Rocky road to the saddle. Breezy and temperate for the climb.
Skipped the middle summit but hit the west summit (with the benchmark) and the eastern highpoint. Stayed low on the return skipping both of the lower peaks.
Great hike up an impressive looking mountain, followed the routes described below, very little brush due to the fire. Very windy and quite cool all day. TR is HERE.
I hoped to summit this peak two years previous, in 2012, when I summited 5 other Calif P2K's in the area. Unfortunately both this peak and Observation Peak were engulfed in one of California's largest ever wild fires at the time.
I used Dennis Poulin's route, which was pretty much spot on (with changes due to the wild fire, as I will explain). I spent the previous night in my Jeep roadside about a mile or so down the 4.2 mile long dirt road. No other traffic seen. The road is somewhat rocky and I wouldn't want to slip off some of the steeper sections, but all and all it wasn't too bad in my Jeep. Like Dennis, I parked at the saddle just before a gate. I recommend, however, that since you have to open and close the gate anyway to walk through, you might as well park a little farther at the bottom of the hill. This portion of the road is in fine shape, unlike in Dennis' day.
I walked down the road to the shallow valley, then XC pretty much ENE until on the ridgeline, at about 5500' or so. I consider the terrain you encounter here about THE finest for peakbagging. Solid footing with small rocks embedded in the substrate, with grass only a couple inches high, and a rare scrub only a few inches high as well. The rocks get a little bigger higher up, but always very stable and you can easily meander between most of them.
Unlike Dennis' experience, there was rarely any problems with brush. It nearly all burned up in the fire two years ago. It was actually hard to see much trace of the fire, but the little stubs of old brush could be seen as charcoal knobs. The actual branches were no where to be seen. This made for a nice ascent. Only past the scree onto the middle summit was vegetation any issue, and there it was mostly a tall grass about knee to thigh in height. It got easier again at the second saddle and the final climb to the eastern (highest) of the three summits.
While descending the middle summit I surprised a big horn sheep across the way on the east summit. The next day I would surprise the Observation Peak lookout attendant, who said bighorns were known to be just east in Nevada but were unknown on the Skedaddle Mtns. Maybe that fresh post-wildfire grass is attracting them. I also first heard, then saw a couple wild horses down below near a green patch (Poss former spring?) down below to the N of the middle peak
One easy shallow chute and voila!, the summit cairn. Here was the summit register, obviously placed by Richard Carey - it was a Carey brand salsa jar in a tin can!
The return was a little tiring, mostly because it was warming up, and reascending the middle then western peaks was annoying. I drank all 4 liters of water that I brought, but could have gotten by with just three.
Went to Plumas County area August 2012 to run the "Running With The Bears" half-marathon and to grab some Calif 2K ft prominence peaks. Added five peaks but failed on both Observation andHot Springs, as they were engulfed in a huge wildfire 1/4 the size of Yosemite. The fire burned right down to the highway south of the mountain and east of Wendel as we drove by.
had a nice hike up on a fantastic winter day. Minimal snow cover and moderate temps made for a neat February experience. I traversed around the middle peak on the north side, but found the snow and brush pretty slow going, so I climbed the middle peak on my way back to the car. Signed the summit register for the first ascent since Sept 2010, so obviously this is not a popular peak. Found some great solitude in the Skedaddle Range, and enjoyed the tremendous views of the north Sierras and southern Cascades.
Hot day. The climb seemed longer than it really was.