Peak(s):  "V 2"  -  13,309 feet
Date Posted:  08/02/2019
Date Climbed:   07/31/2019
Author:  osprey
Additional Members:   Rob Schichtel
 Vadda Ving  

V2 is a lowly tricentennial but the views from the summit are rivaled by few others.


The "usual" approach to V2 is to hike the the trail up to Ice Lakes and then to Island Lake and gain Swamp Grant Pass which lies between US Grant and V2. Rob and I decided to approach it from the north side by driving a short ways up the Ophir Pass road and parking at Iron Springs. Iron Springs is the location of a Hardrock 100 race aid station.

We decided on this approach because it is a much shorter drive from our homes as opposed to the longer drive through Silverton. It also avoids the hordes on the Ice Lakes trail and going through what is becoming a public toilet below the lakes.

View of the north side of US Grant from Iron Spings at 0615. The Swamp Grant Pass can be seen to the left of the ridge descending to the left.


We started at 0630 and followed the Hardrock race course, which starts out as a road, to the Pass. Within the first mile ( all distances were measured by my Garmin Forerunner 230 watch which may have some resemblance to reality) you will come to the following features:

First an aspen grove reduced to matchsticks by avalanches.


Second you will cross a stream on a bridge. ( Picture taken on the descent.)


Third: at the first split in the road take the right fork.


Fourth: take another right turn onto a trail. There is a blaze on a tree at the fork. Do not follow the road.


Fifth: go straight (south) at this trail intersection.


You will soon come to a clearing with a view of South Lookout Peak.


You will also see the route ahead which goes across the high grassy bench at the base of US Grant. The grassy bench lies at the base of several waterfalls.

Make the turn to the south after passing the grassy bench. This picture looks back down after entering the high valley leading to the saddle. Ophir Pass Road is to the north. Lookout Peak is to the far right.

The valley becomes rocky after gaining elevation. The trail disappears in the scree. Aim for the snowfield to the right of the sharp point.


One ascends the very loose scree the final pitch before the pass. The scree cannot be described in language which can be used in polite company. But fortunately it took only 20 minutes to ascend.


Looking down at the route immediately prior to the final pitch to the pass.

Showing the steepness of the slope.

Rob at the pass..


Looking down the slope.


There is a memorial plaque to a Hardrocker on the pass. A life well lived.
View of Pilot Knob and V4 from the pass.

Turn east at the pass and follow a well defined trail to the V2 summit. The far summit is a false summit,



There is an ancient Druid alter between the false and real summit. We left offerings of shining wine.


The real summit.


Clear Lake is seen from the summit.

Even though there was a cairn on the summit and GAIA confirmed we were on the summit it looked like the ridge ascended to the east. We followed the ridge almost to the end and looked back UP at our packs and so returned to the summit.


Rob on the summit with US Grant looming behind. It had taken us 3 hours 30 minutes to summit. My watch read 4.25 miles.





We encountered a solo hiker on our descent to the pass. He was from Phoenix and not a member of and so, even though he was a nice gentlemen, I had to write him a ticket and assess a hefty fine.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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 Comments or Questions

Nice work!
08/02/2019 20:25
Glad to see you getting out Tom!

08/02/2019 20:31
Thanks Rose. I hope to join your group on some peaks in the future. In Colorado. Not in California.

Rob Schichtel

08/02/2019 21:03
The views were hard to beat. The total crowd of three souls for a whole day wasnât bad either. I later talked to Howie Stern (10 time Hardrock finisher) about that sec tion directly below the saddle, lamenting the things that would make it worse: doing it in the dark, by headlamp while hallucinating from tiredness. He said simply: âœthat is my one of my favorite places on the course, whether going up or down.❠I was like: âdude, you are sick.❠It was a fabulous day in the mountains Tom. Iâm glad we could share it.

Rob Schichtel

08/02/2019 21:12
I also loved the quote on the memorial plaque:

âœWhatever you can do or dream you can, begin it; Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.❠Goethe

08/02/2019 21:21
Yes it was another good day in the hills.
The Hardrockers are a different breed than the rest of us.


08/03/2019 11:03
I'm gonna have to try that route. Thanks for posting this!


08/03/2019 11:04
I'm curious how long this hike took you...

Hi Jay
08/03/2019 11:56
I think you will enjoy this peak and the approach.
It took us 3.5 hours to summit and about 3 hours on the descent for a total of about 6.5 hours.
Rob had torn a knee meniscus a few weeks ago which slowed him on the descent, which is the only reason I was able to keep up with him.


08/03/2019 15:34
Back in the game!

08/03/2019 18:29
A small step, but a very nice step on a great peak.


08/05/2019 08:06
...heâs back!!

Awesome, Tom! I did the Vermillion group and US Grant a couple years ago, but didnât have time for V2. Looks like I really missed out. Lovely photos!

08/05/2019 16:36
It is indeed good to return to the peaks. Donna has kept me occupied by allowing me to do the pasture irrigation duties but it is somehow not quite the same.
I remember reading your well written trip report of the Vermilion group.


08/07/2019 10:07
Absolutely beautiful photos and great report. Will have to add this to the list...

08/07/2019 14:58
It is a delightful peak with moderate milage and easy Class 2 trail. It is very well worth the effort.

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