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Ascent of Parsons Peak-Northwest Ridge on 2018-07-14

Climber: Scott Greco

Others in Party:Brian McCarty
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Saturday, July 14, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Parsons Peak-Northwest Ridge
    Location:USA-California
    Elevation:12040 ft / 3669 m

Ascent Trip Report

This was a very interesting trip. We had planned on traversing the ridge from Parsons to Lyell. It looked good on paper prior to starting the trip, then reality stepped in as well as some unexpected elements. Straight out of the gate, I got my pack all loaded and upon putting it on, discovered that the hip belt buckle was broken. First tried just tying the straps together; then used a carabiner. It helped a little bit more, but the my shoulders ultimately took the load of the 30 pound pack. At the saddle, we dropped our packs (see previous statement) and scrambled (boulder hopped) to the summit of Parsons, followed the ridge line to where the NW point should have been. Looked all around for the cairn from a previous TR to no avail. Using GPS we know we tagged it and headed back down after scouting an alternate way than the ridge due to the pack problem. Then that was altered as well with the thunderheads that were starting to form. We made the decision just to make it back to the vehicles. Probably a wise choice, be that not too much longer after Ireland Lake it started to drop a little rain on us. Thought this isn’t that bad. Short thought. We got onto the Evelyn Lake trail and the skies opened up with thunder, lightning, rain, and pellet sized hail. Very glad that nothing happened with the lightning, especially since we were walking lightning rods - soaking wet, walking on a puddled trail, metal trekking poles in hand, and that ice axe in the pack. Glad we decided to forego Lyell for another day. Pretty rough climb with all the extra stuff, but got it done.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:4076 ft / 1242 m
    Round-Trip Distance:26.4 mi / 42.5 km
    Route:Lyell, Ireland Lake Trail
    Trailhead:Wilderness Permit parking lot  7964 ft / 2427 m
    Quality:8 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Open Country, Scramble
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Raining, Pleasant, Calm, Partly Cloudy
Constantly changing
Ascent Statistics
    Time:10 Hours 30 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:7 Hours 30 Minutes



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