen upon a quite large snowbank at about 8760 feet. I tried the alternate switchback to the south to get around it, but this road ends in a mound that could only be surmounted by a monster truck or similarly lifted vehicle. Maybe a rock crawler. As I got out and walked I was dismayed by the fact that there were no more snowbanks. For all the time it took me to walk out the ridge I could have gotten out my avalanche shovel and carved a path in the snow and made the whole trip quicker. My walk was somewhat spooky as I heard the calls of wolves or coyotes and I encountered some pronghorn that were standing directly on the old tower footings. Despite the chilly air and the unexpected hours out of the car, I was really lucky to get this one this early in the year. Views all around were wonderful, and I was fortunate for clear skies. On the way out I turned right/south at the not-signed-for-Pine-Mountain gravel intersection. This brings you to 430 in just over four miles on the most maintained road of them all. The intersection with 430 has many snow fences on the northwest side and an big cylindrical tank as well. For regular cars, this is the best way to go.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:790 ft / 240 m
    Round-Trip Distance:6.1 mi / 9.9 km
    Trailhead:8760 ft / 2670 m
    Grade/Class:Class 1
    Quality:4 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Open Country, Snow on Ground
    Weather:Cool, Breezy, Partly Cloudy
Ascent Statistics
    Time:1 Hours 20 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:40 Minutes

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