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Ascent of The Whaleback on 2017-02-12

Climber: Connor McEntee

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Sunday, February 12, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:The Whaleback
    Location:USA-California
    Elevation:8528 ft / 2599 m

Ascent Trip Report

It was an absolutely great day out on skis. I was initially a little trepidatious about going out to climb The Whaleback. This was due to a combination of it not being particularly close and warm storm earlier in the week had dumped rain up to 8500' on Shasta. The avalanche report I read in the morning was saying that the snow pack was now covered with a sheet of ice. The silver lining was the avalanche danger was quite low below treeline, and I knew I could easily drive to the trailhead.

In the winter, the entire Tri-Forest Area (Shasta, Klamath, and Modoc) in which the peak lies, is covered in snow and the roads are closed to cars but open and groomed for snowmobiles. I parked at the Deer Mountain Snowmobile Park, threw on my skis and headed up from there. I followed the groomed road for the first mile or so, and only encountered one group of snowmobiles. (I did encounter some fresh tracks higher up on the mountain, but never saw or heard any others.) From there, I took a much smaller forest service road heading up the mountain in an effort to cut the corner. I pretty much tried to follow the path of least resistance up the mountain, sometimes taking a road I crossed or otherwise going through openings in the trees. After a while, I reached a very large clearing near the summit which had been recently logged. I believe this is also where others have been able to drive their vehicles to in the summer. From the clearing, there was no obvious route to the summit. I approached it from the north because the grade seemed a little gentler. It was by far the steepest portion of the climb and I was switchbacking in and out of trees. The summit ridge was slightly corniced and windswept in places. For most of the route, there were about 2 inches of fresh wet powder on top of ice. The entire route is heavily treed and grade is generally shallow enough that avalanche danger is almost nonexistent even with different snow conditions than I encountered.

The descent was a blast. I mostly tried to follow my ascent tracks while trying to find longer chutes through the trees.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2762 ft / 841 m
    Total Elevation Loss:2762 ft / 841 m
    Round-Trip Distance:9.1 mi / 14.6 km
    Gear Used:
Skis, Ski Poles
    Weather:Cool, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:2762 ft / 841 m
    Distance:4.4 mi / 7.1 km
    Route:North Slope
    Start Trailhead:5766 ft / 1757 m
    Time:2 Hours 43 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:2762 ft / 841 m
    Distance:4.7 mi / 7.6 km
    Route:North Slope
    End Trailhead:5766 ft / 1757 m
    Time:1 Hours 4 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip


 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Connor McEntee
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. Peakbagger.com accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file




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