Jerrett Peak P300
Peak 6,710ft
Wentworth BM P300
Chipmunk Bluff
Peak 6,836ft P300
Peak 7,095ft P300
Sun Rock

Mon, Oct 5, 2020

With: Tom Becht

Etymology
Story Photos / Slideshow Maps: 1 2 GPX

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Day 2 of a 4-day trip was spent in the Loon Lake area, tagging some stragglers and easy summits that I had missed on previous visits. Tom was kind enough to not complain much about these - after a long previous day, he seemed as happy as I to have a bunch of short approaches. We'd spent the night parked at the eastern start of the famous Rubicon Trail at Loon Lake and began our day from there.

Jerrett Peak

This was the only peak requiring more than half a mile to reach the summit, in this case about 3.5mi each way. As the highest peak of the day, Jerrett lies southwest of Guide Peak and southeast of McKinstry, several miles north of Loon Lake. It does not have the fine features of the surrounding peaks, more of a wide, flat-topped summit with forest and weak views. We followed the Rubicon Trail north to the bridge and junction at Ellis Creek, then took the fork continuing north up the Ellis Creek drainage for another mile. When we were due east of the summit we left the road to head cross-country upslope to the summit. There was some brush to work around and through, forest downfall to go over, and much of the usual obstacles, none particularly difficult. We reached the summit shortly after 8:30a, finding little in the way of views. We continued west for another 100yds or so to the edge of the summit plateau where we could get a decent view looking in that direction. McKinstry rose higher to the north, Loon Lake below us to the south. After a short break we walked back over the view-challenged summit where we left a register. We then descended to the south, using a road we had crossed over during the ascent. It is shown on the topo map as ending high on the south side of the mountain, but we found it continued, descending steeply to Bugle Lake where we picked up another road depicted on the the map and followed this back to the Ellis Creek Bridge and the Rubicon Trail. We were done by 10:30a, taking about 3.5hrs for the outing.

Peak 6,710ft

An easy ascent from the southwest side with little brush. Near views overlook Loon Lake. View north to Jerrett Peak. About 10min in each direction.

Wentworth BM

Located about a mile west of Peak 6,710ft, the distance is only half a mile from the east. This was the brushiest peak of the day. Bear trails make the brush tolerable, but in trying to find a better route on the way down we got into some heavier stuff that was worse. The highlight is a 15-foot granite boulder that forms the highpoint. A dead tree on the east side provides the only route to the summit less than class 5.hard. The tree is pretty sturdy, but requires some stiff class 4 climbing to mantle onto the boulder. I went up and took a picture of Tom, below. He gave it a half-hearted try, but backed down. I was unable to convince him that this summit mattered. A short distance to the northeast is found the WENTWORTH benchmark. We spent a little under an hour roundtrip on this one.

Chipmunk Bluff

This is a surprisingly tough little scramble. We used a spur dirt road to get within a few hundred feet of the summit on the north side. A ring of cliffs not depicted on the topo form the major difficulty. There is also considerable brush below the cliffs that should not be taken lightly. Choose your path wisely. We went up the north side and down the east side, class 3 for both. Nice rocky summit, too.

Peak 6,836ft

This unnamed summit lies about a mile northeast of Chipmunk Bluff, most easily accessed via the same spur road on the peak's west side. Some brush is encountered lower down, becoming easier in the upper half. Berts Lake is a nice little find on the summit's southwest side, about 2/3 of the way up. Another good view of Loon Lake can be had from the open summit.

Peak 7,095ft

These last two are only a few miles south of the previous two summits, but there is much driving between them. We left my Jeep on Icehouse Rd at the junction with Tells Creek Rd (aka Forest Road 36), and drove Tom's up the latter road. The road is paved all the way to Tells Creek Equestrian Camp. Before reaching the campground, we turned left on FR13N22E, a high-clearance spur road oddly marked with No Motor Vehicles. We drove the rode anyway, about a quarter mile to its end, then hiked the remaining 1/3mi up steep, forested, and somewhat brushy slopes to the indistinct summit with no obvious highpoint and no views. A dud.

Sun Rock

This one is a large granite dome outcrop southwest of Peak 7,095ft. We drove back to the pavement, then another spur road (FR13N22H) to the north side of Sun Rock. The jeep was able to drive further than the end depicted on the maps, getting us another few hundred feet closer to an already easy hike. A use trail leads out onto the open granite dome with very little prominence but a swell view looking west and south.

Afterwards, we spent some time trying to drive close to Two Peaks from different directions, tharted at each attempt. From the northwest, one can get as close as the equestrian camp at the end of paved Tells Creek Rd, a starting elevation around 6,500ft. From there it's 3-4mi mostly on trail to Two Peaks. From the southwest, one can drive Pickett Pen Rd, a good gravel road along Cheese Camp Ridge and Big Silver Creek to an unsigned, locked gate on private logging property. A hike from there is somewhat shorter, but starts more than a thousand feet lower, probably the poorer of the two choices. We were about out of time so we gave up the effort and went to camp below the Cheese Ridge highpoint. As a target shooting area, it wasn't the best of choices with shells and detritus littering the ground, but it would do in a pinch...

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