Lander County High Point Trip Report

Bunker Hill (11,474 ft)

Date: May 15, 2002
Author: Scott Surgent

I parked on the main road at the pass northwest of point 9335. The 4WD road described in Mike Coltrin's report still had a big snow drift blocking access. I started at 6:30 am and was forced to hike to almost 10,800 feet up the west flanks of the range to bypass ice/snow. Even then I still had to break out the crampons and kick steps to traverse some of the snow fields. I achieved the main saddle, hiking down to 10,100 feet, then up the main mass of Bunker Hill.

Large snowdrifts covered much of the summit mass, but there were also exposed areas of rock. Unfortunately, my choices were to hike up the snow (too steep) or the rock (very loose, steep). I chose the latter. I made it up but it went slow. Achieved the summit at about 10:30 am. I was the first to sign in since Oct of 2001. Saw many familiar names in the log!

Going down was slow due to the loose rock. Once back at the main saddle, I opted to take a different route (completely snow-free) down a different ridge and drainage to the main road. This meant I had to hike back up a mile and about 800 feet vertical feet to my vehicle. I hoped someone would pass by but no one did, so I had to hike the whole thing.

Bunker Hill is an awesome hike. In completely snow-free conditions I'm sure my time would have been a lot better. In any case, I highly suggest trekking poles for balance on the steep rocky parts. I ended up adding almost 1,200 extra vertical feet of gain to my hike.

Later I chatted with the Forest Service in Austin. They say they only get about 6 - 10 people a year climbing Bunker.