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Ascent of Mount Peale on 2013-07-18

Climber: Rob Woodall

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Thursday, July 18, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Mount Peale
    Location:USA-Utah
    Elevation:12721 ft / 3877 m

Ascent Trip Report

Th 1734, summit 1906, th 1958, 2h24

After morning ascent of Mount Nebo, I drive down to Nephi, head down I-14, 50, I-70 (impressive butte / mesa scenery), then the 191 south through tourist mecca Moab.

Peale trailhead easily found using Petter Bjorstad's description, turn L off the 46 at N38.34306 W109.20749 onto Two Mile, L at N38.36449 W109.18629, creek crossing easy and gravel road good. I locate the trailhead (N38.42036 W109.24001, junction with Road No 4725 1724) then out of curiosity I drive the final 0.55 mile to La Sal pass as I have a GPS route which starts there, but no sign of a trail, apparently a cross country start. Petter's start involves a little more ascent but is shorter and on trail and seems better. Note this short drive enables one to evaluate snow in couloir - none in evidence today so metalwork left in car.

At 1734 when I start, thunder is rolling around, but I hope it will clear (it doesn't) or at least allow me to visit the main peak (it does).

Hike 4WD road to N38.42811 W109.24326 where it is now closed to vehicles (barrier) then locate small cairn (N38.43258 W109.24311, 3175m) in grass on RHS of road, by large rockpile, then follow small trail up reentrant (mostly in forest edge). Where reentrant/couloir forks, carefully note (N38.43640 W109.24031) as trail crosses to L (main) branch, tending to stay a short way up the R bank before a settling into the rocky groove. Almost no snow, just tiny slushy patches.

Halfway up the reentrant at N38.43994 W109.23934 (3543m) I take a cue from the GPS track and follow a good trail R which follows a grassy line. It disappears in a stonefield, reappearing a bit farther R in another grassy line, and climbs easily to the summit ridge. This is shorter that Petter's route which continued to the top of the reentrant before turning R along the ridge.

Meanwhile the thunder continues somewhere up near the summit. Fortunately the ridge path stays below the skyline so I turn R towards the summit and keep my head down! Passing a minor summit I can see lightning and very dark cloud down towards the R, in the valley. However it's pretty dark over the summit too so I skirt round until immediately below the summit before making a brief visit to the high point (N38.43851 W109.22915, 3872m, small cairn atop circular shelter cairn, approx at natural HP). Nice views but I head straight back down, the clouds following down just above me, a little light rain falling. I run the lower trail and road. Tent near where I'm parked, guy in SUV arrives, says there was a great electrical storm last night. So it will be tonight...

The gravel road lower down is wet but in good condition, the creek crossing seems the same, no problem. At Two Mile Road the sky is luminous orange, then red, then low grey cloud turning to darkness, punctuated with frequent lightning flashes. Back to the main highway 191, rain so heavy I can barely see to drive.

Food and internet at Moab then back west to Hanksville ready for an attempt on the dirst roads to remote Mount Ellen the next day.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:2744 ft / 837 m
    Grade/Class:YDS 1
    Quality:6 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country
    Weather:Thunderstorm, Pleasant, Breezy, Partly Cloudy
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:2744 ft / 837 m
    Distance:2.3 mi / 3.7 km
    Trailhead:9977 ft / 3040 m
    Time Up:1 Hours 32 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time Down:52 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip


 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Rob Woodall
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Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. Peakbagger.com accepts NO resposibility or liability from use of this data.

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