Ascent of Temple Crag on 2013-07-14

Climber: Patrick Bergeron

Others in Party:Brad Perry
Michelle S
Dagmar Platzer
Michael Medlin
Eddie Cervantes
Li Fang
Date:Sunday, July 14, 2013
Ascent Type:Unsuccessful - Turned Back
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Temple Crag
    Elevation:12927 ft / 3940 m

Ascent Trip Report

Note: Mileage and elevation gain as listed here are higher than the minimum required to bag this peak. We took a lot of dead ends and had to do a lot of downclimbing/upclimbing before we finally found the ideal Class 2/3 route to the summit ridge. Unfortunately, we got to the summit ridge at exactly our turnaround time. Rest of the climb looked pretty gnarly. Had a blast on this mountain.

The route described in this TR is the least technical (i.e. easiest) route to the top of Temple Crag. It's essentially steep Class 2 (with a couple mild class 3 moves) all the way to 12925ft, after which it's clear Class 3.

From the southeast side of Lake 3, you'll get your first clear shot of the north face of Temple Crag. Follow the highlighted route in the photo, avoiding the large talus/boulders on the right; if you follow the route to the left, you'll have a faint trail to follow that's pretty clear of talus for at least the first several hundred feet. Contact Pass.

Make it to the top of Contact Pass (11800ft). Note Contact Crack (5.2) to your immediate right (west). Head straight down from the pass a couple hundred feet. Around 11640ft you'll see an opening on your right where you can cut around the ridge to the west. Photo of the cut-through from the opposite side. Continue west about .25mi, trying to avoid downclimbing as much as you can. Along the way you'll be tempted to take one of the chutes or chimneys up. If you're not the climber type, do yourself a favor, and don't bother. Resist the temptation. We tried half a dozen routes and eventually hit walls every time. Instead, just continue along a smoothe contour westward, eventually curving southwest around a jutting ridge.

Just on the other side of the jutting ridge, around 37.108149,-118.488049 (12000ft) you'll arrive at the bottom of a wide gulley heading north. Take it! Continue to the top of the gulley. Soon you'll arrive at a saddle with two options. Either continue straight and up through an opening between two rocks on a small ridge (after which you have a steep downclimb) or take the easier right down and around the bottom of the ridge.

Once on the northeast side of this ridge, you'll face another gulley, at the top of which you'll see dark rocks colored as if by a waterfall. (This was bone dry when we were there.) Head straight up until you encounter the sheer rock, at which point hang a left, always striving to move upwards. You'll probably see a cairn or two along the way.

From here on out, the goal is to choose the path (a) upwards (b) headed west and/or (c) headed north. Essentially, you'll head west until you see a good angle to turn right and head north around whatever ridge is to your right. And you'll repeat this west, north, west, north, west cycle until you arrive at 12945ft and can go no higher.

The rest of the route is ridge-walking and scrambling with 1000ft drops on either side of you. Enjoy!
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:7018 ft / 2138 m
    Total Elevation Loss:7018 ft / 2138 m
    Round-Trip Distance:16 mi / 25.7 km
    Grade/Class:Class 3
    Quality:9 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Scramble, Exposed Scramble
    Nights Spent:1 nights away from roads
    Weather:Pleasant, Breezy, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:6515 ft / 1985 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 5217 ft / 1590 m; Extra: 1298 ft / 395m
    Loss on way in:1298 ft / 395 m
    Distance:8 mi / 12.9 km
    Route:Contact Pass
    Start Trailhead:Backpacker's Parking Lot, Glacier Lodge Rd.  7710 ft / 2350 m
    Time:9 Hours 45 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:5720 ft / 1743 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 5217 ft / 1590 m; Extra: 503 ft / 153m
    Gain on way out:503 ft / 153 m
    Distance:8 mi / 12.9 km
    Route:Contact Pass
    End Trailhead:Backpacker's Parking Lot, Glacier Lodge Rd.  7710 ft / 2350 m
    Time:4 Hours 40 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Patrick Bergeron
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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