DISASTER, Narrowly Averted

18 Nov 2007 - by Lisa Barboza

Iceberg Meadow TH to Summit: 4.9 miles and 3500 feet, 4.9 miles back.

Obsessed Peak bagging and the desire to continue climbing every weekend through the fall and winter was eased by a lack of snow. So we left Santa Clara CA at 5:00 AM, arrived at the TH at 8:30 AM, summitted by 12:15 and were back at the cars at 3:22 PM, and made it back to the Bay Area in time for dinner! Intrepid Peak baggers (dare I say?) Louise Wholey and yours truly made the trek, and detailed directions are shown below.

Detailed directions to TH: [or see trailhead page for maps and waypoints of the drive] Proceed up HWY 108 from Sonora, CA. 2.5 miles before Dardanelles, turn left on the Clark Fork (of the Stanislaus) Road, 7N83. Go down that road to the end, heading for the Iceberg Meadow Trailhead. Waypoint ICEBRG, 6309 feet elevation. You will find yourself, at the trailhead, in a fine meadow, with the Clark Fork of the Stanislaus just to your south. Find the trailhead sign, and head up from there. Above you, you will see the rearing head of the Iceberg crag, a granitic formation and quite impressive.

There's a good trail that heads up Disaster Creek to the north. Follow this trail until you get to the following Waypoint: ICETRL, 7326 feet elevation. At this point, you'll see a very faint trail heading off to the right (northeast). We marked it with a large duck and it's just after a wet portion of meadow where the trail is wet for about 100 feet. This trail leads to a creek and that's the best way up the mountain. The Topo Maps show the trail turning off in another mile but that trail is very faint, goes through the forest and is seldom used. I don't recommend this, but if you want to stay on the main trail (note that the trail to the summit is very faint) here's the Waypoint ICETRN, 7718 feet.

But, it's best to take this cutoff and this is in fact the way we came DOWN, so it's a proven route. Follow this trail to the summit. The summit itself will wind through forest for much of the way, the trail will be hard to follow at times and you'll have to keep an eye out for the tell-tale subtle grading of the trail. We couldn't believe that this was marked as a stock trail on the Topo maps, and it's clearly been out of use for a long time by stock. The trail, such as it is, will eventually give to a sagebrush covered sandy hillside with volcanic decomposed sand, with a southwestern exposure (hence hot in the summer). You'll follow this trail to a rock outcrop, Waypoint LTR03, 8719 feet.

From there, there won't be trail but head up to Disaster Peak, Waypoint DISSTR, 10047 feet. You'll ascend a bit of a crest, with some reddish rocks above a small dry meadow, and staying below point 9251 which is a prominent peaklet above you. Once you see the peak, you'll note that it's composed of basalt and columnar formations similar to Devil's Postpile. The fun way up it (very low CL3) is the western slope (this doesn't merit the word face), and the easy way down is the east slope. All in all, it took us 6 hours round trip to climb this peak.

The weather: - It was 26F when we started, warmed up to about 55F in the sunshine and we had a great time.


info Download the Waypoint+ data below as a GPX file for your GPS.

Datum,North America 1983,GRS 80,0,-1.6E-7,0,0,0
RP,D,ICEBRG, 38.4176000357,-119.7498199940,03/15/2012,02:27:33,
RP,D,ICETRL, 38.4320333004,-119.7499500513,03/15/2012,02:29:28,
RP,D,ICETRN, 38.4486000538,-119.7634999752,03/15/2012,02:30:22,
RP,D,LTR03, 38.4434167147,-119.7484833002,03/15/2012,02:31:00,
RP,D,DISSTR, 38.4487500191,-119.7336332798,03/15/2012,02:31:33,

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