Ascent of Kingston Peak on 2017-12-30

Climber: Connor McEntee

Others in Party:Mihai Giurgiulescu -- Trip Report or GPS Track
Bob Bolton
Duane Gilliland
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Saturday, December 30, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Kingston Peak
    Elevation:7336 ft / 2236 m

Ascent Trip Report

The night before there was some confusion over how long the hike up to Kingston would be. Two of us thought that it was around 14 mi round trip. We were enthused to learn that it is only a little over half that distance. However, it turns out that the terrain and brush make for slow going, and combined with the long undulating ridge traverse it took us the entire day.

The night before, we camped at a nice BLM campground (Horsethief Spring) and so got a reasonably early start the next morning. The road is in beautiful condition pretty much all the way to the mine. (Purportedly, the road is in comparable condition past the mine all the way to Tecopa.) There has been roadwork in the area with a detour around the mine. The 4WD access road on the 7.5' map exists, which we took to a saddle near a radio station. The road drops down further, but we opted to park at the saddle. (Turns out that any vehicle that can make it to the saddle shouldn't have any trouble driving further up the road if they were to so choose.)

Anyway, we headed out speculating amongst ourselves which drainage we would end up ascending. I opted to stick to the road, which unfortunately veers to the west away from the route, and probably followed it further than ideal. Either way, crossing the valley is easy due to the multitude of braided cow paths. Eventually, the drainage gets narrower, and somewhere around 5500' the brush starts to become a problem. There are still occasional paths to be found through it, but we found ourselves fighting it frequently. Based on my experience from the descent, I suspect staying on the east side of the drainage up out of the dry creek is probably the path of least resistance. But, soon enough we attained the ridge.

The traverse from the ridge is easy with minimal brush all the way to the ridge proper that leads to Kingston. Here we were greeted with some of the first expansive views of the day and a slightly disheartening view of the summit proper so far away. Unfortunately, the route requires gaining and losing elevation repeatedly on the traverse. Our route finding was decent, and I tended to stay to the east of the crest when possible. A number of sections had at least faint use trails. Eventually, we reached the base of the summit.

There are two obvious routes up. My ascent route, which went straight up the ridge before exiting climber's left below rocks, was the easier of the two (low class 3). My descent route was almost entirely class 2 except for a 10-foot step that required downclimbing. Anyway, after the light scramble we quickly made the summit and enjoyed the views. The descent was uneventful albeit tedious in parts, and we arrived at the car just as the sun was setting.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:3621 ft / 1103 m
    Total Elevation Loss:3621 ft / 1103 m
    Round-Trip Distance:8.7 mi / 14 km
    Grade/Class:Class 2/3
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Bushwhack, Scramble
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:3016 ft / 919 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 2411 ft / 735 m; Extra: 605 ft / 184m
    Loss on way in:605 ft / 184 m
    Distance:4.5 mi / 7.2 km
    Route:North Ridge
    Start Trailhead:4925 ft / 1501 m
    Time:4 Hours 26 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:3016 ft / 919 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 2411 ft / 735 m; Extra: 605 ft / 184m
    Gain on way out:605 ft / 184 m
    Distance:4.2 mi / 6.8 km
    Route:North Ridge
    End Trailhead:4925 ft / 1501 m
    Time:3 Hours 4 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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