Ascent of Mazatzal Peak on 2018-03-31

Climber: Dean Gaudet

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Saturday, March 31, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Mazatzal Peak
    Elevation:7903 ft / 2408 m

Ascent Trip Report

this hike was brutal, very much not fun.

i followed eric kassan's track on the way up. Y-bar was a bit rocky, but i made good time. i left Y-bar a little later than eric, mostly because i wasn't paying attention. there are occasional ducks on the way up, but they're not frequent enough to avoid making mistakes. at various places i was forced to bushwhack to make progress... at one point i pulled out my clippers to make things easier (whenever i'm hiking with the clippers all i can think is "don't run with scissors!").

while sitting at the summit i decided i'd give suicide ridge a try: it actually looks like a nice ridge, at least for a while. but there really isn't much in the way of enjoyable hiking due to all the brush. i followed andrew rankine's track more or less, but where he seems to have stayed in a gully near the bottom it's way better to get up on the ridge to the north of that gully, far easier travel (still bushwhacking and dodging lots of rocks in the grass). then connect with barnhardt rather than y-bar like he did.

the register notebook is full: please bring a fresh one. this confuses me though: a LOT of non-peakbaggers seem to hike this peak, yet it's such a horrible hike. i'd be interested if someone who has tried both the barnhardt and the y-bar approaches would be willing to say which is better.

i'm not attaching a track because i'm kind of skeptical that using suicide ridge, even for descent, is in anyone's best interest. i think i would have enjoyed the return on y-bar more (but not enough to make the hike enjoyable).

edit: victor zhou strongly suggested the bernhardt approach, see dennis poulin's report. also, i neglected to reach out to sean casserly beforehand, or i would have learned he did not like the y-bar to suicide loop either!
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:4168 ft / 1269 m
    Total Elevation Loss:4168 ft / 1269 m
    Round-Trip Distance:9.6 mi / 15.4 km
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Bushwhack, Scramble
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Pleasant, Breezy, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:3818 ft / 1163 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 3718 ft / 1133 m; Extra: 100 ft / 30m
    Loss on way in:100 ft / 30 m
    Distance:5.4 mi / 8.7 km
    Start Trailhead:barnhardt trailhead  4185 ft / 1275 m
    Time:5 Hours 28 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:4068 ft / 1239 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 3718 ft / 1133 m; Extra: 350 ft / 106m
    Gain on way out:350 ft / 106 m
    Distance:4.2 mi / 6.8 km
    Route:suicide ridge
    End Trailhead:barnhartd  4185 ft / 1275 m
    Time:4 Hours 56 Minutes

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