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Olancha Peak Climber's Log

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GigaMikeSage Flat  Sucess!
Date Climbed: May 21, 2011


Dayhike from Sage Flat with a great group.
Posted May 23, 2011 2:28 pm

Thomas ErspamerFrom Sage Flat  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Nov 4, 2010

Thomas Erspamer

Departed Sage Flats at 4:30 am. Returned 7:00 pm. 14:30 RT. Excellent weather conditions. Clear skies with temperatures ranging from 45F to 65F. Followed route on Bob Burd's map on the ascent. We descended down the easier north slope then did a 180 degree arc traversing the west slope in the forest below the summit block connecting with the trail at the 10,600' knob. Connecting here avoids unnecessary altitude gain on the return trip. 8 hours up. 6.5 hours down. We made the mistake of taking the Cow Highway as a "short cut" on the way down. Don't take this route up or down. The "highway" looked like it had been flash flooded. It was littered with toaster-sized boulders for much of the way making the going slow and painful. Besides that it is an ecological disaster. The creek bed it occupies is completely destroyed. It's hillside is in a state of severe hyper-erosion. You must carry all your water (I consumed 5.5 liters). Although we crossed several running streams (storms had dropped a little rain and snow in the preceding weeks), cattle grazing has resulted in obvious water pollution. All told we had an excellent outing. Through the clear, deep dark, moonless starry night we could see the glow of Las Vegas in the morning. Visibility from the summit was excellent. We were lucky.
Posted Nov 7, 2010 12:31 pm

kraymesNorth East Ridge  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Aug 10, 1987


What a fiasco this was. Twisted my ankle at 9000', buckled down and summitted. Came off at night in a raging lightening storm to 2 flat tires on the ole Commanche. Changed the spare and drove out on the flat/rim to the what is now the Olancha Mobil and put some fix a flat in a drove to the house (I was living behind Hiawee at the time).
Posted May 22, 2010 12:03 pm

sierragator sage flat sans manzanitas  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Apr 10, 2010


Posted Apr 11, 2010 11:14 am

Princess ButtercupFrom Sage Flat  Sucess!
Date Climbed: May 9, 2009

Princess Buttercup

Long day with plenty of bushwhacking through hellish manzanita. Punishment for something, I just don't know what...
Posted Dec 1, 2009 12:16 am

KVHikerManzanita Hike  Sucess!
Date Climbed: May 9, 2009


I went on a hike on Saturday, May 9th, 2009 to Olancha Peak. I car camped at the trailhead at Sage Flat so that we could make an Alpine start. I arose at 3:50AM, and got myself ready to go. We set out at about 4:45AM and I entered the Sequoia National Park in the dark with my headlamp on.

We hiked up the cow trail for a long time gaining lots of elevation as we went. We veered off the trail, and located a shallow draw through the thick manzanita that was everywhere. It was about 3.5 miles from the trailhead to Olancha pass with an elevation gain of 4000 feet.

After reaching the pass we set off at a rapid pace North. We crossed through Bear Trap Meadow, and located the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). We followed the PCT through Brush Meadow to a point just West of Olancha Peak. Some of the landmarks we could see were Monache Meadows, Monache Mountain, Brown Mountain, Jackass Peak, White Mountain, Granite Knob, Crag Rock, Deer Peak, and much more. The distance was 3.5 miles with an elevation gain of about 500 feet.

At this point we turned East off the PCT, and set off to climb the rest of the way to Olancha. It is about a mile from the PCT to the summit, but the elevation gain is over 2000 feet. We left the PCT at an elevation of 10,000 feet, and the summit is at 12120 feet so at this altitude acclimation is a factor. This last section is a giant boulder scramble all the way to the top.

The view from the summit is amazing, and we had great visibility with a 360 degree view. Some of the landmarks visible from the peak are Mount Whitney, Mount Russell, Mount Langley, the Domeland wilderness, the Golden Trout Wilderness, Jordan Peak, The Needles, Slate Mountain, Owens Valley, the Cosos, the Black Rock region, Kennedy Meadows, and more.

We ate some food on the summit, and took pictures. We headed back down at 2:00. We made really good time on the way back in spite of getting really stuck in some dense manzanita. The total distance was 17 miles round trip with an elevation gain of over 6500 feet. The hike took us 14 hours, and it was nice to hang out with good company all day.

Posted Aug 13, 2009 6:40 pm

MariePFrom Sage Flat  Sucess!


Beautiful hike, just stay away from the cow trail!
Posted Aug 11, 2009 3:47 pm

farrisglGreat 3 Day Long Weekend Climb  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Jun 6, 2009


Climbed as a 2.5 day long weekend outing from Sage Flats. Really nice outing. We enjoyed Summit Meadows as a campsite. Very nice view. Well worth the time!
Posted Aug 10, 2009 1:06 am

jonhershMonache Meadows  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Jun 13, 2009


Good dayhike from Monache Meadows. The drive to the trailhead was exciting.
Posted Jun 14, 2009 12:54 pm

kevin trieufrom Sage Flat with ODC  Sucess!

kevin trieu

brough a crap load of booze.
Posted Aug 8, 2008 12:58 am

bechttFrom Sage Flat TH  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Nov 17, 2007


Nice, leisurely 11 hour hike from Sage Flat with Coco, Monique, and Adam. Perfect weather for a mid November hike.
Posted Nov 19, 2007 4:26 pm

leftyLate Season Day hike  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Nov 19, 2005


Very little snow allowed me to dayhike this from Sage Flat.
Posted Sep 18, 2007 12:35 am

mlarkin2002Monache Meadows  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Jun 16, 2007
Started at Monache Mdws. Climbed to PCT then up to the summit. Great views.
Posted Jun 18, 2007 1:44 pm

BLTSage Flat/PCT  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Jun 9, 2007


Did this as a two-night backpack. First night near Summit Meadow was quiet. Summited on Saturday, weather was perfect. Saturday night was loud with cattle -- sounded like Satan was having an argument with the ghost of Orson Welles. Got caught in a cattle drive on the way down Sunday morning.

Water is getting tough to find in this area. There was a tiny bit in the creek next to the PCT 1/3 mile NW of Summit Meadow but we were chased away by cattle, who then tromped through the mud and fouled the area. There is water further up Cow Canyon but who knows for how long. Drink carefully.
Posted Jun 10, 2007 8:53 pm

bennovakFrom Sage Flat  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Jun 9, 2007


Was a full day as we got caught in a messy cattle drive traffic jam coming up Olancha pass on our way back down. I don't quite think Crystal Geyser's water is quite as clean and pure as they dipict it to be.
Posted Jun 10, 2007 1:54 am

wmollandFrom the saddle on the PCT  Sucess!
Date Climbed: May 27, 2007


A nice easy 2nd class scramble from the PCT. We came up from Horseshoe Meadow and tagged Muah and Cartago before hitting Olancha and going down to Sageflat. A nice point to point if you have two cars. After being the first people atop Cartago in over a year the day before we were the 8th people that day to summit Olancha. Awesome views from the top and a nice spot for a summit nap.
Posted Jun 1, 2007 4:05 pm

Steve LarsonFrom Monache Creek TH  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Sep 17, 2006

Steve Larson

A perfect fall day. Didn't see a soul until on the descent I ran into three PCT through hikers on their way to Horseshoe Meadows. I don't really like backpacking all that much, so better them than me.
Posted Sep 18, 2006 3:37 am

kngalaricLame, less than half a mile from the summit


Bruno and I were this [] close to the summit and thunderstorms ruined our foray after a fun off-road adventure. We'll get up there before November for sure.

Too bad, we had to turn around a little above 11,500'
Posted Aug 9, 2006 1:40 am

Luciano136From Monache Meadows
Date Climbed: Jul 22, 2006


We hiked from the trailhead at Monache Creek. Definitely not many people use this trail; it was pretty overgrown. We made it towards the rocky face when a thunderstom broke loose! We obviously turned around. Kind of a bummer but we'll be back! The drive to the trailhead is pretty exciting btw. When crossing the Kern river, the water flew up on the hood of the truck; kind of a scary moment there!
Posted Jul 24, 2006 5:08 am

cartaleRoute Climbed: Via trail Date Climbed: 10/24/2005  Sucess!


Made the summit with Doug Mantle
Posted Feb 10, 2006 8:36 pm

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