Bessemer Mountain via SE ridge

Ian and I parked near the end of Bessemer's SE ridge on the Middle Fork Road where the CCC Road-Trail merges with the Middle Fork Road. We hiked up the CCC Road-Trail, took the first right off of CCC Road-Trail, then took a left fork up a very rocky logging road. This eventually led us to the SE ridge.

The ridge had some nice views of Mount Garfield, Preacher Mountain, and the upper and lower Middle Fork Valleys. At a number of places we had to drop to the left side of the ridge (never right) to avoid obstructions. Finally we dropped left one final time to traverse a steep field of ferns along the base of a massive gendarme, we regained the ridge at around 4,600', dropped down a very steep brushy slope to the right (north) side of the ridge, traversed below a sub-summit of Bessemer, and ascended the gulleys between the sub-summit and the summit.

We roped up before ascending the final summit block, Ian led it with slings over horns for protection. There was some real exposure here.

The summit was a satisfying jumble of rock with excellent 360 degree views. There was a summit register with no more than half a dozen entries since 2002. Despite taking over gallon of water, I drank my last mouthfull of water here.

We rapelled off the summit and returned to the ridge the same way we arrived. Once on the ridge we traversed the basin to the logging road that ends just east of and below the summit of South Bessemer Mountain. Soon after the sun set and we walked the logging roads in the dark. Despite the fact that I looked directly at it, I missed the turn off to the CCC Road-Trail and we ended up taking the Bessemer Connector trail to the Middle Fork Road and walking the road back to our cars.

I wouldn't want to do this trip in wet weather, too much semi-exposed, steep rock.

Copyright © 2004 Gabriel Deal.