Ascent of Black Mountain on 2016-10-06

Climber: J Thornton

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Thursday, October 6, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Black Mountain
    Elevation:11720 ft / 3572 m

Ascent Trip Report

Very nice Class 2 ridge scramble with solid footing and good views the whole way. I started at Virginia Lakes trail head at 8:30 AM, with blue sky, a light breeze, and 24 degrees F. The TH has plenty of parking and two pit toilets. I followed the trail about .3 mile, then headed left at inlet to the little tarn the trail goes by, over the tarn's inlet on rocks no problem this time of the year, then toward the toe of the NE Ridge. Then up the steep toe of the ridge, then I followed the ridge for a while and then side-sloped (on a decent but faint use 'trail') the rocky tall bump low on the ridge. Soon I got to the first little tarn shown on the map, which was bone dry. From then on up to the summit it is easy to just follow the broad rounded ridge, and to enjoy the views.
This would be a good scramble for persons new to off-trail peak-bagging. Only thing is, I did zero bush whacking, so the route has no 'cover charge' to make you pay your dues as some routes do. You can see the lakes and terrain all around you, all the way up, it is Class 2 or less the whole way, and it would be difficult to get off route in clear wx.
I chose this scramble to firm up my confidence in my recovering leg, which I busted in half (Tibia and Fibula) less than 6 months prior. Titanium plates and many screws worked very well with no issues. Floppy leg was no fun, but the leg is strong again and I feel like my old self as a human being once more, able to get up a mountain.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2100 ft / 640 m
    Total Elevation Loss:2100 ft / 640 m
    Grade/Class:Class 2
    Quality:6 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Open Country, Stream Ford, Scramble
    Weather:Cool, Breezy, Clear
Blue sky all day.
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:2100 ft / 640 m
    Route:NE Ridge
    Start Trailhead:9700  9620 ft / 2932 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:2100 ft / 640 m
    Route:NE Ridge
    End Trailhead:9620 ft / 2932 m

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