Ascent of Monument Mountain on 2012-06-06

Climber: James Barlow

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Monument Mountain
    Elevation:4834 ft / 1473 m

Ascent Trip Report

"June 6th on Monument Mtn!?" you are thinking. It was actually a perfect afternoon for this peak. I have been waiting for just the right combination of long sunlight hours and cool temperatures to do this one since I live close enough to snag it in my series of after-work hikes in and around Joshua Tree Nat'l Park. The breeze was a nice 5mph or so the whole hike and the temperature started around 80-85 and worked its way down to 75 by the end - not bad for June in J Tree.

The drive to the dirt road was uneventful. The dirt road starts out in excellent condition until it hits the Y fork after a mile or so. Then there is a really sandy section for about 50-100 ft. Give it enough gas and you will be fine. The rest of the drive to the trailhead was just fine for my Toyota Yaris - just a little caution required in a few spots. I made it to the 4.8 miles from pavement and headed due north to catch the ridge that heads northwest towards the summit. I pretty much went up non-stop rather quickly in the hopes of heading for Peak 4,493 which was less than 2 miles south of the Yaris. I topped out with the following stats:
3.02 miles
68:30 moving time
2:30 stopped time
5.3 mph max
2.6 mph avg moving speed

Not bad for a hot desert peak in June! I ate an apple, took pictures, and thumbed through the register. I left a big ? for my Lower Peaks number since I have no idea how many I have, but it's not a lot....

Here are the full hike stats:
6.07 mi
7.6 mph max
2hrs 8 min moving time
16 min stopped
2.8 mph avg

As I mentioned above, the goal was to head for Peak 4,493 next. However, I was torn between 2 options:
1) Get Peak 4,993 and definitely top out in the dark. No problem except then I have to drive the Yaris out in the dark and there were a few sketchy spots and I really don't want to hike to Cottonwood Visitor Center for help and spend my night dealing with that.
2) Get Peak 4,493 now because I really don't want to drive the Yaris back down this road ever again.

In the end, option 3 won out - Hey, I am driving really damn slow. I can mountain bike faster than this. The road is not sandy at all except for the 50-100 ft back at the Y which means I can make 10-15 mph on a mountain bike no problem while I am only making 5-10 mph in the Yaris.

So, Peak 4,493 will be hiked using a mountain bike to get to the bottom of the hike at a future date. Besides, there is a nice salmon steak waiting for me in the fridge at home in 29 Palms and I need to pack for my Sierra Nevada trip that I am leaving for tomorrow after work.

Didn't see another human the entire time I was off pavement. Another bonus - I only found 1 mylar balloon which I packed out so my misanthropic rant will be at a minimum this evening:-)

Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1594 ft / 485 m
    Route:SE Ridge
    Trailhead:3240 ft / 987 m
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

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