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Ascent of Flag Pole on 2017-02-07

Climber: William Musser

Date:Tuesday, February 7, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Flag Pole
    Location:USA-Texas
    Elevation:1520 ft / 463 m

Ascent Trip Report

I visited this wonderful park again for the first time since 2015 and wanted to do a complete circuit so I parked and hiked across the creek and then decided to swing south and grab the lower peaks by bushwhack and rock hopping and my plan was to do every peak in the state park and the Enchanted Rock at least 2 times. Later in my effort when I was struggling to fine the summit of Buzzard Roost and finally tagged it for the second time, I looked out to the park boundary and saw one more small nub. This small remaining granitic outcropping appeared to be in the park boundary. I had never ventured out that far before so I started out for it too. As it turns out the maps do recognize this bump by the name Flag Pole (what the heck?) but I saw it as this lonely little batholith worn remnant of what was once a magma chamber and there she sticks up about 100 feet above the saddle with nice cliff views down to the river below....and nobody apparently goes to investigate her. I found no footprints or herd trails to follow and the terrain was a bit rugged in places.

Climbing out of the cactus area looking quickly for rock to hike on so not to disturb the ground, I reached the slabs and found a nice shelf of easy class 3. In fact, most of the climb was class 2, 2+ and easy 3 all the way to the top! Nice! Heading for the highpoint, I walked passed several false summits and then finally the true summit became apparent. Despite what the maps show (that the peak is just barely within the park boundary) I was bummed to see it was actually just beyond the fence on private lands. Disgruntled that that was going to be the second peak I was in reach of that was turned away by another dang private lands sign, warning about trespassing and electrocution wire, I suddenly notices it was fenced BUT with no signs or electric wire like I ran into on the other end of the park! Still I am not one to trespass as a general rule. I respect land owners and liability. Scoping around the area I noticed that the fence had been completely knocked down about feet down hill of the ridge and again there were not signs. The actual peak is perhaps 120 feet over the fence..........

I can neither confirm nor deny whether I crossed the fence.

On the way back I hiked all the way back to Turkey Peak and ran up it and finished the day running up Enchanted Rock also one more time. In all, I got in about 11 miles of hiking but more importantly for the first time can say I summit all the peaks in the park in one outing.
Also, I was shocked and pleases to say I had every summit to myself all day other than Enchanted Rock. Once you get back into the backcountry, those smaller peaks are yours for the taking with no traffic, no tourists, just solitude and fun route finding.

One last note.....Buzzard Roost has harder class 3 and 4 guarded pinnacles on most sides and I wasted a lot of time route finding and going the wrong way until I looked at the topo and saw the back side had the most gentle ridge. Even with that, unlike all of the other peaks in the park, Buzzard has only one obvious class 2/2+ route to the summit. All other paths are class 3 or higher.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:310 ft / 94 m
    Total Elevation Loss:310 ft / 93 m
    Round-Trip Distance:0.8 mi / 1.3 km
    Grade/Class:2,2+ and 3
    Quality:6 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:210 ft / 64 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 100 ft / 31 m; Extra: 110 ft / 33m
    Loss on way in:110 ft / 33 m
    Distance:0.4 mi / 0.6 km
    Start Trailhead:1420 ft / 432 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:200 ft / 60 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 100 ft / 31 m; Extra: 100 ft / 30m
    Gain on way out:100 ft / 30 m
    Distance:0.4 mi / 0.6 km
    End Trailhead:1420 ft / 432 m
Ascent Part of Trip: Enchanted Rock #3

Complete Trip Sequence:
OrderPeak/PointDateGain
1Little Rock-Point 17052017-02-07 a565 ft / 172 m
2(Attempt) Enchanted Western Formation2017-02-07 b100 ft / 30 m
3Little Rock-Point 17052017-02-07 c175 ft / 53 m
4Little Rock2017-02-07 d270 ft / 82 m
5Enchanted Rock2017-02-07 e315 ft / 96 m
6Freshman Mountain2017-02-07 f170 ft / 52 m
7Buzzards Roost2017-02-07 g280 ft / 85 m
8Flag Pole2017-02-07 h310 ft / 94 m
9Turkey Peak2017-02-07 i440 ft / 134 m
10Enchanted Rock2017-02-07 j405 ft / 123 m
11Cross Mountain2017-02-07 k110 ft / 34 m
Total Trip Gain: 3140 ft / 955 m    Total Trip Loss: 3010 ft / 916 m



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