Mt Lowe Trip- Zé
Gain: 4800 ft
Distance: 12.5 miles
Ascent: 1000 ft / mile
Descent: 630 ft / mile
We always seem to find the steep stuff.
Others’ photos and Meetup link here
John’s TR here
Our hikes seem to turn into cross-country trips quite easily. This time our trip focused on ascent of Mt Lowe from the soutwest, but not necessarily in the usual way. Instead of taking the Lower Sam Merrill trail, we ascended the ridge west of Las Flores Canyon. This ridge increased in steepness, culminating in some scrambling for a few hundred feet until we intersected the Mt Lowe fireroad.
We headed down to Echo Mt and picked up the Castle Canyon trail to Inspiration point. Up there we ran into a Sierra WTC group (like 30 people), snacked a bit, and headed on toward Mt Lowe.
Instead of taking either of the east/west trails, we traversed a small ridge that begins around the east trail. The ridge quickly turns into a steep hike / scramble up the SW face of Mt Lowe for the last 600 ft till hitting the SE ridge. The final 400-500 ft were at a 50% grade! This portion was quite fun, and certainly a better way to head up! From the SE ridge, it was a short jaunt to the summitt.
We descended down the Mt Lowe west trail, and before hitting Inspriation Point, we headed up toward Inspiration Peak. We then traversed the ridgeline westerly, going over several small bumps along the way. Knowing that the middle Sam Merrill trail wraps around this ridge, we would have liked to descend to the SW to pick up the trail, but with decent fog cover and not wanting to miss the trail, we decided to descend to the north. We hit the trail a few hundred feet down.
From there, we took the middle Sam Merrill trail back to Echo, where we ran into another large Sierra WTC group (they were everywhere, and all spread out). We chatted for a bit, then headed down the lower Sam Merril trail back to cars.
Up the first ridge
Ascent up to Mt Lowe
Looking back toward Inspiration Point
Some hanky panky going on?
Civilization peering out
The final ascent up the ridge west of Las Flores canyon:
Ascent up the SW face of Mt Lowe.
Andy climbing some pole on top of Mt Lowe
Hail coming down on top of Mt Lowe
Final portion of descent down to middle Sam Merrill trail. Look for the nice slip at the end.
This entry was posted on Sunday, February 8th, 2009 at 11:47 am and is filed under Trip Report. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.