Ascent of China Cap on 2014-10-26

Climber: jeff carr

Others in Party:Emanuela Schmidt <6634>
hiking hound
Date:Sunday, October 26, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:China Cap
    Elevation:8656 ft / 2638 m

Ascent Trip Report

WE climbed China Cap from Buck Creek trailhead.
Catherine Creek Road is 11.5 (or so) miles south of Union,Oregon on Hwy 203. You can also get there from Medical Springs. Coming from Union, the road is well marked and on your left. Getting to the trailhead is covered well in other reports.

From Buck Creek (you are on trail 1944) it is about 4.6 miles to the summit. A shade over 9 miles round trip. you begin around 5500 feet and end up at 8635 on top.
The trail winds through woods for about 2 miles before getting onto the lower slopes of Burger Butte. The ascent grade is not bad, and just sort-of meanders upward for most of the hike. The trail junction (near the 4 mile point, junction is with trail 1906) is not currently marked with a sign, but it does have a cairn about 2 feet tall on the left side. Keep an eye out for this. We did it in the snow, so it was harder to spot than in summer, I suppose.
From the trail junction you get on trail 1906 and go about half a mile to the top of a ridge. This had a sign at one time, and the remains are there. The ridge is obvious. Once you are up on top of it, you either drop down steeply on the trail to another valley or you go up. You should be about 7800 feet) This is the point you go up. There is a faint trail that runs up the ridge (again, might be more obvious without snow) and peels away to the right. We followed this until we lost it about a quarter mile from the start of the ridge climb, and about 400 feet below the summit. From there we headed directly up, finding a nice grassy gully to walk up between rock walls. Very easy. There is a little knob at the top and no false summits to frustrate you. The summit cairn has a nice summit register in an army surplus ammo container. Our water was frozen at this time, and the pooch was getting cold so we didn't stay long. Oct 26th, ascent! Probably the last one done this year, but maybe not! 9.5 miles total distance. Nothing hard about the ascent.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:3150 ft / 960 m
    Quality:5 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Snow on Ground, Scramble
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Snowing, Cold, Breezy, White-out
Bad weather on summit
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:3150 ft / 960 m
    Distance:4.6 mi / 7.4 km
    Start Trailhead:5506 ft / 1678 m
Descent Statistics

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