Ascent of Salt Creek Mountain on 2017-05-07

Climber: Andrew Kirmse

Others in Party:Dean Gaudet -- Trip Report or GPS Track
Jerry Kohn
David Sanger -- Trip Report or GPS Track
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Sunday, May 7, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:4x4 Vehicle
Peak:Salt Creek Mountain
    Elevation:4379 ft / 1334 m

Ascent Trip Report

We followed Ken Jones’s driving directions from I-5. The roads were mostly in good shape, though high clearance certainly helped on the “lesser road” he refers to. We passed logging machinery and clear cuts on the way in. When we got within 2 miles of his starting point, we had to clear trees from the road, until we got to one that was too large.

Initially we walked along the nearly level road up to Ken’s starting point, where we started to climb through the forest. Most of the underbrush was easily avoided. We kept carefully to the ridge, briefly scrambling up some rocks at one point, until we reached the wooded summit area. First we went west to the highest contour, where we found a small cairn and a summit register in a red can. The glass jar’s cover had been left underneath the jar, and as a result the log had gotten mildewed. I moved the contents to a new plastic container and added a new logbook, pre-signed by Daryn Dodge and Kathy Rich, who had been up here several days before without finding the register.

Next we wandered over to the high contour on the east side. This has a partial view to the south from some rocks. We didn’t investigate which contour might be higher. The summit area is something of a disappointment, and coupled with the long drive in, it’s no surprise that only prominence enthusiasts ever visit the peak.

On the way down, for some reason we decided to save some distance along the road, and we plunged directly north down a ridge. This was a steep and unpleasant bushwhack. It would not make a good way up. As an alternative, Richard Carey’s note in the register said that he had climbed to the top from a spot ¼ mile east on the road. Looking at the satellite imagery, it may be possible to continue walking the road for another mile or so. This road goes higher than is indicated on the older USGS topo maps, leaving only perhaps 400 vertical feet to be climbed through the forest by turning west at its highest point.

Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1329 ft / 405 m
    Total Elevation Loss:540 ft / 164 m
    Quality:3 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Open Country, Bushwhack
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1329 ft / 405 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 789 ft / 240 m; Extra: 540 ft / 164m
    Loss on way in:540 ft / 164 m
    Distance:5.1 mi / 8.2 km
    Start Trailhead:3590 ft / 1094 m
Descent Statistics

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