Ascent of Rock Creek Butte on 2017-08-21

Climber: Connor McEntee

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Monday, August 21, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Rock Creek Butte
    Elevation:9106 ft / 2775 m

Ascent Trip Report

I had gone down to the Wallowas for the weekend to climb Sacajawea, but decided to stay for the eclipse. Unfortunately, the path of totality did not cross the Wallowas, so I needed to find an objective further to the south. Rock Creek Butte was an obvious choice.

I arrived at the trailhead late in the afternoon. There were scores of cars parked on the side of the road, some of them partially obstructing traffic. Fortunately, the road is a little rough for the last 0.5 mi up to the upper trailhead. There were plenty of cars there too, but it wasn’t hard to find room to park. I quickly set out to head up to the Twin Lakes and camp for the evening.

I have never seen more people backpacking than at the lakes. The entire basin was filled with tents and some were even perched on benches high on the surrounding slopes. There were probably around 50 camps set up. I turned my GPS off as I wandered around looking for a campsite, but I ended up ascending a ways above the upper lake to a grassy bench with a stream, where I camped.

The next morning I realized that it made no sense to return to where I departed the trail and switchback up. I was only a few hundred feet below the Elkhorn Crest Trail. So, I scrambled up and made my way to the summit for the eclipse. The eclipse was phenomenal, and there were about a group of 30 of us that watched it from the summit. A few minutes after totality ended, I made my way down and beat traffic coming out the forest service roads.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:3604 ft / 1098 m
    Total Elevation Loss:3604 ft / 1098 m
    Round-Trip Distance:11.8 mi / 19 km
    Grade/Class:Class 2
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Scramble
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:3604 ft / 1098 m
    Distance:5.6 mi / 9 km
    Route:Twin Lakes
    Start Trailhead:Twin Lakes TH  5502 ft / 1677 m
    Time:1 Hours 58 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:3604 ft / 1098 m
    Distance:6.2 mi / 10 km
    Route:Twin Lakes
    End Trailhead:Twin Lakes TH  5502 ft / 1677 m
    Time:1 Hours 46 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. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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