Ascent of Ibapah Peak on 2017-05-29

Climber: Connor McEntee

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Monday, May 29, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Ibapah Peak
    Elevation:12087 ft / 3684 m

Ascent Trip Report

I was wondering what conditions would be like as I was eyeing Ibapah from Mount Moriah the day before. It turns out, spring conditions were still very much in effect. The mountains were holding a lot more snow than what I had encountered on Moriah. This ultimately made for a much more challenging climb than what I understand is long but well trod hike up to the meadow and then up a climbers trail to the summit.

I encountered consistent snowpack about 400 ft below the meadow and completely lost the trail, which made for a route finding exercise. There was unfortunately no boot pack or any signs that anyone else had been up before me. I made my way through the trees to the meadow and found a good portion of it melted out (I would later nap in the sun here on the way down). From the meadow you can see both the false peak and Ibapah. I angled toward the false peak climbing the forested snow slopes. Just short of the false peak I got lazy and tried follow my GPS tracks and traverse around it. I didn’t have an ice axe out at this point, the slopes went down for quite a ways, and the snow was pretty crusty making the traverse not so good. So, I ended up going directly over the false peak, which was must better.

The traverse from the false peak to Ibapah was the crux of the climb. The ridge isn’t close to shear, but it’s slopes are sustained steep. I was unable to stay on the ridge the entire time, since there are rock pinnacles that stick out in some places. This put me on traverses across steep snow slopes. Once on Ibapah proper, the going was easier. The angle is more moderate, and there were more rocks melted out.

On the way up, the snow was crusty and in some places icy. I postholed in few places. By midday, however, the snow was softening up, which made for some good glissades.

As for the approach, I parked just after the first stream crossing which seems to be a popular place to start. There was also a truck changing a flat tire, so I also didn’t want to risk it. I read a few trip reports that make it sound like the road gets really rough from there on. I think those fears are overblown and any vehicle with clearance can make it to the second stream crossing with careful driving. There are two sections that put you over rocks, but otherwise it’s pretty smooth. The road is also not overgrown in contrast to what I read somewhere. It happens that there is a gate just before the second stream crossing, and it was locked. The sign says it locked from Nov 1 to May 31. Past the second stream crossing, the road gets noticeably more difficult. It is both steeper and there are big ruts that a vehicle could get high centered on.

I should also note that the area appears to be fairly popular. All of the campsites on Granite Creek Road were occupied. There are also quite a few entries in the summit log during the summer months. I suspect that people are up there every weekend while it is in season.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:5959 ft / 1816 m
    Total Elevation Loss:5959 ft / 1816 m
    Round-Trip Distance:14.8 mi / 23.8 km
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Snow on Ground, Exposed Scramble, Snow Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Crampons, Ski Poles
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:5959 ft / 1816 m
    Distance:7.3 mi / 11.7 km
    Route:Meadow to South Ridge
    Start Trailhead:1st Stream Crossing  6128 ft / 1867 m
    Time:3 Hours 54 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:5959 ft / 1816 m
    Distance:7.5 mi / 12.1 km
    Route:Meadow to South Ridge
    End Trailhead:1st Stream Crossing  6128 ft / 1867 m
    Time:2 Hours 56 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Connor McEntee
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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.

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