Access to Colosseum and Perkins?

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bobpickering

 
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Access to Colosseum and Perkins?

by bobpickering » Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:30 pm

I’m planning a trip over Armstrong Col to climb Colosseum Mountain and Mt. Perkins this summer. I want to know how far I can expect to drive my stock F250 4x4 before I start hiking.

A maintained dirt road goes past the Sawmill Pass TH and becomes an unmaintained 4WD road near Scotty Spring. The USGS map and Google satellite photos show the 4WD road ending in Armstrong Canyon above 8,500’. Andy Martin got his 2WD Honda to 8,000’ in 2008. Does anybody know whether erosion and rock fall (especially in spring 2017) have destroyed the road, or will it be easy in my truck? Thanks!

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cab

 
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Re: Access to Colosseum and Perkins?

by cab » Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:54 pm

I drove a 4WD Chevy Silverado up there in May, 2015. There was a large boulder blocking the road a little above 8,300' that we couldn't get around. Had to back up a little ways (difficult on the narrow road) and park at 8,300' at the intersection of two roads (36.9450, -118.3535). This is about 3/10 of a mile short of where the topo map shows the road ending in Armstrong Canyon. The road up to that point is very narrow and exposed. I was glad to have others in the truck to get out and spot for me at the narrowest sections.

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Re: Access to Colosseum and Perkins?

by bobpickering » Sat Feb 17, 2018 2:07 am

Thanks, cab! That’s the most recent report I’ve seen. I would be happy to park at 8,000’. 8,300’ would be perfect.

I asked a question, and I got a good answer within just a few minutes. That’s proof that summitpost isn’t as dead as Denjem thinks it is.

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colinr

 
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Re: Access to Colosseum and Perkins?

by colinr » Sat Feb 17, 2018 5:35 am

Bob,

If you want to play things safe, park at the three way junction at approximately 8,070 feet. If you look on satellite view you can see there is lots of room in that area to park, turn around, or even camp.

I was there Memorial Day of 2017. I did not drive the road, but considered the extra few thousand feet of gain good training. We walked the road up and down from the camp at Scotty Spring because we were in a medium clearance Subaru Outback that my buddy hadn't owned for long yet. The road seemed in standard condition up to over ~8,100. From the mentioned three way junction, we ascended Peak 11,738 on our way to Perkins, Wynne, Pinchot and Peak 12,572. We descended via Armstrong Canyon. I seem to have deleted road conditions images I took, but during our descent I think I recall a large tree blocking the road and a very narrow section possibly made challenging by a boulder both around 8,175-8,200 feet. I think the junction around 8,300 may have been snowline in the canyon, so I don't recall the other boulder reports have mentioned.

It was a beautiful trip, but none of us got around to posting a detailed trip report, besides an entertaining account of one of my partners somersaulting down the steep southeast slope of Pinchot in a thousand foot plus failed glissade that probably should not have been attempted. He was physically fine, but hasn't glissaded since then. Fortunately for me, I managed the glissade and enjoyed several more last season with the abundant snow. If the weather doesn't become wetter, I imagine one might find that part of the Sierra Crest pretty bare on Memorial Day this year.

Here's Colloseum and Perkins:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/998uur7F2diDUa6e2

Camp at the headwaters of Woods Creek (~11,650) was stunning!
https://photos.app.goo.gl/6RS8sTkZGlCm8cPk2

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bobpickering

 
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Re: Access to Colosseum and Perkins?

by bobpickering » Sat Feb 17, 2018 6:01 pm

Thanks, Sean! At 69 years old, I don’t do an extra 2,500 feet of gain if I don’t have to. I had been eyeing that junction at 8,070 on the maps. I’ll probably stop there. It’s great to confirm that last spring’s runoff didn’t destroy the road. Thanks for the detailed reply.

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Re: Access to Colosseum and Perkins?

by BobD3 » Sat May 12, 2018 3:39 pm

Bob, I was up there 5 days ago, May 6-7 2018. The road was challenging, but passable to the broad plateau at 8000 ft. I went up in a 2014 Subaru Forester AWD and received a fair amount of sagebrush pinstripes, even with the most cautious driving. Your Ford 250 is wider, it's going to be scraping a lot of sagebrush, fyi.

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bobpickering

 
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Re: Access to Colosseum and Perkins?

by bobpickering » Sat May 12, 2018 5:15 pm

Thanks, Bob! My truck may be wider than your Subaru, but it’s also older and had already been “keyed” when I bought it seven years ago. I’m not going to stress over sagebrush scratches. I’m probably going to do this as a snow climb in June, and I appreciate knowing that I’ll be able to get to 8,070.

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Re: Access to Colosseum and Perkins?

by bobpickering » Sun Jun 17, 2018 7:24 pm

I drove up last Tuesday. The road was worse than I expected, but I got to 8,070’ as planned. That’s a great place to camp. There are big rocks on the road beyond 8,070’, and I suspect that only narrow Jeeps and purpose-built 4X4 vehicles could continue without damage. I climbed Colosseum and Perkins on Wednesday and drove back down on Thursday.

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