Ascent of Vetter Mountain on 2014-12-27

Climber: James Barlow

Others in Party:Aidan Barlow
Date:Saturday, December 27, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Vetter Mountain
    Elevation:5908 ft / 1800 m

Ascent Trip Report

Aidan and I planned on spending the morning and early afternoon hiking and the late afternoon playing frisbee golf at Oak Glen Park in La Canada. Vetter seemed like a good way to spend a few hours in the beautiful San Gabriel Mountains. This area of the mountains was significantly burned in the 2007 Station Fire and has only recently been re-opened to public use. We opted for HPS Route #2 (Mt Vetter Trail) instead of the road walk (HPS Route #1). The Vetter Trail gets in pretty rough/overgrown shape not too long after the junction with the Silver Moccasin Trail. We headed across the stream to the road at this point. We followed a road for a bit until it looked like the trail continued up again. There was a sign that this trail was closed to hikers. We obeyed the sign and continued following the road to a small pass where it began to descend again. Another group out for a hike confirmed that this road continued back to the picnic area. We doubled back and followed the "closed" trail. It was overgrown with poodle bush (don't touch!) I led the way kicking most of the dead/dry poodle bush out of Aidan's path without touching any of it. We also followed the stream bed which had beautiful pools of water and ice in it. We hit another road and at this point I decided to go up the small ridge nearby to see what our options were. The trail was too overgrown with poodle bush to continue. The road contoured south and connected with the regular road up the peak. We took this route to the top, poodle bush-free.

Summit views were spectacular, no surprise. We took our pics and then walked down to the picnic tables just below the summit for our lunch. The ascent of HPS Route #2 had taken us a bit longer than expected because of the brushy setbacks. This area has not yet seen trail maintenance on the Vetter Mtn Trail. We opted to descend the dull road (HPS Route #1). Right at the real summer trailhead (accessible 15 May - 15 Nov), there is a sign for the Silver Moccasin Trail. It seemed in good shape compared to the other trail from the ascent. There are a handful of downed trees, but nothing that was not easily overcome by Aidan and me. We did a bit of trail work on this section, moving larger branches off the trail whenever they could be managed by us.

Our hike was followed by a pleasant round of frisbee golf at Glen Oaks Park in La Canada.

Also of note, this peak puts me over 250,000 ft of vertical gain hiked/climbed/mountain biked up for the year. Not too shabby considering I spent ~110 days at sea this year wishing I was in the mountains!

Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:868 ft / 264 m
    Total Elevation Loss:200 ft / 60 m
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:868 ft / 264 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 668 ft / 203 m; Extra: 200 ft / 60m
    Loss on way in:200 ft / 60 m
    Route:HPS Rte 2 then Road
    Start Trailhead:5240 ft / 1597 m
Descent Statistics
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by James Barlow
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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.

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