Ascent of Eagle Rock on 2017-10-21

Climber: William Musser

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Saturday, October 21, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Hi-Clearance Vehicle
Peak:Eagle Rock
    Elevation:9710 ft / 2959 m

Ascent Trip Report

Finding the trailhead was challenging. I took Tarryall Road (CR 77) out of Jefferson and headed to the Tarryall Reservoir. The signage of the forest roads are confusing and often do not match with the USGS and google. I took CR23 past Packer Gulch and eventually found FS road 33 (also shown on google as 146) and before the intersection with 147 I started seeing sign confusing me as to whether my HCV SUV was allowed to continue or if it was just preventing ATVs, motorcycles, and offroaders? I could see down the hill the parking turnout on FS road 148 in front of the nice rocky summit. But fear of violating rules I parked at elevation 9,160 a full mile uphill of the trailhead. Later, I met some locals that explained that the road is open to SUV-trucks and I could have continued and parked in the small loop just south of the peak where I would have had an easy fast climb.

Thus, I am using the low point in the route where I crossed Ruby Gulch at elevation of 8,960 for my net gain although I actually stared 200 feet back up the hill. Thus, it turned out to be 4 mile round trip with at least 300 feet more gain than needed if I parked just south of the peak and made it a 2 mile round trip. For simplicity I tagged all the extra gain hiking back up to my car on the route down side.

I hiked down the road to FS road 148 and could not find a herd trail or use trail so I simply open country and bushwhacked up the gentle lower class 2 gully between the two peaks. The saddle is reached easily with class 1 to 2. At the saddle I looked for a route up through the steep rock cliffs and as you head around the back side of the saddle to the north slopes I picked up some well made cairns. Following the cairns was perfect. The scrambling could have easily gotten into class 4 and 5, but the cairns on the backside of the peak follow a narrow shelf that is at the base of the class 5 cliffs and heads gently class 1 up to the final saddle to the far north east between peak 9677 and true peak 9710.

Just before the saddle, the cairns end and there is this little breach in the wall that winds up the wall with class 2, and 2+ up to a few quick class 3 moves with some exposure and you are up on the ridgeline. This breach is the perfect defect in the wall to climb to avoid very exposed class 4 and 5. You skip across a few small pinnacle formations and the peak is small with great views. There was snow on the ground for much of the ascent and at times I considered microspikes but was able to complete the summit without pulling them out. If the conditions were any more slick I would have needed them so I recommend bringing them in late fall or winter conditions.

On the way down, I carefully stepped down the snowy ledge and then took a cross country beeline to the car 2 miles away. Total solitude and no trails. But easy path finding especially with the cairns on the backside to follow.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:980 ft / 298 m
    Total Elevation Loss:230 ft / 69 m
    Round-Trip Distance:4 mi / 6.4 km
    Quality:7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Bushwhack, Snow on Ground, Scramble
    Weather:Cool, Breezy, Clear
30F windy
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:765 ft / 233 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 750 ft / 228 m; Extra: 15 ft / 4m
    Loss on way in:15 ft / 4 m
    Distance:2 mi / 3.2 km
    Route:see TR
    Start Trailhead:see TR  8960 ft / 2731 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:215 ft / 65 m
    Gain on way out:215 ft / 65 m
    Distance:2 mi / 3.2 km
    Route:see TR
Ascent Part of Trip: Fairplay-1

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Eagle Rock2017-10-21 a980 ft / 299 m
2China Wall2017-10-21 b399 ft / 122 m
3Badger Mountain2017-10-21 c1771 ft / 540 m
Total Trip Gain: 3150 ft / 961 m    Total Trip Loss: 480 ft / 146 m

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