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Ascent of Double Mountains on 2015-02-18

Climber: Ben Lostracco

Others in Party:supported by Rose
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Wednesday, February 18, 2015
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Double Mountains
    Location:USA-Texas
    Elevation:2580 ft / 786 m

Ascent Trip Report

A rough/steep road/xcountry hike over 3 peaks .... 5 miles, 3:15 hours loop hike.

This 52nd Day (13th State) of our "Winter Trip 2015" would be our most challenging/toughest hike of the trip so far. We used the driving directions in Scott Surgent's TR, a very good read. I give the recommended/best driving route to the TH .... stay away from CR410 as it had 2 cattle guards and grazing cattle in the middle of the road. Also these red dirt roads of Texas will be treacherous when wet.

We approached from the northeast, junction of FM610/FM2211, on the west side of Aspermont. We zeroed our odo.

00.0M ... junction FM610/2211, drove westbound on paved 2211.
08.8M ... stayed straight (left) on CR421.
10.0M ... turned left (south) on CR431. Double Mountain Cemetery on corner.
11.2M ... turned right (west) on CR433
12.1M ... turned left on CR434, road makes 2 right jogs on its way south.
15.8M ... arrived at a closed gate with only one sign "Texas Communication". Gate is latched closed but not locked, the same for a second gate at quarter mile further south but this one signed "No Trespassing". We parked here, this was my TH .... didn't feel right to proceed further, it would be a good decision.

Straight ahead south from the TH is the impressive E-W Double Mountains range with 3 distinct peaks, which in my opinion belong in the PB Library, so I decided to visit all 3 peaks (East, Middle, West) and add them to PB as provisional, all as per this TR. The COHP is the peak to the left (east), my first destination. All distances given here are guess estimates.

DOUBLE MOUNTAINS (The East Peak is the Stonewall COHP) .... 1.7 miles , 40 minutes ascent.
I walked the main road south then west .8 miles to Tower road on the right (I believe Scott Surgent drove to here). I continued south on Tower road, as it climbs the steep slope with one long switchback, for another .9 miles to the summit. The 400 yard long summit ridge has a tall Communication Tower, with the highest point being at the very east end of the ridge (33.06493,-100.43805).
I found 3 BMs ... only one being legible "USC&G Survey LEM 1935, No4 1968" embedded in a rock at the very south edge of the ridge. The panorama of the area is simply outstanding.

DOUBLE MOUNTAINS - MIDDLE PEAK (33.06189,-100.45417) .... 1.25 miles, 55 minutes from east peak.
I descended the road west to the switchback then continued xcountry west to the Middle Peak at 1.25 miles. The terrain is very rough, the 400 foot descended to the col is extremely eroded making for slippery/slow going (loose dirt/gravel). The same for the climb to the pointed summit. I found it really tough and this old man had take numerous granny breaks. The peak offers great close-up views of its neighbors' slopes.

DOUBLE MOUNTAINS - WEST PEAK (33.06314,-100.45812) .... .3 miles, 20 minutes from Middle Peak.
The climb over was similar to that to Middle Peak. This summit has a 200 yards long narrow ridge with a Communication Tower, chose my HP at a cairn towards the east end of the ridge.
A rough access road climbs the northern slopes of the mountain. I rushed/descended the road .4 miles, towards the bottom where I picked up a Power Line and followed it east .5 miles (up and down on a number of eroded gullies), then went xcountry (northeast) on a short grass field .9 mile back to the TH (the 1.8 mile descent took me 42 minutes).

I grossly underestimated the terrain and the required time for this hike, I found it very taxing on the steep climbs, had to take numerous granny breaks and at the same time had to rush it because of my tardiness with Rose waiting at the TH. To make it worse I ran out of water .... not very smart on my part.
In spite of the poor day, the trip to the 3 peaks is a superb recommended destination.

While I was away, and not long after my leaving, a truck on his way in stopped to question Rose. After Rose told him what I was doing he said, "People here in Texas ask for permission before going on someones property." He apparently owns the land to the east of the main road and not to the west. (I should note that as I climbed Tower Road and looked back I saw his truck).
When he found out we were Canadians he told Rose, "OH well, I'll make an exception since you came all the way from Canada." as he proceeded on his way with a big smile. She didn't know what he would have done if we weren't Canadians.
Rose found him to be an extremely nice polite gentleman. The question Rose should have asked him was, "Where do you go for permission?" Future Highpointers take note.

A highly recommended place, I loved this Range, especially for this part of Texas.

"STONEWALL COUNTY WAS FORMED IN 1876 FROM PORTIONS OF BEXAR/YOUNG COUNTIES. IT WAS NAMED AFTER THOMAS JONATHAN 'STONEWALL' JACKSON, A GENERAL OF THE CONFEDERATE ARMY. AS OF THE 2010 CENSUS THE POPULATION OF THE COUNTY WAS 1490."






Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:560 ft / 170 m
    Total Elevation Loss:560 ft / 170 m
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:560 ft / 170 m
    Distance:1.7 mi / 2.7 km
    Route:road/xcountry sb from CR434
    Start Trailhead:CR434  2020 ft / 615 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:560 ft / 170 m
    Route:road/xcountry sb from CR434
    End Trailhead:CR434  2020 ft / 615 m
Ascent Part of Trip: doubleM

Complete Trip Sequence:
OrderPeak/PointDateGain
1Double Mountains2015-02-18 a560 ft / 171 m
2Double Mountains - Middle Peak2015-02-18 b402 ft / 123 m
3Double Mountains - West Peak2015-02-18 c240 ft / 73 m
Total Trip Gain: 1202 ft / 367 m    Total Trip Loss: 840 ft / 256 m



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