Ascent of South Yolla Bolly Mountain on 2017-07-15

Climber: Patrick Bergeron

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Saturday, July 15, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:South Yolla Bolly Mountain
    Elevation:8094 ft / 2467 m

Ascent Trip Report

When I planned this weekend's trip, I had expected the driving and hiking of Black Butte and Anthony Peak to take the better part of a Saturday, leaving Yolla Bolly for Sunday. That was a gross overestimation. They took less than half a day, leaving ample time to squeeze in Yolla Bolly on the same day.

The drive:

From Anthony Peak, Google Maps suggested a tempting route, taking M4 north to M2 and several other FS roads. It estimated 1h40min, which was considerably quicker than the 3h30min it would take me to drive a circuitious loop from Anthony Peak to Paskenta and then back west on Toomes Camp Rd (aka 122) to FS-M2 to FS-M22 to Ides Cove TH.

I sat, alone in the middle of nowhere, and debated the two options. As I sat, I remembered my experiences in a similar situation a couple years prior...

Two years ago I made a similar peakbagging road trip that took me through Six Rivers and Klamath National Forests with my fiancee. In my naivety back then, I had planned the driving routes using Google Maps. Bad idea. It brought us on the most obscure, poorly maintained, and sometimes impassable roads through these backwoods areas. I hadn't bothered to print maps or have any electronic copies of the roads either (just the hiking trails). Each time we reached an impassible point, I had to piece alternative routes together using the limited high-level map overview that Google Maps had cached back when we had cell reception. Often times I would just guess which road to take.

On that trip, we did manage to visit most of the peaks on the todo list. Fortunately, we had rented a high-clearance vehicle, which helped tremendously. Ultimately I learned 2 important lessons on that backwoods adventure: (1) always cross-reference Google Maps directions with a USFS or USGS map to confirm whether the recommended roads are paved, graded, dirt, or jeep trails and (2) always have USFS/USGS maps for both the hike AND the drive.

Now back to the present... alone in the middle of nowhere, and debating the quicker Google Maps option or the longer Patrick USFS Map option and thinking back to my experience 2 years earlier. This time I had no high-clearance vehicle and no partner with me to help if I got stuck--just me and my A4 sedan with a mere 4in of ground clearance. And since I had learned my lesson and brought a USFS road map, I confirmed that a few miles of the Google route were jeep roads. So of course I took the safer, longer Patrick USFS Map option.

3-4hr later I made it successfully to Ides Cove in my car, so I guess the longer route was the right call. The last half mile was the roughest. My A4 barely made it. If you're hesitating at all, you should leave your car parked about a half mile from the trailhead (where FS-25N16 intersects FS-23N27 to the Horsepacker TH).

The hike:

Ides Cove TH has parking for about a dozen vehicles. Five high-clearance trucks and SUV's were parked there when I arrived. My abused sedan was the only sedan. According to the sign-in book near the trailhead, it seemed most people out there had 2-4day backpacking itineraries.

From the trailhead, the hike to Yolla Bolly took me crosscountry west through light bushes and trees. Don't get discouraged if it first looks like a frustrating bushwhack because the route opens quickly. Then it's just a ridge walk to the top. You'll even pick up some use trails along the way.

The summit still has the register from 2015.

On the way back to the car, I couldn't help but laugh at the absurdity of highpointing: Our desire to check off lists compels us to sometimes drive hours and hours for hikes that last barely an hour. Ah well, it was still a fun day.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1334 ft / 406 m
    Extra Gain:50 ft / 15 m
    Round-Trip Distance:3.2 mi / 5.2 km
    Trailhead:Ides Cove TH  6860 ft / 2090 m
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Open Country
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Hot, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Time:40 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:30 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

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

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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