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Armstrong 1/19

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  • Armstrong 1/19

    I still need Armstong so I've put in for taking next Friday. As of now it's saying 22 and partly cloudy. I plan to do it via the Gothics/ Beaver Meadow Falls Trail.

    Anyone been up this way recently? What kind of time from would I be looking at? I was guessing 8h. This is only my 3rd winter hike so just want to make sure I have any special info covered. Also, is there any false summit type of stuff? I wasted a decent amount of time on UWJ on what I guess would be called the false summit trying to figure that one out.

  • #2
    I can't specify on current conditions but there's definitely "false summit type stuff." The actual summit, heading south > north, is along the trail in some dense woods before you step across and scramble down the little rocky bit. Be cautious here because you wouldn't want to fall into that rock gap and it may be covered in snow. After this you'll descend a little to an open area with some great views and a short cliff down to another ledge. This is the false summit where you see all the pictures of people doing their best starfish impersonations and doing whatever passes for yoga these days.

    Sorry for the vagueness, but I'm not sure how else to describe it. There's no indicator for the actual summit, its just a stretch of trail at the height of land. When you get to the Armstrong/Gothics junction, take your right and go up until it becomes obvious that you're going down until you hit the scenic false summit. You will have missed the actual summit by about 100 yards.
    My mind was wandering like the wild geese in the west.

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    • #3
      Mountain forecast is calling for nearly two feet of new snow tomorrow night. Who knows if someone is heading that way this weekend...you may find yourself breaking trail. Either way, it's a good time.
      #8335W, Solo 46W
      NE 111 113/115


      One list may be done, but the journey is far from over...
      Half Dome, 2009

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      • #4
        Originally posted by FlyFishingandBeer View Post
        The actual summit, heading south > north, is along the trail in some dense woods before you step across and scramble down the little rocky bit. Be cautious here because you wouldn't want to fall into that rock gap and it may be covered in snow. After this you'll descend a little to an open area with some great views and a short cliff down to another ledge. This is the false summit where you see all the pictures of people doing their best starfish impersonations and doing whatever passes for yoga these days.

        There's no indicator for the actual summit, its just a stretch of trail at the height of land. When you get to the Armstrong/Gothics junction, take your right and go up until it becomes obvious that you're going down until you hit the scenic false summit. You will have missed the actual summit by about 100 yards.

        That's pretty good actually.

        Comment


        • FlyFishingandBeer
          FlyFishingandBeer commented
          Editing a comment
          Happy to help. Hopefully its saves you a bunch of pacing back and forth with a map, compass, and altimeter, as many of us have done.

          Maybe somebody else will chime in with a more detailed description or pictures of the summit in winter.

          Edit: This may be obvious, but just in case winter has turned the area into a wonder land, as in "I wonder where to go from here," don't descend the ledge from the false summit. If you opt to venture further up the Range Trail, it hooks slightly east after the false summit before continuing NNE towards the gnarliness that lies between Armstrong and UWJ.

      • #5
        That was pretty much what I did on UWJ until a small group came from the Armstrong side and had already visited that summit. I pretty much had decided that I was going to do Armstrong as to not miss the actual UWJ summit. Then I ran into a small group who had come from Armstrong who told me they had just come down off the UWJ summit. I never ended up doing Armstrong that day. I was a little worried about time. I'm still unsure whether it would have taken longer or not. I made it out before dark so I was happy either way.

        I won't go past the false summit since I've already done UWJ.

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        • #6
          I'm always puzzled when I hear that someone had trouble figuring out that Upper Wolf Jaw has a false summit when approaching from the Wolf Jaw col. I doesn't take much map reading skill to see that there are two summits and that the more westerly summit is higher, has an "x", and is where the label is placed. Armstrong's false summit isn't quite as obvious on the map, but it should be clear from the map that it is only a very short distance from the top of the Beaver Meadow Trail to that first summit, but then a good bit farther to the actual summit. When there was a sign for the summit, it was at the broad ledge with the good view.

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          • #7
            Tomorrow you will be hiking in the rain. Hopefully not too hard a rain but it looks like all-day. Be prepared to break trail for most of the hike. The cold weather seems to have kept a lot of hikers away and up high there is a lot of snow and drifting.
            Project-100: 100 peaks, one winter. https://project100singlewinter.wordpress.com/

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            • #8
              FlyFishingandBeer

              Did I misread your explanation or did you just state Armstrong's summit is *not* the one with the open ledge?

              Armstrong has two 'bumps' of nearly identical elevation (4400') but the northern of the two, the one with the open ledge, is commonly accepted as the summit (on many maps, including USGS Topo).

              https://caltopo.com/map.html#ll=44.1...t&o=mbt&n=0.65

              Looking for Views!

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              • FlyFishingandBeer
                FlyFishingandBeer commented
                Editing a comment
                greatexpectations That's a really good explanation. Thanks for that.

              • greatexpectations
                greatexpectations commented
                Editing a comment
                FlyFishingandBeer that is by no means 'the' explanation, just something i have wondered before. if nothing else, it could be a nice 'tiebreaker', picking the option that not only has the view but that might fit neater into the marshall criteria.

              • Trail Boss
                Trail Boss commented
                Editing a comment
                The average consumer GPS can't be trusted to accurately distinguish vertical differences of merely a few feet. Its vertical accuracy is on the order of *several meters* so >1 meter is hand-waving territory.

                You'd need an industrial-grade rig, with centimeter accuracy, to confidently determine height differences between Armstrong's two bumps or any other point along the trail between 'em. Even then, that information would be limited to being a curiousity.

                For example, someone surveyed MacNaughton with an industrial rig (independently and unofficially) and, if memory serves me correctly, discovered the southeastern lookout is slightly taller than the accepted western summit. However, unless the USGS accepts that survey, it won't change opinions about MacNaughton's accepted western summit.

            • #9
              Originally posted by tgoodwin View Post
              I'm always puzzled when I hear that someone had trouble figuring out that Upper Wolf Jaw has a false summit when approaching from the Wolf Jaw col. I doesn't take much map reading skill to see that there are two summits and that the more westerly summit is higher, has an "x", and is where the label is placed. Armstrong's false summit isn't quite as obvious on the map, but it should be clear from the map that it is only a very short distance from the top of the Beaver Meadow Trail to that first summit, but then a good bit farther to the actual summit. When there was a sign for the summit, it was at the broad ledge with the good view.
              I knew it had a false summit before I left. It's funny, when I wrote my trip report, apparently it's pretty common to be fooled by it, and for some, more than once. I'm glad I reached the actual summit. I would have been livid to had missed it.



              Neil I'm hiking next Friday. Not tomorrow.


              FlyFishingandBeer Why not tell him that? I don't know, maybe because there's a chance I would not have hit the actual summit? Maybe because I want to do my best starfish impression and some fancy yoga moves. None of those in my trip reports so far, but I might amp it up, just for you.

              Comment


              • FlyFishingandBeer
                FlyFishingandBeer commented
                Editing a comment
                Hey, hit 'em both and cover your bases. Nobody's going to second guess you.

                Also, I'm bored with the star fish. Please do the scorpion pose.

              • FortySixer
                FortySixer commented
                Editing a comment
                with my spine, a scorpion is asking for a lot, however I aim to please.

            • #10
              Here's a little bit more about what FFB encountered. The trail bisects the northern bump (i.e. bump's centerline is north-south but trail runs east-west). Therefore you ascend from the east, cross the bump, and arrive at the ledge on the west side. It's conceivable that in traversing from east to west you cross terrain that is ever so slightly taller than the actual ledge.


              Click image for larger version

Name:	Armstrong Ledge.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	301.5 KB
ID:	483020
              Looking for Views!

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              • FlyFishingandBeer
                FlyFishingandBeer commented
                Editing a comment
                Got it. Great infographic too, btw. Thanks for helping to clear that up.
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