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Ascent of North Sawtooth Peak in 2004-10

Climber: William Musser

Others in Party:Brain Nelson
Wayne Lundberg
Frank Wesinghan
James Christopher
Marc Holder
Chuck Drake
Andy Woodcock
Dave Ziegler
and I
Date:October, 2004
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:North Sawtooth Peak
    Location:USA-California
    Elevation:11885 ft / 3622 m

Ascent Trip Report

Third day of a 38 mile backpacking trip and team was exhausted. We began at a small lake at EL 9,830 and worked our way up to set campsite 3 at Columbine Lake. Once the Sawtooth pass was obtained from our base camp at Columbine Lake we dropped packs and scrambled up the North Peak of Sawtooth Peak. The team was too exhausted to attempt Sawtooth Peak. I wanted the peak as it was beautiful and not far away. So I went up partially, but did not want to finish the exposed scrambling class 3 from the NW approach without a spotter as my legs were wobbly from a long day climb. Not a good idea to get injured at the ned of the day by yourself, so I abandoned the extra climb under 12,000 to catch up with our team and slide down the loose feldspar BB size course sand to Mineral King (around 7800 ft). With heavy backpacks this decent was by far one of the trickiest downclimbs we have ever done backpacking and there were a lot of nasty spills as the loose sand acted like millions of tiny ball bearings roling around over steep hard rocks.

The peaks afforded views of alpine lakes and I found this national park to be one of the most spectactular places to hike anywhere I have been.

Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2055 ft / 626 m
    Total Elevation Loss:4064 ft / 1238 m
    Round-Trip Distance:11 mi / 17.7 km
    Grade/Class:1, 2, & some 3
    Quality:8 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Scramble, Exposed Scramble
    Gear Used:
Tent Camp
    Nights Spent:3 nights away from roads
    Weather:sunny
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:2055 ft / 626 m
    Distance:6 mi / 9.7 km
    Route:Lost Canyon Creek Trail
    Start Trailhead:9830 ft / 2996 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:4064 ft / 1238 m
    Distance:5 mi / 8.1 km
    End Trailhead:Mineral King  7821 ft / 2383 m
Ascent Part of Trip: Sequoia NP Backpacking Trip (2 nights total away from roads)

Complete Trip Sequence:
OrderPeak/PointDateGain
1North Black Rock Pass Peak2004-10 a9372 ft / 2857 m
2North Sawtooth Peak2004-10 b2055 ft / 626 m
Total Trip Gain: 11427 ft / 3483 m    Total Trip Loss: 8606 ft / 2623 m



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