Ascent of Piute Peak on 2018-04-21

Climber: Connor McEntee

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Saturday, April 21, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Piute Peak
    Elevation:8440 ft / 2572 m

Ascent Trip Report

Cool area though I imagine it gets fairly hot in the summer. I basically had the mountain all to myself and the road going north to Lake Isabella was still gated, so I wasn't quite able to get to the campground.

I was mildly concerned, because it had snowed and rained the day before, so I decided to take the gradual approach up via Jawbone Canyon to the east. I figured that steep and muddy could be a bad combination especially when summitpost indicates you ned 4-Low for the western approach. It's a long drive up via Jawbone, something like 39 miles on dirt roads. Overall, the roads from that direction appear to be in good shape and not rocky at all. Though, the roadbeds all over the mountain are pretty soft, so they are frequently cut by water just enough to prevent you from driving really fast. I decided to stay on Jawbone Canyon Road rather than take the easier approach via Kelso Canyon Road as it shaves off 4mi. I had fun driving that way, but I would not recommend it. Some of the switchbacks were pretty steep and I had to get out twice: once to cut a tree with my chainsaw, and the other to fix the roadbed with a shovel. I imagine that the county and USFS periodically blade the road, so conditions will likely vary based on how long it's been since then.

I spent the night camped out in front of a gate. I would not recommend my ascent route. Due to the fire there is enough thick and pointy brush that I got cut up a little. It is much easier to take Dean Gaudet's route or drive a little further to the west on Piute Mountain Road to a saddle due south of the summit where there is a wide access road that goes up to a radio repeater next to the summit.

Anyway, I take some issue with the summitpost directions, and it appears that Andrew Kirmse concluded similarly. I didn't really want to drive all the way back down to the east, especially since I was headed west next. I saw a number of tracks taking Piute Mountain Road west to Walker Basin, so I decided to chance it. The road is in fine shape. It was definitely easier than what I came up via the section of Jawbone after it crosses Kelso Canyon Road. I just dropped into first gear and cruised all the way out to the road navigating through the various obstacles along the way. Were I to do this again, I would definitely go up that way.

Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1029 ft / 313 m
    Total Elevation Loss:1029 ft / 312 m
    Round-Trip Distance:2.3 mi / 3.7 km
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Open Country, Bushwhack, Scramble
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Cool, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:791 ft / 241 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 585 ft / 178 m; Extra: 206 ft / 62m
    Loss on way in:206 ft / 62 m
    Distance:0.7 mi / 1.1 km
    Route:East Slope
    Start Trailhead:Piute Mountain Road  7855 ft / 2394 m
    Time:24 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:823 ft / 250 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 585 ft / 178 m; Extra: 238 ft / 72m
    Gain on way out:238 ft / 72 m
    Distance:1.6 mi / 2.6 km
    Route:East Slope
    End Trailhead:Piute Mountain Road  7855 ft / 2394 m
    Time:50 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Connor McEntee
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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.

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