Ascent of Anderson Peak on 2016-03-27

Climber: Mihai Giurgiulescu

Others in Party:Keith Miller
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Sunday, March 27, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:4x4 Vehicle
Peak:Anderson Peak
    Elevation:10840 ft / 3304 m

Ascent Trip Report

Access notes:
From Redlands, take CA-38 east into the mountains, passing the turnoff for Forest Falls and the small community of Angelus Oaks. Turn right (south) on Jenks Lake Road West, then look for a brown sign for 'YMCA Camp/Forsee Creek Trail Parking' on the right. Take this dirt round past the sign, and stay left at the first junction (right branch has a gate which may be closed). The dirt road deteriorates the further in one goes, so a high clearance vehicle is advisable. After about 1/3 mile from the split, a wide parking area is reached, with a board identifying it as the trailhead for Forsee Creek. No pit toilets are available and no Adventure Pass required to park.

Climbing notes:
This is strictly a snow route. Do not attempt to do this route without consolidated snow coverage, as the terrain in the lower part is extremely steep and loose.

We followed the well-maintained Forsee Creek trail to the junction with the John's Meadow trail, then continued south. The Lake Fire, which caused major destruction on the north side of the San Bernardino Divide in 2015, nipped this area just where the first major switchback turns west. The rest of the trail is unaffected. No snow on the trail until about 7200 ft, with sporadic patches present.

Where the trail crosses the wide gully of Round Cienaga Creek, we strapped on the crampons, took out ice axes and headed straight up. Early in the morning, the snow was icy in spots, but mostly consolidated so we made good progress. The angle steepened around 8000 ft where the gully made a right turn. Here the snow was also softer, resulting in some postholing and thrashing around until we finally got out of the gully and took the left slope straight up. We crossed the now buried trail at 8500 ft and continued in a southeasterly direction on what began to narrow into a ridge.

After a snack break just below where our route crossed the trail a second time, we continued up the ridge, where some old ski tracks where also visible. The ridge narrowed some more, bringing us directly above steep dropoffs straight into the drainage of West Fork Barton Creek to the east, but also having some great views in all directions. The ridge took us to Anderson Flat, a little due east from Trail Fork Springs, from where we beelined to the top of Anderson Peak. Views in all directions were excellent, despite trees preventing a complete 360-degree panoramic sweep.

We took a longer break, ate lunch, then signed the register before taking a few photos and descending. The register is fairly new (established April 2015) and featured no signatures since September. We followed our tracks back to the first gully we climbed, occasionally postholing as the snow had softened up. We chose a higher point to drop down into the gully, leading to some slipping and sliding as the soft snow shifted underneath. We plunge-stepped our way down the gully back to the trail, then hiked back to the car.

This winter/spring alternate route is an excellent snow climb, provided the snow is consolidated. The gully of Round Cienaga Creek is very steep, with angles near the top between 35-40 degrees, so avalanche risk should be a major concern early in the season. Crampons and ice axe are mandatory gear. This is the most direct route to Anderson Peak, shaving off about 3 miles each way, but at the expense of gaining 4000 feet in 4.2 miles to the summit.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:4110 ft / 1252 m
    Total Elevation Loss:4070 ft / 1240 m
    Round-Trip Distance:8.2 mi / 13.2 km
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Open Country, Snow on Ground, Snow Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Crampons, Ski Poles
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:4090 ft / 1246 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 4040 ft / 1232 m; Extra: 50 ft / 15m
    Loss on way in:50 ft / 15 m
    Distance:4.2 mi / 6.8 km
    Route:Forsee Creek Trail/NW Ridge XC
    Start Trailhead:Forsee Creek Trailhed  6800 ft / 2072 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:4020 ft / 1225 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 4000 ft / 1220 m; Extra: 20 ft / 6m
    Gain on way out:20 ft / 6 m
    Distance:4 mi / 6.4 km
    Route:Forsee Creek Trail/NW Ridge XC
    End Trailhead:Forsee Creek Trailhed  6840 ft / 2084 m
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Mihai Giurgiulescu
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
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.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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