Trip report. Long day (23+ miles).
Left the PCT at 10,000' and descended gentle sandy slopes to Death Canyon at 9,600'. Followed the stream bed up to 9,800' then headed south up to the plateau. Navigating the maze of rock structures was confusing both going and coming - had to check GPS and correct course several times.
Despite a lot of preparation I couldn't find the correct summit block. Even after I sent a couple of other nearby towers I couldn't tell which was the highest. Nonetheless it was a good day. Hiked up the ridge (watch for snakes!!!) and came down the canyon. About ~6 hours up to the summit plateau and 2.5 hrs down.
Nice but long hike via the PCT. With Tommey
SPS trip with Lisa, Eddie and Angie.
Climbed during 18+ mile 2nd day of Sierra Club outing. Amazing rock formations out of Ash Meadow along PCT and after leaving it to head East. Nice scrambling on top, didn't make it all the way due to knee injury.
Dayhike from Horseshoe Meadows. This was a long hike, but the travel in this area is fairly easy. The PCT is mostly flat with a few ups and downs and the cross country to get to Cartago from the northwest is also easy. Fun, short scramble up to the summit. A GPS is very helpful in trying to locate the highest pinnacle. I also tagged Trail Peak on the return which added a couple of extra miles.
Over from Muah via the PCT to begin a nice three day weekend. Managed to get to the summit without any routefinding difficulties on the plateau (well, after heading partway up the wrong summit about 50 years to the east). Spent the night at the south fork of the Kern River and climbed Kern Peak and Cirque Peak over the next two days.
A long go for a 4+ mile approach. The pinnacle pasture made finding the summit interesting if a little frustrating. I descended a couloir off the summit plateau that fed Cartago creek. This was the southern most couloir of 4 found in a cirque that all drained into Cartago creek. The first 100 feet were steep enough to require a face in position. This section also choked down with exposed class 3-4 rock. Snow extended down to 7500 feet but was too soft and deep to plunge step effectively. A faint use trail exists on the north side of the canyon probably made by exiting skiers. You can't descend the full length of the canyon when the creek is flowing as it chokes down. Descend by an ascending traverse of the canyon wall until you gain the ridge which deposits you on the north side of Cartago creek about a mile and a half from the east slope trailhead. I don't recommend using this as a descent route unless you are a skier.
First of all I don't know why anyone would start at the aqueduct, it looks like a miserable slog. We cut off the PCT in Death Canyon and headed up the creek drainage to the large summit plateau. We wandered to the south side of the plateau and meandered around all the false summits gaining the true Cartago on the first try. The last 100 feet is a nice scramble and theres a pretty nifty view of all the spires from the top. We were the first to summit in over a year as this peak gets visits very infrequently.
What an adventure -- Another really cold day in the Sierra, but well worth it. Interesting watching the landscape change as you gain elevation. My partner Alex brought a GPS, which we tried not to use on the summit plateau, but after farting around for 30 mins, we made a guess and verified it with GPS before climbing the right pinnacle. Much thanks to Matthew and Bob for the excellent info! RT w/ time to smell the flowers: 9hrs 45 min.
Like Matthew said. It took about 9hrs RT from the aqueduct. Taking a somewhat more southerly approach to the Sierra crest I also climbed a wrong pinnacle before finding the right one. I wasn't as successful at finding the summit register. Trip Report
Dayhike with Bob out of Cartago, at least until we got separated and followed different paths on the way up--slogged up the sandy ridge and back down the canyon for variety. It took me 2 or 3 tries to find the right summit pinnacle--all of them were fun scrambles, and some of the false summits were perhaps even more enjoyable than the true summit block. A truly unusual peak.