Ascent of Mount Le Conte-Cliff Top on 2014-07-25

Climber: William Musser

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Friday, July 25, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Mount Le Conte-Cliff Top
    Elevation:6555 ft / 1997 m

Ascent Trip Report

Second half of my climb up Le Conte. After reaching the true summit (a rock pile with no views) in only 2 hours, I now had reserved enough time to explore quickly one of the side trails. I had noticed the signs of this trip indicated it was a loop and coming down off the true peak of Le Conte you could grab the 0.3 leg of the ascent from the saddle (so I grabbed the col elevation off the peak stat sheet). This quick and easy hike takes you some spectacular ledges of a slatey material that overlooks some unique vegetative slops of Le-Conte and a nice view of the West Point. I caught it as the sun was rising and burning the fog off in the saddle between peaks and was a painting. The slatey ledges and grasses along the ridge were quite interesting. Unlike I have seen before.

Returning, I took the 0.2 leg down which dumps you at the lodges. The same additional vertical gain climbing up from the parking lot is encountered on the return trip. Most of that is along a couple of long saddle down-up areas (where one temporarily loses some of the earned gain)but I also estimated other small obstacle climb-arounds and ravines.

On the way down, I ran into a large group of the state highpointers on their way up. I passed them right at the large Alum "Cave" ledge. They were at the 2.3 mile marker going up, so I was at mile 7.7 coming down. I had left the TH at 6 AM in the dark to have the mountain to myself and have time to get back to the airport in time. I saw "Spooky", Fred Lobdell, Dave Waltz and several others and had a nice chat before rushing down the rest of the way. I was pleased to see Walz as...................................
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:365 ft / 111 m
    Total Elevation Loss:2975 ft / 906 m
    Round-Trip Distance:5.3 mi / 8.5 km
    Grade/Class:1 and 1+
    Quality:7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
sun coming up and clouds burning away
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:115 ft / 35 m
    Distance:0.3 mi / 0.5 km
    Route:Cliff Tops loop trail
    Start Trailhead:saddle between LeConte Peak and Cliff Tops Saddle  6440 ft / 1962 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:2975 ft / 906 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 2725 ft / 830 m; Extra: 250 ft / 76m
    Gain on way out:250 ft / 76 m
    Distance:5 mi / 8.1 km
    Route:Cliff Tops Trail to Alum Cave Trail
    End Trailhead:Parking Lot  3830 ft / 1167 m
Ascent Part of Trip: TN-Leconte

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Mount Le Conte2014-07-25 a3013 ft / 918 m
2Mount Le Conte-Cliff Top2014-07-25 b365 ft / 111 m
Total Trip Gain: 3378 ft / 1029 m    Total Trip Loss: 3378 ft / 1030 m

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