Archive for San Gabriel Mountains Forum
  Forum Index -> San Gabriels

Frankish archaeology

Last month there was another aviation disaster in the San Gabriels. This time it was on the East side of the range: a small Piper airplane impacted in the mountains above Upland. I've never been to that area, so last weekend I took a short trip to climb the local high point (Frankish Peak), and to hopefully find the wreckage on the way.

The most logical route to this climbs Frankish from the SW. The ridge begins just East of San Antonio Dam, and climbs up via the Pole benchmark. The impact site should be in one of the canyons on either side of this ridge.

Apparently this is a not-unknown route people take to the top of this peak; the beginning looks like this:

There's an odd structure along the firebreak:

The ridgeline is clear. The south-facing canyon walls are covered with thick brush. The north-facing ones, not so much. I made a few detours on the way up to look for the crash site without luck.

Pole is an uninteresting bump with no benchmark. Frankish is fairly uninteresting also, although the views are nice (click):

I found the register and signed in. This peak is clearly visitated regularly, but the register is very sparse. This peak isn't for hikin', it's for beer-drinkin':

I took a different minor ridge on the way down to peek into some other canyons. Then at a likely location I found wreckage. But instead of a recent plane wreck, it was an old truck wreck:

This was mildly disappointing, but at least I could console myself with views of the ocean and Catalina Island

So I don't know where this thing is. It's possible that it isn't in the canyons I thought it was in. Or maybe the site got cleaned up (it's closer to civilization than the other one) and was more difficult to see

That odd structure is a mountainbike jump.

Thanks for the writeup.

robow8 wrote:
That odd structure is a mountainbike jump

Oh yeah, that makes a lot of sense. I looked up some more news reports, and apparently the crash site was clearly visible from the road:

I didn't see it, so the major parts were cleaned up, presumably.

This is the spot here

This show has lots of good info about how the investigations are conducted

mattmaxon wrote:
This is the spot here

Good spot. The "trailhead" is immediately SE of there. There're no big chunks of anything there anymore, but probably lots of small things scattered around.

So I climbed Baldy today, and on the way back decided to go check out this site, now that I've seen footage showing the location. Walking up towards the site there was a visible glint. When I finally arrived, it turns out that the glint wasn't from plane parts (which were there), but from the beer containers of people admiring these parts.

There're few interesting things left. I don't know if the site was just cleaned up, or if the beer-drinkers grabbed some souvenirs. In any case, there's a fire road running pretty close, and a short use trail from there. I guess wreckage that is visible from the main road and that just happens to have a fire road nearby would end up picked-over and full of beer bottles. At least there were no personal items remaining at all, so this one isn't morbid.

Thanks for the report. Now I don't have to bother looking for Pole BM.

I did Frankish from the Barrett-Stoddard road a few years back. The bikers have constructed a race course on the north side of the mountain. Forum Index -> San Gabriels
Page 1 of 1