Mount Harwood via Holtgrefe Ridge

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Trip Report
California, United States, North America
Date Climbed/Hiked:
Dec 15, 2007
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Mount Harwood via Holtgrefe Ridge
Created On: Dec 18, 2007
Last Edited On: Dec 27, 2007


Holtgrefe Ridge runs up the Northeastern approach to Mount Harwood via Stockton Flat and Lytle Creek. The total elevation gain was approximately 3,472 feet to the Summit elevation of 9,552 feet over a horizontal distance of just under 2 miles. In the thumbnail image above you can clearly see it rising up to the North of the Devil's Backbone Trail.

Mount Harwood via Holtgrefe RidgeHoltgrefe Ridge

Because of the upper scree and soft forrested slope at it's base, this route is best climbed in the winter when ice and snow serve to bind the substrate. We climbed this route with Crampons and Ice axes. I recommend wearing a helmet because of loose debris breaking off the steeper sections, especially with multiple climbers.

Getting there:

From the Greater Los Angeles area, take the I-15 north of the I-10, exit Sierra and head up Lytle Creek past the Shooting Area and onto the Gravel Road.
Follow the road in the huge gravel wash approximately 4.5 miles to Stockton Flat. Park clear of the road as we saw recreational ATC and Snowmobile drivers in the area. There also is a private service route up the gated Baldy Road to the Baldy Notch.

Route Description:

Depending on the level of traction, the climb up the lower earthen slope could be difficult without proper ice or snowpack to grip into.
Expect lots of trees, branches and loose rock submerged in pow.

Mount Harwood via Holtgrefe RidgeRidge
Holtgrefe PlateauPlateau

As the ridge climbs higher you will find a large plateau with striking views of the local terrain. From this point on the path becomes more rocky and steeper with Two Steps guarding the final approach on Mount Harwood.

Up the First Step, Holtgrefe RidgeThe First Step

The second step had a lot of brush and branches obstructing passage.
I circumvented the brush by climbing around the right side and postholing up a steep snowy slope.

Holtgrefe Second StepThe Second Step

The Final Push:

Last 100 meters up Holtgrefe RidgeThe Summit in Sight!
Holtgrefe Ridge overlooking Stockton FlatExpect some exposure

The last 100 meters are the most challenging. At this point I was a bit tired of my Crampons slipping on flat rock hidden just below a few inches of powder and seized upon the opportunity to latch onto any solid or frozen ground. The dropoffs became increasingly dangerous and the higher we went the less chance for a successful self-arrest given the steep pitch of frozen scree.

Last 200 feet on Holtgrefe RidgeThe last 200 feet

Beyond this crested Mount Harwood, an easy 100 feet to the actual summit.

Summit of Harwood via Holtgrefe RidgeThe Finish

We made it just in time for Sunset, longer than anticipated.

Harwood via Holtgrefe RidgeThe top

The night was here.
Time to set up camp.
Harwood at NightHarwood Twilight



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Schuetzenweber - Dec 18, 2007 7:19 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Top stuff!

You're a good guide.
I'll be your wingman anytime ;]

Like the 5-Piece Chikin' Dinner/B-Boys?

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Mount Harwood via Holtgrefe Ridge

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