Ascent of Shellrock Peak on 2012-07-28

Climber: Eric Noel

Others in Party:Ken Jones -- Trip Report or GPS Track
Date:Saturday, July 28, 2012
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Shellrock Peak
    Elevation:6835 ft / 2083 m

Ascent Trip Report

Drive the Bethel Ridge Road from US 12 up to a pass and then drive W towards Cash Prairie. Good passenger car suitable roads but with annoying washboarding. Hike the good trail from this high trailhead as it heads W towards your peak(s). It rolls up and down and passes over a few bumps for a mile before a marked trail junction where you take the left fork (Ironstone trail) to Burnt Mtn rather than the trail to the right which is oddly labeled Burnt Mtn trail even though the latter option does not actually go to Burnt Mtn. The proper Ironstone trail drops and then rises up somewhat steeply towards Burnt Mtn. A brief detour on easy dirt/scree slopes will get you to the top of Burnt. Then you drop perhaps 700 feet to a saddle and then continue along here and rise gradually in the forest as you draw near to Shellrock Peak. Once again there is a trail junction and once again you want the left/Ironstone fork even though the wrong trail to the right is called Shellrock trail. Continue on Ironstone from this trail junction for 1/10th of a mile until near the S ridge of Shellrock and then jump off through brief open forest towards the talus of Shellrock. A bootpath goes up the first rocky bump and you can contour around the second bump and we went on the W side. Intriguing geology on this peak. From there it is mostly just gentle talus slopes and we found easy going in several areas but especially just E of the tall blocks that are on the ridge. Interesting rocks. The rock changes from dinner plate talus to angled saucer rocks that are neatly folded together. Soon enough you are on the open summit. Good views abound. We reversed the route and went back out without incident.

Overall, a nice pleasant hike that netted a P1500. The trail is open to the sun more often than not and has good views. The peaks are just walk-ups but pleasant enough. Trail is in perfect shape. Could be a hot hike with the sun and the rocks but this is mitigated by the high 6000' trailhead. Trailhead area offers no water or crapper but some camp spots and it would be reasonably cool at elevation and with some views so works fine as a place to car camp. A recommended hike even for non-peakbaggers. Be aware that even though the net gain from TH to Shellrock is 500' the ups and downs push the gross gain closer to 3000'.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2915 ft / 887 m
    Extra Gain:1200 ft / 365 m
    Round-Trip Distance:9 mi / 14.5 km
    Route:Ironstone Trail
    Trailhead:Cash Prairie  6320 ft / 1926 m
    Grade/Class:Class 1+
    Quality:6 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Open Country, Snow on Ground
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Hot, Calm, Clear
Pleasant turning hotter later
Ascent Part of Trip: BurntShellrock

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Burnt Mountain2012-07-28 a56 ft / 17 m
2Shellrock Peak2012-07-28 b2915 ft / 888 m
Total Trip Gain: 2971 ft / 905 m    Total Trip Loss: 2971 ft / 905 m

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