Ascent of Old Hyndman Peak on 2018-06-21

Climber: Destry Orth

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Thursday, June 21, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:4x4 Vehicle
Peak:Old Hyndman Peak
    Elevation:11775 ft / 3589 m

Ascent Trip Report

I've admired this peak since the very first time I saw it from Hyndman Basin. At that time I couldn't even imagine climbing it. It appears steep and rugged from all angles. It looks angry and unwelcoming, however I found that is not the case at all. This was one of the most beautiful hikes that I have experienced. I set up a tent in preparation for my return so I could grab a nap before heading home. During this process I had a deer just hanging out next to my pickup chewing on some grass. She had not a care in the world and was not concerned with my presence at all. In fact she came within arms reach of me at one point. There were two others that came in a little bit later as well. They weren't quite a brave, but still lingered pretty close to me. I monitored some lightning to the North for a bit, but never saw anything developing near my location, so I set off from the trailhead at 0130 in the morning. It was calm and cool, with mostly clear skies. The moon at about 1/4 and soon to set, but still lit up the valley pretty well in the beginning. Just a couple miles in I ran into a Long Toed Salamander, which was pretty exciting since I have never seen in the wild before. He was right in the middle of the trail and I am grateful that I spotted him before stepping on him. After admiring this little fella for a bit, I trekked on. Eventually I made it to the crossing of Hyndman Creek where I branched off from the trail to Hyndman Peak and began up the draw to to the right of Cobb Peak. I studied this area for quite some time trying to find an easy and safe place to cross. The spring melt off was still in full swing and the creek was raging. I honestly thought it was impassable (without getting soaked), so I decided to bag the idea of climbing Old Hyndman, and going for Hyndman instead. I doubled back and got to the top of the hill, and changed my mind. I returned to the creek side and went for it. Luckily my shoes and gaiters managed to keep the water out and I continued on. The trail follows Hyndman Creek all the way up the basin for the most part on an old logging road that is beginning to be taken back by nature. The trail is well maintained though and easy to navigate. Close to the trails end (directly south of Big Basin) I turned north, crossed Hyndman Creek once again. Crossing was much easier this time. Then I began the ascent up into Big Basin. This short climb somewhat reminded me of the climb up to the Pioneer Yurt on the other side of the mountain, but a little steeper. By the time I got into Big Basin I was pretty exhausted, not because of the difficulty, but because I was out of shape and unprepared. I stopped for a snack and once again began rethinking my summit attempt, but pushed on anyway. The sky was becoming lighter and the sun about to rise. I passed both of the lakes in the basin and met my first major patch of snow. Most of the snow fields were solid, but there was some post holing that took its toll on me. I would sink up to my hips every once in a while. I believe this is where I may have tweaked my left knee and right hip. The weather was still good and it was daylight once I got to the head wall. I slowly made my way up to the ridge. The views were worth the pain, Wild Horse Canyon was spectacular. I sat there in amazement for a bit, and again began the fight with myself on whether I should continue on or come back another time. I was beat to say the least. I never thought I could have this argument with myself when I only had 300ft left to go. Once again, I decided to scrambled onward, climbing up the infamous "black dyke" which was partially covered in snow, but still manageable. Finally making it to the top I saw one of my motivators on this trip, the view of Hyndman from Old Hyndman. I was not disappointed! Hyndman is a magnificent peak, and the sight is breathtaking from the top of Old Hyndman. I signed the register, snapped a couple photos, and began my descent. Limping along it took almost as long to get down as it did to get up. I stopped and refueled in Big Basin and took a nap against a log for about 45 min. When I got back down into the drainage I ran into two huge bull elk in velvet. Got my foot wet crossing the creek this time and made it back to the pickup at 1330 hrs. Sadly, the tent I set up for this incredible nap I was looking forward to was directly in the hot midday sun. Needless to say my nap was not as great as I hoped. Regardless of the hardships, this was an amazing climb and I don't regret a second of it. All of these trials and tribulations is exactly what mountaineering is all about, and I am grateful for the obstacles set forth.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:4575 ft / 1394 m
    Round-Trip Distance:13 mi / 20.9 km
    Route:East Face
    Trailhead:Hyndman Basin TH  7200 ft / 2194 m
    Grade/Class:Class 3
    Quality:6 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Open Country, Stream Ford, Snow on Ground, Scramble, Exposed Scramble
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Partly Cloudy
Summit was cold and windy
Ascent Statistics
    Time:6 Hours 30 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:5 Hours 

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