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Ascent of Bat Cave Peak on 2018-05-20

Climber: Andy Hatzos

Date:Sunday, May 20, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Bat Cave Peak
    Location:USA-Oklahoma
    Elevation:2070 ft / 630 m

Ascent Trip Report

TRIP REPORT:

I had honestly only intended to see Heart Rock, a famous and easy-to-reach rock formation along Indiahoma Road in the Wichita Mountains. Once I got there, though, I saw a big chunk of rock in front of me -- Bat Cave Peak -- and basically just decided to go climb it. I did this while navigating on the fly, and without any of the equipment I'd usually have on a tougher hike (good backpack, boots, long pants). I should note that for an untrained climber there was danger involved with this approach, particularly in the final segment near the top of Bat Cave Peak. Thankfully, I had already done some LiDAR research on the peaks in the area, so I had an idea of where I needed to end up. Along the way, I also reached the top of Bat Cave Mountain, which is listed separately here on Peakbagger.

I parked at a pull-out on the side of Indiahoma Road (N34.71009 W98.70841) very close to the famed Heart Rock formation. From here, I hiked generally east-southeast, trying to stay on solid rock as much as possible. After gaining the ridge that connects to Bat Cave Mountain, I detoured over to one of its two high points -- I'd hit the other one on the way down. After that, I continued east-southeast, staying on a heading to the south of the obvious Bat Cave Peak ahead of me. Class 1 / Class 2 hiking gave way to a little bit of Class 3 scrambling in spots as I passed Bat Cave Peak and eventually turned north, gaining the ridge that connects to it (N34.70873 W98.71751).

After exploring the western end of the ridge, which included two sort-of high areas, I made my way east toward the obvious high point of Bat Cave Peak. This is where things got difficult, involving two moves that were a bit out of my comfort zone. The first, about 80 horizontal feet away from the peak, involved climbing an 8-10 foot slab of rock that was at about a 50-60 degree angle, with very little to stand on underneath it. The second was the final move to the actual summit, which involved making a short hop over a gap between boulders. I'm sure none of this would be a challenge for a trained climber, but this was the first time I'd attempted anything above Class 3. It was worth the effort, as the summit offered a nice sense of solitude, as well as some spectacular views.

After summiting, I explored the steep east face of Bat Cave Peak to see if there was a safe way down, but I could not locate one. So, I returned the way I came. On the way down, I detoured to some low-prominence rocks on the south shoulder of Bat Cave Peak, which offered good views of the peak. I also picked up the second summit on Bat Cave Mountain.

My total hike was about 2 miles, and including some breaks, it took me 3 hours. I'm not sure about total elevation gain for the hike, but the gain from the parking spot to the top of Bat Cave Peak was about 410 feet.

Also, if at all possible, try not to kick a cactus. Those needles will stick with you for a while.

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LiDAR NOTES AND COORDINATES:

The coordinates for these peaks on Peakbagger are not necessarily correct. I used LiDAR data to examine the actual locations of the highest points.

Bat Cave Mountain
The western high point (N34.70835 W98.71331) reaches 1866 feet. This location is not listed on Peakbagger.
The eastern high point (N34.70779 W98.71083) reaches 1854 feet. This is where Peakbagger shows the high point to be.

Bat Cave Peak
The actual summit (N34.70847 W98.71664) reaches 2098 feet. This location is not listed on Peakbagger.
The western high point (N34.70897 W98.71806) reaches 2073 feet. This is where Peakbagger shows the high point to be.
Another boulder near the western summit (N34.70880 W98.71793) was missed by the LiDAR data. It is about as high as the western high point.

Bat Cave Peak -- South Shoulder (not listed on Peakbagger)
Four local rises...
N34.70775 W98.71763
N34.70749 W98.71744
N34.70738 W98.71718
N34.70723 W98.71701
...all reach elevations of about 2020-2022 feet.
Summary Total Data
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip


 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Andy Hatzos
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. Peakbagger.com accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

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