Ascent of Laramie Peak on 2012-07-29

Climber: Edward Earl

Date:Sunday, July 29, 2012
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Hi-Clearance Vehicle
Peak:Laramie Peak
    Elevation:10272 ft / 3130 m

Ascent Trip Report

On US-30/287 virtual mile 286.7, which is 1.4 miles N of the junction with WY-13 near Rock River, I turned E on Fetterman Rd (aka CR-61). A sign approaching it from the S identifies the Laramie Pk Wildlife Habitat Management Area. Call this point mile 0.0. At 15.1 miles is an oblique intersection where I made a shallow L turn to remain on Fetterman Rd. At 33.5 miles Garrett Rd goes R; I stayed straight. At 36.8 miles I turned R on Esterboork Rd (aka CR-710). A sign at the turnoff says 19 miles to Friend Park CG. At 47.6 miles and 49.3 miles are abandoned ranches on the L; cross a cattle guard at the second. At 50.5 miles, enter the Medicine Bow NF. At 50.9 miles, I turned R following a sign that says 4 miles to Friend Park CG just after leaving NF land. At 52.7 miles I crossed a cattle guard and re-entered the MBNF. At 53.6 miles I turned L following a sign to Friend Park CG just before a sign identifying FR-671. At 54.5 miles I turned L shortly before Friend Park CG (closed at the time due to a recent fire) following a sign to Laramie Pk TH. At 54.8 miles I reached the TH. A fee was required to park here, but there were no fee envelopes, so I deposited a naked $5 bill in the slot.

The hike on the Laramie Pk Trail is straightforward. The trail climbs and dips a few times, probably with a net descent until crossing Friend Creek. The trail then climbs steeply with many switchbacks to the summit radio facilities. The summit ridge of the peak is a pile of large upright and rounded boulders. To climb on top of the highest of these is essentially a technical climb, but fortunately there is assistance. The highest of several metal shacks, which is a light tan color and is next to a radio tower, is nestled up against the summit boulder pile. I squeezed through a narrow gap between the shack and a boulder, stepping amongst a tangle of cables and wires along the way. At the rear of this "alley" is a 5' high wooden box with a step ladder leaning against it. I climbed the ladder and mounted the top of the box (testing it to be sure it would hold my weight). With the help of a chain hanging down a steep slab between two giant 25' high boulders, I climbed onto a metal grill over the roof of the shack (which easily held my weight). Using the chain again, I pulled myself up the slab to a perch under another boulder which served as a roof. There was a gap between the roof and the top of the giant upright boulder to the R which just big enough to permit an awkward move up onto the top of the giant upright boulder. A friction climb up another, final sloping boulder (which had several metal rods, some with rings, protruding from it) brought me to the tippy-top. With care, I was able to stand up on top, though the very apex was a little too awkward and exposed to do so, so I had to be satisfied with touching it with my hand.

From this vantage point I was able to see what looked like a viewing platform constructed on several boulders about 20 yards away, with a ladder leading up to it. After downclimbing from the highest boulder, I took a few minutes to scramble over to the platform where I spent my summit siesta representing my completion of the WY county prom points.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:3072 ft / 934 m
    Extra Gain:150 ft / 45 m
    Distance:8 mi / 12.9 km
    Route:Laramie Pk Trail
    Trailhead:Laramie Pk TH  7500 ft / 2286 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Scramble, Exposed Scramble, Rock Climb
Ascent Statistics
    Time Up:3 Hours 
Descent Statistics
    Time Down:2 Hours 30 Minutes

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