Ascent of Stewart Point on 2017-12-31

Climber: Connor McEntee

Others in Party:Mihai Giurgiulescu -- Trip Report or GPS Track
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Sunday, December 31, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Stewart Point
    Elevation:5266 ft / 1605 m

Ascent Trip Report

The original plan for a long slog up Nopah, but Kingston had been more strenuous than anticipated and the hot springs at Tecopa hadn't sufficiently soothed our sore bodies (note: the hot springs are lackluster if I'm being generous). Instead, Mihai and I picked out an easier peak in the area and set out for that instead.

We parked off the pavement on CA-178, gathered our packs, and set off across the valley floor. The going was quite easy and we were encouraged by being able to see the summit so close. I did make a rather significant route finding error early on. Once in the drainage, there is a point where we had to drop down 30' to continue. Having briefly glanced at the map at the car, I wrongly assumed that the obvious direct canyon held the DPS route. The standard DPS route is actually one further canyon north, and looking back at it the topography makes going that way entirely counterintuitive. Anyway, by the time I realized that we were off-route, we had gained enough elevation that I wasn't turning around.

The terrain in the canyon was mostly solid rock and gained steadily. Eventually, we reached a dry fall that required modest class 3 climbing for 30'. However, that put us on the final slopes leading up to a false peak on the ridge. I stopped there soaked in the views and had a snack until Mihai joined me. From where we were, there was one substantial bump between us and the true summit. Mihai wanted to traverse around it, and I was down for that. (For anyone following our route, don't bother and go directly over it.) I found a well-used goat trail and took it most of the way around the peak. However, the final bit of that traverse ends in 200' cliffs, so I was forced to scramble up to the top of the false peak anyway.

I was slightly concerned that the cliffs might cross the ridge and pose a significant obstacle and explain why the DPS route was not this way. Fortunately, the west side of the ridge is quite gentle, and we were able to take that down to easier terrain and the short climb up to the summit proper.

For the descent, we elected to take the standard DPS route. I actually much preferred our alternate route even though it has a little bit more elevation gain. The terrain on the DPS route is loose up high, and the scree just barely covers solid layers beneath it. So, it's easy to slide around. Once down into the drainage, we encountered half a dozen dryfalls that required some degree of down climbing. I actually enjoyed that, but it was more difficult than anything we encountered on the other route.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:3388 ft / 1031 m
    Total Elevation Loss:3388 ft / 1031 m
    Round-Trip Distance:7.3 mi / 11.7 km
    Grade/Class:Class 2/3
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Scramble
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:3211 ft / 978 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 2552 ft / 778 m; Extra: 659 ft / 200m
    Loss on way in:659 ft / 200 m
    Distance:3.7 mi / 6 km
    Route:South Ridge
    Start Trailhead:CA 178  2714 ft / 827 m
    Time:2 Hours 52 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:2729 ft / 831 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 2552 ft / 778 m; Extra: 177 ft / 53m
    Gain on way out:177 ft / 53 m
    Distance:3.6 mi / 5.8 km
    Route:DPS Route
    End Trailhead:CA 178  2714 ft / 827 m
    Time:2 Hours 10 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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