Robinson Peak

22 Jul 2006 - by Ted Lenzie

On 7/22/06, Rick S, Janet B, Wayne S, and Myself climbed Robinson Peak just outside the town of Bridgeport. I have been trying to climb obscure peaks that are not on any list and have little available information. This can make the day more or less adventurous depending on the terrain and my own map reading ability.

We started this climb at the backside of the Twin Lakes RV park and public showers. The starting elevations is somewhere around 7,100 feet. The start was simple enough. There is a 4WD road behind the RV park which leads to a water tank and beyond inside a canyon. We started around 8 AM and with the east facing canyon and with the deep ravine we were in there was little air flow. It got hot fast. I would do this part before sunrise if I ever do this again. We continued up in a westerly direction. The road has a gradual gain but once it had ended we began a southwest climb up a very steep hill toward the ridgeline. There are plenty of game trails to follow and most of the cross-country is though low lying brush. Except for the steep angle the going and navigation was pretty straight forward.

We continued to climb and as our first hour break came upon us we had gained more than 1,800 feet. We took our break on a small summit on the ridge. There would be a few ups and downs during the ridge portion of the climb. The ridge is a broad rounded wide mound with little exposure. We stayed on the ridge following it in a western direction looking down at Twin Lakes it was easy to navigate. I could easily see the spillway between the lakes and other features. The view of Matterhorn was fantastic and continued to improve as we progressed. We went from brush to talus and then a wooded area. The woods were a nice relief from the sun. At the bottom of the wooded area we began our final climb up to Robinson. It was pretty easy and we continued to do a traverse climb around its backside to gain views of Eagle Peak. Then a turn south and we were on the top.

At the summit we found a PVC pipe flag pole with very little flag left. A bunch of broken CDs and some other trash. We packed out the trash but left the pole. In the rock laid an old coffee can and inside we found a register, some San Francisco State College library cards dated 1946 and a student ID from Berkeley of the same year. We resealed the can and secured it back in its original location.

The next trick was to find a way back to the lake. Just below us to the southwest it is vertical rock with a lot of very large loose boulders. To the southeast it looked more doable with a more gentle descent but after the first 1,000 feet it was hard to say what laid below. We took the more gentle route but even that one had its steep sections. There were still a few snow drifts and water running in the gullies. The soil was loose but not too bad. We just picked off the descent section by section staying close to the gully but trying to stay out of the brush. At first the terrain was low lying brush that became higher as we went down. We were descending fast and tried to stay in the many game trails. After some bushwhacking, we arrive at a scree gully and the descent went very fast. We cut over into the trees and were down by 2:00PM.

At the lake we took a swim and scamed a ride back to our trail head. The hike was approximately 4,000 feet of gain, 8 miles of hiking with shuttle, and took 6 hours to complete.

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