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Ascent of Sawtooth Mountains High Point on 2013-11-30

Climber: Brian Browning

Date:Saturday, November 30, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Sawtooth Mountains High Point
    Location:USA-California
    Elevation:4684 ft / 1427 m

Ascent Trip Report

From the end of McCain Valley Road parking area Chuck Ramm and I followed the use trail to the Pepperwood Trail. The use trail is easy to lose in the middle 1/3, but the bushwhacking and route finding is not too difficult if you have a GPS. We followed the Pepperwood trail down to Canebrake Valley and then took a direct route towards the face of Sawtooth Mtns HP. The lower 400' of the 2000' scramble is rather sandy and of poor quality. We considered traversing towards the Sawtooth-Red Top saddle, but opted to stick to the direct route. While quite bouldery and brushy in spots it is never more than class 2 rock. I gained the saddle immediately east of the summit block and then cross easy terrain to the summit massif. The final 100' scramble to the summit block has a couple easy class 3 moves and some brush to contend with but not overly challenging. The summit boulder has an exposed class 3 crack (possibly class 4) with good holds.

The summit register could not be located in the vicinity of the summit boulder. Chuck placed a terracache in the north face of the summit boulder about 6' off the ground. Once we returned home it appears the summit register is SE of the SE (lower) summit block. A curious place to be sure.

For our descent we proceeded to the Sawtooth-Red Top saddle and then moderate slopes to Canebrake Valley up Pepperwood and back. In retrospect we should have used this as our ascent route also. Overall a challenging and very rewarding day! (88 of 100 SDC peaks complete)
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:4694 ft / 1430 m
    Extra Gain:2220 ft / 676 m
    Round-Trip Distance:12 mi / 19.3 km
    Route:Pepperwood Trail/Canebrake
    Trailhead:McCain Valley Road (end)  4430 ft / 1350 m
    Grade/Class:Class 2 (3 summit bl
    Quality:8 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Bushwhack, Scramble
Ascent Statistics
    Time:4 Hours 25 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:4 Hours 10 Minutes



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