Ascent of Whitestone Ridge on 2013-04-27

Climber: Craig Willis

Others in Party:Paul Michelson
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Saturday, April 27, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Hi-Clearance Vehicle
Peak:Whitestone Ridge
    Elevation:4760 ft / 1450 m

Ascent Trip Report

Lesson learned:
Do not go to this peak in Spring and expect to be able to drive most of the way up the road. There might be lingering snow patches at locations and/or elevations otherwise unexpected. In addition, there might be MANY downed trees. If attempting this peak anytime between late Autumn and late Spring, bring a saw and/or hatchet (we brought & used both). In fact, be prepared to hike a while.

We first encountered a major obstacle when five(!) different trees had fallen across the road at a single location, at only 2700' elevation and far from our destination. Fortunately for us, the two largest trees were still hanging over the road with enough clearance for us to drive under, and the other three trees blocking our road were small enough to hatchet/saw and remove. Little did we realize that this would become a common theme for us, as we stopped at least one dozen times to move downed trees, sometimes by hand and sometimes with hatchet and/or saw. We were eventually stopped by a sudden deep snow patch near a corner winding around a creek drainage, still before where the newer road meets the older summit road.

Also, the road is kind of rough in places and a high-clearance vehicle is recommended. No 4WD needed, though.

As for the summit, itself, we really enjoyed this fire lookout site. The wind was whirling like crazy. The western slopes are steep cliffs. The westward views were awesome, including seeing such prominent peaks as Keller Butte and Moses Mountain.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1070 ft / 325 m
    Extra Gain:50 ft / 15 m
    Round-Trip Distance:5 mi / 8 km
    Trailhead:3790 ft / 1155 m
    Quality:2 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Open Country, Snow on Ground, Scramble
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Cool, Very Windy, Overcast
Vehicle Stopped By Road Snowpack
Ascent Statistics
    Time:0 Days 1 Hours 5 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:0 Days 0 Hours 55 Minutes

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