Ascent of Hat Mountain on 2016-08-28

Climber: Andrew Kirmse

Others in Party:Marcus Sierra -- Trip Report or GPS Track
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Sunday, August 28, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Hat Mountain
    Elevation:8745 ft / 2665 m

Ascent Trip Report

Hat Mountain is a county high point, so it must be climbed, but perhaps it can be done more pleasantly than we did it. Following previous reports, we took county road 64 east, past Patterson Campground (where we’d parked for Eagle Peak two days earlier), then turned right at a small sign for Camp One. We parked where forest roads 38N18 and 38N18A diverge and walked half a mile down 38N18A, which to our surprise was a little rocky but quite drivable. The road degenerated to a grassy track, then to a faint cow path, complete with cows, that dove steeply down the hillside through aspen. We followed the right bank of the creek as best we could until we reached Lost Lake, where we crossed the creek and then walked over the berm on the east side of the lake. From here, the summit was 1400 trailless feet of vertical ahead.

The topo map shows steep cliffs below the summit, so we stayed southwest of that, picking our way through the forest where the deadfall appeared to be less dense. Higher up the trees gave way to sagebrush that gradually got shorter and shorter. Turning north along the summit escarpment, we first encountered a peaklet that turns out to be the true summit, a good 10 feet higher than the named summit by the reckoning of our two barometric altimeters. We signed the register here, then proceeded 500 feet to the more northerly high point, where Gary Suttle’s 1991 register still survives. We sped downhill back to the lake, then endured a hot, steep, dusty climb back up to the car, our legs tired from several long days of peakbagging.

There are three potentially better ways to the summit:

1) If taking our route, certainly drive 38N18A south as far as you can, saving at least a mile round trip.

2) Jobe Wymore and others visited a point named “Red Rock Mountain” on the topo map, which suggests that perhaps they drove to the end of road 38N18 and started at 8000 feet. I had called the ranger station about this road and they had no information on it. From where we parked at the junction with 38N18A, it looked like a rough but certainly passable dirt road.

3) There is a road to Lost Lake from the east. Starting from here would save 3 miles and 600 feet of gain. Though the forest ranger told me the road was better walked than driven for the last few miles, we saw tire tracks on it, and the section near the lake looked easily passable with high clearance.

Update: Mark Hansen tells me that he and Jobe did not drive 38N18. Instead they parked at the end of 38N18A and walked southwest along Skunk Cabbage Creek, much as Scott Burley did.

Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2145 ft / 653 m
    Total Elevation Loss:1400 ft / 426 m
    Quality:4 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Open Country
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:2145 ft / 653 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 745 ft / 227 m; Extra: 1400 ft / 426m
    Loss on way in:1400 ft / 426 m
    Distance:6.7 mi / 10.8 km
    Route:Lost Lake
    Start Trailhead:Camp One  8000 ft / 2438 m
    Time:2 Hours 
Descent Statistics
    Time:2 Hours 
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Andrew Kirmse
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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