Ascent of Earl Peak on 2012-11-25

Climber: Chad Straub

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Sunday, November 25, 2012
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Earl Peak
    Elevation:7036 ft / 2144 m

Ascent Trip Report

I attempted this trip the day before with the dogs but 2 miles in I noticed their paws were bleeding from the sharp icy crust covering the snow. The N. Fork Teanaway river road is currently passable by low clearance vehicles at least to Beverly creek, where a few inches of snow have been rutted down to dry gravel. The road to Beverly Creek trailhead however is covered in snow and my tires are nearly bald, so I parked and walked from the junction.

My thanks to the folks with the snowshoes who broke trail up to Bean Creek, from there on the deep snow was mostly fresh powder that had me constantly sinking to my thighs, bot not consistently enough to get used to it. The naturally snow-trenched trail was relatively easy to follow but i left it after a sketchy re-crossing of Bean Creek, opting instead to ascend to the saddle between Earl Peak and Bean Peak before continuing to Earl's summit.

Clear skies the night before meant lower temperatures today despite the ever-present sun. It took me nearly 5 hours of hard work to finally reach the summit, but the cold prevented me from lingering too long. Stuart and the Enchantments looked as impressive as ever covered in a fresh blanket of white. Bean, Mary and Judy looked tempting as I hoped to have time to make a loop of them on the way back, but the deep powder had me set on a smoother return along my own tracks.

I enjoyed a few short glissades on the way down (video here) and then settled in for a long slushy return. Just past Bean Creek a lone pair of ski tracks appeared over my trail. I met the owner as he passed me on his way out about a mile from my car, the only soul I encountered all day.

Pictures here :
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:4031 ft / 1229 m
    Distance:13.4 mi / 21.6 km
    Route:Bean Creek Trail, West Ridge to summit
    Trailhead:3005 ft / 915 m
    Grade/Class:Class 3
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Stream Ford, Snow on Ground, Scramble, Exposed Scramble, Snow Climb
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Cold, Windy, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Time Up:4 Hours 52 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time Down:2 Hours 16 Minutes

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