Tam O' Shanter 4633
|Hiking||7.27 Miles|| 6 Hrs 41 Mns ||1.93 mph|
|2,505 ft AEG|| 2 Hrs 55 Mns Break|
||no linked trail guides|
|Tam O Shanter|
It’s a cap of Scottish origin, usually made of wool, having a round, flat top that projects all around the head, and has a pompon on top.
Tam O Shanter is also a perfect name for this mountain, as it’s shape is very similar.
Tam O Shanter ‘Mountain’ has a round flat top that projects all around the mountain and has a bump on top.
Also, it has three separate vertical rock faces to negotiate, in order to reach the top.
From certain angles, it also looks like a tall wedding cake.
Tam O Shanter is in the Dripping Spring Mountains, at the end of a string of mountains going northish, and is one of the highest.
Since I hiked to it from the north, over a rolling mesa, I had Tam O Shanter in sight during most of my approach. Bushwhacking over the mesa was easy hiking, except for the many drainages I had to negotiate.
The lower vertical cliffs (or rock faces) on Tam O Shanter go about 85% around the mountain, and they vary in height between 40 and 60 feet vertical. I found the 15% non-wall area, and hiked up the steep opening to the top cliff face.
That top cliff face almost stopped me in my tracks, as it goes all the way around the mountain with no breaks. It’s about 25 to 35 feet straight up.
Surveyors stated they found a ‘notch’ on the southwest side, to access the top of the mountain. They also stated they brought 30 feet of rope along, to hoist up all their survey equipment through that notch.
Well, I found no safe ‘notch’ on the southwest side, and that led me to think I’m not getting up there. By viewing the north and east sides of the top vertical wall, I knew they were even higher and very ‘notch-less’.
I finally moved all the way past the ‘due west’ side of the top wall, and found what I determined could be a safe way up. I initially only went about half way up my ‘notch’, (about fifteen feet), then climbed back down. I was much more concerned with being able to safely get down.
I determined I had good hand holds and good foot placement areas on solid rock, so I decided this is the place.
(Take a look at the top wall on Google Earth, after ‘tilting’ quite a bit, and you’ll get the idea).
I brought along 35 feet of rope (parachute cord) to hoist up my backpack, after I climbed up the notch. When I was ready to come down, I used the cord to lower the backpack off the top of Tam O Shanter. All went well.
Once on top, there was yet another ‘wall’, at the high point. That wall was just a low ‘walk -over’ wall.
In 1935, surveyors placed Tam O Shanter benchmark and two reference marks right on top of the pompon …OH … I mean the high point.
A summit log verifies that not many go up this uniquely shaped mountain.
After using my ‘notch’ to get below the top vertical cliff band, I gathered my parachute cord, put on my backpack, and descended Tam O Shanter.
This was definitely one of the most uniquely shaped mountains I’ve encountered.
|Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost|