Moses Mountain, North Maggie Mountain
By: Kathy Price
Ten hikers met in the Shake Camp parking lot early Saturday morning, then caravanned to the trailhead at Hidden Falls (See Notes on the routes below). We left Hidden Falls about 7:30 and proceeded uneventfully to a very good campsite about 3 miles in, just before the trail crosses to the west side of the Tule River. After setting up camp, 9 of us set out for Maggie. We hiked north along the Tule River about 5 minutes, then turned right up a small gully. The gully soon disappeared, and we were entangled in some unpleasant brush. We then took a short traverse left, found the correct canyon and proceeded upward. Just after noon we stopped for lunch at the basin at 9000 ft. The original plan was to climb to the saddle between N. Maggie and Peak 10,023 then proceed south to the summit. Upon inspection, this route appeared full of brush, so we took a small steep gully to the west side of Maggie, turned left at the top, and all 9 climbers reached the summit without difficulty We returned to camp to enjoy happy hour and a campfire after a long day.
Sunday morning the whole group of 10 set out for Moses Mtn. Steve Thaw provided the clue to a good route up Moses: a very large tree stump, about 20 ft. high, with some burn marks, on the left-hand side of the trail when hiking in. From camp we walked south to this landmark. Just below "Steve's Stump" we made an easy river crossing, then followed a gully up the mountain. An exciting moment of the trip was when we spotted a bear about half way up. Above the trees we continued to climb straight upward to a flat area, then followed ducks to the left (south). We reached the top of the main ridge at one point and continued southward on the left side. Finally, we took a chute up to the ridge-top again, and traversed the last few hundred feet to the summit All 10 climbers were successful. We returned to camp, hiked out, and celebrated with a fine dinner at the Springfield Inn.
Thanks to Bob Hartunian for expert assistance, and to all trip participants: Jim Adler, Mike Kelley, David Petzold, Scott Sullivan, Tim Potts, Jack Miller, Judy Ware and Virgil Talbot.
Notes on the Routes. (1) Although not shown on the 1988 Moses Mtn topo, there is a good trail from Hidden Falls along the east side of the Tule River. This trail is especially useful early In the season, when river crossings are unpleasant at best. (2) The 'obvious' route up Moses Mtn. is a gully on the north end of the mountain, easily visible while climbing Maggie. Unfortunately, traversing the ridge southward from the top of this gully is a tedious, slow, up-then-down mis-adventure. The comment most often heard about this route is, "We were all over that mountain!"
Happy climbing to all!
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