Mount Buckskin

June 30, 2015

I had some unfinished business with Mount Buckskin. I had to turn back a few years ago during a winter attempt where I ran into 45 mph (measured with anemometer) winds. (See that trip here.)
I took a vacation day and climbed this with two of my kids. Due to the late snows this year we hit some snow, but not enough for good glissading.



Distance:3.3 miles
Elevation Gain:2,100 vertical feet
Time:4.5 hours

We drove to Kite Lake in time to get a 5:45 start on our hike. The route begins by following the Lake Emma trail until it gets up in the basin north of Mount Buckskin. From there we had to find our way through the bushes and across the streams. Buckskin Creek was flowing strong but we were able to cross it using a snow bridge. After that we just chose the best route we could find to the summit.

The summit is visible from the start of the trial, but the high point is hard to distinguish. Make sure the point you are aiming for is the correct one. Once on the summit ridge there are two summits that look about the same height. The east one is the correct one.

The view of Mount Democrat from this side is impressive.

The slope gets pretty steep on the way up. There is a trail briefly through the first steep section just below a corner in the power lines where there are three poles instead of two. I recommend aiming for that on the way up and down.

There are some property markers for the Ajax mine in the area. A couple have accompanying danger signs. I don't think they are actively mining in this area right now, but good to avoid anyway.

The fourteeners in the valley draw all of the traffic. The parking lot was crowded, but we were the only ones doing Mount Buckskin.

Once on the summit ridge you are treated to a great view of Mosquito Basin.

Our happy crew on the summit.

The summit panorama. Click for a larger version.

Plenty of snow and it's almost July.

The descent took about a third the time the ascent did. Probably would have been faster, but the flowers were in bloom.

I don't know the names, but I still like them.

Buttercups in bloom.

The snow softened quite a bit during the day.

Unfortuately this also meant that all but a tiny fragile portion of the snow bridge remained over Buckskin Creek. We got a little wetter crossing this time.

The kids did great and weren't even that worn out from the trip. I'm looking forward to them doing so well that they carry all the shared gear.

Michael continued to try his run-as-fast-as-you-can method to get across soft snow. It wasn't working well.

A last look back at Mount Buckskin as we left and headed home.

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