Ascent of Jepson Peak on 2013-07-13

Climber: Mat Kelliher

Others in Party:Tanya Roton
Pat Vaughn
Jeff Taylor
Shannon Porter
Bruce Craig
Jesse Paran
Date:Saturday, July 13, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Jepson Peak
    Elevation:11205 ft / 3415 m

Ascent Trip Report

***Sierra Club Outing***
led by Mat Kelliher, Pat Vaughn, Bruce Craig

Trip consisted of an ascent up Vivian Creek Trail (VCT) to the San Bernardino Peak Trail (SBPT) to get Jepson, Little Charlton and Charlton Peaks. We intended originally to pick up Little Dobbs and Dobbs and descend the west ridge of Dobbs to the trailhead, but time got away from us and we opted, for safety, not to take our party down that steep ridge in the dark.

The VCT is well defined and easy to follow, and very scenic, but its quite steep in places and is very strenuous. The first member of our team of 12 checked out about 30 minutes up the VCT; that's okay though, he wouldn't have liked the rest of this trip at all. Once at the junction with the SBPT at 11,250', two more members of the team checked out; one was throwing up and was suffering from diahrrea, the other wasn't feeling too good and decided to take the sick one out.

The original idea was to hike west on the SBPT to the eastern ridge of Jepson at 11,000' and then follow the ridge to the summit. From there we'd continue west from the summit and descend the west ridge of Jepson to the SBPT. From there we'd travel a short distance and then head off trail north up the southern ridge of first Little Charlton and then Charlton. Instead, due to mis-communication between the front and rear leaders, we bypassed Jepson and went straight to Little Charlton's southern ridge and ascended cross country with easy route finding to the summit of Little Charlton and then Charlton. From Charlton we dropped back down to the SBPT and followed it east to the east side of a gully, just a touch west of Jepson's summit, on Jepson's southern slopes. Easy but steep climb up the southern slope with very simple route finding to the summit. One of our team was feeling the effects of altitude and didn't make the climb up to the summit, she made her way east with another member who'd been up Jepson before and wanted to keep an eye on the latest ailing climber.

After summiting Jepson, two more of our remaining 9 members were starting to feel the effects of altitude, and one other was out of water. My recently broken toe was bothering the hell out of me on the descents, and was causing me to move real slow. So we spread our group out; a first, fastest group went out with Pat, Bruce took the slower group down, and I took up the rear, taking the slowest group down.

Our descent was via the VCT. Darkness and the steep terrain slowed everyone down; the faster group got down with a total on-trail time of 15.5 hours, the next group 16.5 hrs, my group 19.5 hrs.

Mileage and gain includes all three peaks.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:6900 ft / 2103 m
    Round-Trip Distance:24 mi / 38.6 km
    Route:Vivian Creek Trail, San Bernardino Peak Trail, XC
    Trailhead:4305 ft / 1312 m
    Quality:8 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear

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