Between Mitchell Point and Viento Ridge, the most imposing terrain is the north spur of Wygant's NW ridge. I spotted it last weekend and put it on my to-do list.
The north spur starts around 400', mostly on boring brushy slopes, so I continued west to a sharp little standalone ridge that heads up towards the steeper west side of the north spur. That worked out pretty well. Put me at the lower west side of the north spur without too much tedious bushwhacking. I explored a bit, looking for a way up. Everything dead ended, so I dropped just a bit and followed the base of the cliffs, traveling south, looking for access. There was a narrow gully that led to an amphitheater with several options. The first one I tried was successful, putting me up on the crest of the north spur.
Amazing scenery, everything I had hoped for. I was slightly surprised at how gentle the terrain was up here; I could see my further ascent would be no trouble at all. But first I descended the crest as far north as I could. To go any lower would require dropping off the east side into brush.
So back up I went, past the point where I gained the crest, until I left the grass/rock/moss/flowers behind and entered forest. The ridge continued to be well defined, and only moderately brushy. There were a couple minor routefinding problems, but no big deal.
I reached the point where the north spur joins the NW ridge (around 1600'), and continued up, eventually reaching the summit cairn.
On my way down, I stayed on the NW ridge instead of descending the north spur. It was nice for a while, but around 1000' I realized the terrain to the west was more interesting, so I popped on over there and explored a series of ridges, finally bushwhacking through poison oak and ticks to the powerline road. I emerged right at the end of the road, as far west as it goes before the powerlines cross the Viento Creek canyon. That was incredible luck. If I'd been further west I would have had to watch for the powerlines overhead and then bushwhack beneath them eastbound to the road end.
Wish I had brought my GPS. I had a pretty good idea where I was at all times, but confirmation would have been nice (not for safety, but to satisfy my obsessive nature).
Discussions and Trip Reports for off-trail adventures and rediscovering lost trails
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