My first try at the Summit as well as Bill and Chris'....and the weather is picture perfect. 50's when we started, 60 at the peak, little to no wind most of the way. Today we also planned a trip to the B24 crash site on the way down.
For those of you that have ever doubted that you could make it to the top, I submit this example of why you more than likely can make it. There was a class field trip to hike this peak today from the Pine/Strawberry School district. There were a few adults and probably 12 to 18 children. Of that group one teacher did not make it because of altitude sickness and one student turned around because he was cold. Oh yea, these kids were all around 9 years old!
The only thing that was the slightest bit wrong on the trip, was the amount of those pumpkin no-see-ums, but only at the Summit. The views from the top were just incredible. It appeared there were about 4 small controlled fires going, and one that looked a lot larger than I thought it should have been.
We took about a 45 minute lunch and then made our way down to the proper switchback for the B24 Crash site. If you go here, be forewarned that this is a .5 mile hike 340' climb, over volcanic rocks, some of which are stable. There are cairns all over, some actually taking you in the correct direction. The best way to find it is using a known good GPS Track. Also note that the majority of the Debris field is close to the top of the rock field at (N35 20.452 W111 41.374). There is quite a bit of debris up here. Propellers, Wings, Engines, Landing Gear, Super charger and assorted aluminum and metal parts. There were even some rubber parts that have survived 66 years since the crash in 1944. Like all other sites, leave what you see.
Return the way you came.
Here's a Video collection of the climb to the Summit and the trip to the B24 Crash site:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UdjBy9Nqgnk
This was a great hike and day with some good friends. We enjoyed some Mexican food in Flag, before making our way back down the hill.