Ascent of Sheep Hole Mountains High Point on 2016-01-25

Climber: Connor McEntee

Date:Monday, January 25, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Sheep Hole Mountains High Point
    Elevation:4613 ft / 1406 m

Ascent Trip Report

It's not an easy trip, but it's not as difficult as some people are making it out to be. Part of this could be a difference in perspective due to age. Overall, I found the rock to be quite solid and was never worried about shifting weight onto a new rock or jumping from one to another.

I would recommend parking near the radio antenna rather than in the wash. No sand and a huge parking lot out of view of the highway. You can also drive (2WD) quite a ways past the the antenna around the north edge of the wash allowing you to basically start right at the edge of the canyon saving maybe 10 minutes of walking. (There was an old RV camper parked up there and it looked like someone has been living out of it for a while. This road is not marked on the USGS map though.)

The initial half of the route up the canyon is easy going. I did not fight any thorny plants, and the rocks are solid. Both paths taken by other parties out of the drainage and to the ridge are non-trivial. Much boulder hopping to be had. It can be a solid class 3 scramble all the way, but it appears that there may be some easier paths zig-zagging through. For what it's worth, I found the path that veers south and around up to the ridge to be easier. The boulders are smaller, but I found myself friction walking across VW bug sized boulders frequently. (The route that stays in the drainage has a number of bus sized boulders that either required a lot of traversing or aggressive down-climbing to get around.)

Once on the ridge, the trail is pretty easy until you're at the base of the true summit. A decent use trail (with cairns) exists on the north side. I went straight for the summit rather than follow the GPS tracks that meaner around it a little bit more. Nothing was technical, and I was pretty comfortable the whole way. But, I did at times take on a little more exposure than I would have if I was able to routefind better. From the northwest I would not think of calling the summit block class 4. It's straightforward class 3.

Summary Total Data
    Route:Northwest Draw
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Open Country, Scramble, Exposed Scramble
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
Ascent Statistics
    Time:1 Hours 50 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:1 Hours 15 Minutes

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