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Ascent of Whale Peak on 2013-02-17

Climber: Marit Chrislock-Lauterbach

Date:Sunday, February 17, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Whale Peak
    Location:USA-California
    Elevation:5349 ft / 1630 m

Ascent Trip Report

This hike functioned as a way of celebrating my 32nd birthday! Hiked with my husband Nate - just a really awesome day spent in the desert with my #1 person. Started from the Pictograph Trail, and then used a map and compass to navigate. Headed NE around Smuggler's Canyon Wash and followed the wash up into the gully. From there is was pretty easy to navigate - there were some class 2-3 dry waterfall rock scrambles around 3800-4000 feet, but it wasn't bad. The sandy bits of the wash were awesome and there wasn't a lot of overgrowth. Eventually we reached the saddle and found ducks on our right side (around 4300 feet) marking a path up another gully. We confirmed with the map and compass and followed the route up... reached a beautiful flat plateau where, according to the HPS website, we should have intersected another trail... but we never saw another trail. The path was VERY well worn and easy to follow. Plenty of ducks made the navigation great. Climbed final ascent up the mountain - it was awesome. Only part on for 30 minutes until we were joined by another group. Overall great hike - the way down was super easy and no navigation issues. Lots of fun boulder hopping down Smuggler's Canyon and then back to the TH via the Pictographs. Great day in the desert! Beautiful views and not hard to find!
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Scramble



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