Ascent of Caribou Mountain on 2017-08-26

Climber: Dean Gaudet

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Saturday, August 26, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:4x4 Vehicle
Peak:Caribou Mountain
    Elevation:9803 ft / 2987 m

Ascent Trip Report

i used ken jones' track / dean molen route... i'm really not sure this is the best way to bag this peak though. i have some alternate suggestions below.

this trip:

FR-087 is a great gravel road, any vehicle can make this. however as you turn onto FR-188 you see a sign from the forest service indicating that severe damage has been done to the road by vehicle driving it when the road is wet/soft. you will quickly discover the seriousness of the mud ruts on this road: clearance and 4x4 necessary. FR-188 also needed some gardening, i cut back many aspens.

the bottom of FR-083 was a nasty rock crawl, and i'm still not comfortable doing rock crawls in my truck... i figured i was close enough to the trailhead that i'd just hike the extra distance. i had to back down and find the nearest place i could pull off the road, which was unfortunately a half mile or more away.

the hike has considerable talus and boulder hopping on the ascent track (the southern leg of the track). it was mostly stable though. on the descent track you are attempting to find a very old trail which has a couple switchbacks... it's pretty grown in though, and it's a bit slippery on the steeper sections near the bowl.

views are great, definitely worth the effort. there's a new register.

alternate approach suggestions:

the ken/dean route works, but it's definitely not the way most of the locals bag this peak: there just isn't enough evidence of recent human tracks along the route. however there is a use trail leading south off the summit toward point 9586. i could see at least two (maybe even three) ridges which looked interesting for attaining the south ridge.

suggestion (A): take a look at point 8386 east of the peak (in USGS sector 3), there is a road to the saddle, and the ridge from there to the caribou-south-ridge looked like a nice grassy ascent. if you look at the forest maps you'll see the road leading up over the 8386 saddle (FR-381) is supposedly higher quality than the road leading up to ken jones' trailhead. i estimate 1.3mi 1500' one-way for this approach.

suggestion (B): take a look at point 8732 south of the peak (in USGS sector 8). the forest service map shows roads/trails leading here and continuing on to point 9586, you can definitely see something in the satellite view. there was some pole or something on top of 9586... and it appears you can avoid 9586 with a trail bypassing it on the west side. i'm concerned that this approach may only be accessible by ATV though, the USFS map suggests it's just a trail, not a road; and the satellite view shows it as more faint. so the distance for this approach may be considerably longer unless you're using an ATV. (this seems to be the approach ryder irvine used)
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1778 ft / 541 m
    Total Elevation Loss:1778 ft / 541 m
    Round-Trip Distance:3.7 mi / 5.9 km
    Route Conditions:
Open Country, Scramble
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Pleasant, Breezy, Partly Cloudy
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1778 ft / 541 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 1678 ft / 511 m; Extra: 100 ft / 30m
    Loss on way in:100 ft / 30 m
    Distance:1.9 mi / 3.1 km
    Route:west ridge
    Start Trailhead:8125 ft / 2476 m
    Time:1 Hours 52 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:1678 ft / 511 m
    Distance:1.8 mi / 2.8 km
    End Trailhead:8125 ft / 2476 m
    Time:1 Hours 13 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Dean Gaudet
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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