Ascent of Waterman Peak on 2017-08-27

Climber: Gustav Sexauer

Others in Party:Katrina
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Sunday, August 27, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Waterman Peak
    Elevation:3830 ft / 1167 m

Ascent Trip Report

According to the BLM website, the Waterman Peak Trail is the only trail in the Ironwood Forest National Monument. The monument is seriously lacking in information online, and on the ground. Hopefully we don't loose this one seeing as it's under review because it has yet to age to perfection. The park is a nice place to be despite the lack of signs and huge mines operating on the western boundary. We car camped at the trailhead while a thunderstorm rolled through. It did not rain, but we were too nervous to tent camp with all of the lightning nearby. In the morning the sky was clear and it was 80F at 6am, so we began our hike. The trail has no name posted, but we started out following the signs that said "no motorized vehicles" and "no target shooting" which are the best you get. FYI the trailhead is the turnout on Johnstone Mine Road just before you get to the gate for the mine entrance. The trail was easy to follow up the wash to a saddle. From there we had to try and follow a faint trail that was maybe non-existent half of the rest of the way up, but there was no way to know for sure. Reading the terrain it wasn't too hard to pick where to go to continue toward the summit despite often loosing the trail. Near the top we had to climb up the white rocky summit. We were told we might need gloves, but our hands were fine on the sharp rocks for maybe five hand holds a piece up a micro couloir. From there we had to traverse the narrow ridge to the top. There were great views all around, but we failed to see the turks head cactus that lives in the Waterman Peaks and only two other locations. While you could have made the ascent class 3 somewhere near the top, I'm calling it class 2 because I only used my hands for balance on the hardest parts near the top.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1230 ft / 374 m
    Extra Gain:25 ft / 7 m
    Round-Trip Distance:1.9 mi / 3 km
    Route:Waterman Peak Trail
    Trailhead:Waterman Peak TH  2650 ft / 807 m
    Grade/Class:Class 2
    Quality:5 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Scramble
    Weather:Hot, Breezy, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Time:59 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:56 Minutes

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