Ascent of Vinegar Hill on 2013-06-17

Climber: Richard Hensley

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Monday, June 17, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:4x4 Vehicle
Peak:Vinegar Hill
    Elevation:8120 ft / 2474 m

Ascent Trip Report

Forest Road 2010 is about 1.4mi west on County Rd 20 from the entrance to Bates State Park. Road 2010 goes up the hill through a maze of logging roads, mostly unmarked with only a couple signs pointing toward Vinegar Hill. The way is easy to follow though; stay on the main road with the newer small gravel. About a mile from the Morning Mine, the gravel ends. Most cars will want to park here. The dirt road becomes rutted with a few rocks sticking out. Didn't really nead 4WD, but more clearance than the average car. Should not be driven when very wet.

I parked at the Morning Mine since I wanted a hike, not a drive-up. At this time, the road can be driven all the way up to about 7700msl, where the road enters a section of trees on Vinegar's west slope. (Hummers may have trouble squeezing past a sawed off tree only a mile or two from Morning Mine.) With one edge of the road available, a couple ATV's have made it through the first trees, but had no chance at 7900msl, in the main forest, where the road is completely covered. The worst is in the little switchback southwest of the summit, where up to 6 feet of snow still covers everything. This continues up and over the south ridge, and then the road is clear once on the southeast slope.

Great views of the Strawberry and Elkhart Ranges. They appear to be melting off about 5 weeks earlier than 2011. My guess is 2013 is about average. Strawberry Mtn looks exactly like it did on 7/22/11, when I climbed it via Onion Creek. (Via Strawberry Basin Trail that day was not possible, see my trip report.)
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1897 ft / 577 m
    Extra Gain:130 ft / 39 m
    Round-Trip Distance:9.2 mi / 14.8 km
    Trailhead:Morning Mine  6483 ft / 1976 m
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Snow on Ground, Scramble
    Weather:Pleasant, Breezy, Partly Cloudy
Ascent Statistics
    Time:1 Hours 45 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:1 Hours 20 Minutes

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