OLD MAN MOUNTAIN (7,789') CLASS 2
Location: 4 miles N of Cisco Grove, CA
Drive: Take I-80 to the Cisco Grove Exit, which is 20.7 miles west from the Highway 89 South Exit just west of Truckee or 48 miles east from the Maple Street Exit in Auburn, CA. Turn left (west) on the frontage road on the north side of the freeway and drive 0.2 mile, almost to the "Thousand Trails" campground, to turn right on the Fordyce Lake Road signed, "Woodchuck Flat 3 Lake Sterling 6 Fordyce Lake 7 Lola Montez Lake 10." This becomes rough, rocky road that climbs gradually up to a saddle. Passenger cars should stop here, at the saddle, before the descent to Fordyce Lake, which is about 2 miles further. High clearance vehicles could proceed to the jeep road turnoff along the reservoir shore.
Climb: Proceed along the main dirt road down from the saddle, and come to the west shores of the reservoir. Just before the approach to the dam, turn left on an extremely rough jeep track which descends steeply to reach Fordyce Creek in about one mile. When water is being released from the lake, there may be considerable difficulty in crossing the creek. Otherwise, rock hop across the creek, and locate a good use trail that heads left (downstream) on the north side. Some scenic cascades and falls are passed before reaching a point just southeast of the peak, which is the huge mass straight ahead while approaching on the use trail. Scramble cross-country directly up 1,700 feet through brush and talus to the summit. Avoid the rock band cliffs on the center and right of the face seen from this side. One may encounter a road and mine while approaching the summit ridge; these go nowhere except on a short, level stretch along the mountain.
Drive: Same as Black Buttes, Route B, Drive.
Climb: Follow the 4WD road to Eagle Lake and then to Beyers Lake (see Black Buttes, Route B, Climb), which makes a good campsite for an overnight trip. Take a trail to Baltimore Lake, which can also be reached by a 4WD route from the north. Head cross-country to the stream that drains southeast from the lake. A use trail may be found in places, and heads for the unmistakable mass that is the peak. Navigate toward Phoenix Lake. From here, one climbs the granite slabs starting the final climb from the south side of the lake. Some solid, class 3 rock avoids the heavy brush that covers much of the peak. Go straight up or head slightly right to the top.
WINTER SKI ASCENT: Probably, approaching using either Route A or B will suffice. A long approach from the Eagle Lakes Sno-Park may be the shortest route. In dry years, there may not be enough snow to make ski touring very practical.
TRIP STATS: Route A, 1,700 feet gain with an additional 500 feet gain on the return, 4-5 miles one way; Route B, 2,800 feet gain with an additional 500 feet gain on the return, 10-12 miles one way.
Notes: Old Man Mountain is the distinct "half-dome" seen straight ahead, in the distance, from I-80 while traveling eastbound past Blue Canyon Exit.