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Ascent of Fool Creek Peak on 2018-08-05

Climber: BMS 914

Others in Party:Anji Cerney
Date:Sunday, August 5, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Hi-Clearance Vehicle
Peak:Fool Creek Peak
    Location:USA-Utah
    Elevation:9712 ft / 2960 m

Ascent Trip Report

Anji and I felt like getting out of the Las Vegas heat, and Anji had wanted to climb this peak for a while. So we headed up to Utah to the little town of Oak City, with the plan of staying in the campground there and making the ascent early the next morning. We started up in the afternoon, so it was quite dark by the time we arrived at the campground, selected a spot, and set up tents. I had wanted to sleep in the back of my vehicle, but the combo of bugs flying around and warm temperatures made me glad I had packed by backpacking tent and mattress pad just in case. As it was it was pretty warm in the tent, and I didn't sleep well - Anji fared no better in her tent either. We got up early, packed up, and drove up the road toward the trailhead. We passed the so-called 2WD trailhead, and made it a fair distance up the road, and seeing a nice turnout, decided we could walk the rest of the way. Not much further ahead, the road got to a spot that would have presented a problem for my vehicle, so it was just as well.

The trail is basically a road for bikes and quads, and we made good time moving up it. Orange tape markers made route finding through the brush easy once the road gave way to trail. It was warm, and smoky from the fires, but otherwise good conditions. We eventually made a saddle, then headed up a trail, lost it, and headed up a ridge, found the trail again, and headed up to the summit.

Just below the summit, we ran into a guy who had just started down, having apparently spent the last two nights camped beneath a tree. What one does 50 vertical feet and 100 yards from the summit of a mountain for a whole day eludes my imagination. Anji noted he smelled strongly of alcohol. He headed back to his quad, which we had seen on the way up, parked maybe a mile from where we parked at the turnout.

The summit had a pyramid frame structure, which once served some purpose, perhaps as a shelter to something. Rivets remained, but all that was left of what once were held to the rivets were scraps of what looked like aluminum sheeting. Someone had erected a heavy, laser cut plate steel plaque as a memorial to a deceased local climber (Chet Finlinson), who apparently climbed this peak weekly for many years before dying of a brain disease in 2016. Maybe the guy we ran into was having a couple in memory of Chet? The usual food and photos ensued at the summit.

The hike out was uneventful, save for the snake Anji ran into sunning itself on the trail. I got a good look at it crawling away through the bushes next to the trail: it appeared to be a good-sized Great Basin Gophersnake - Pituophis catenifer deserticola. The squeal let out by Anji upon being startled by it was absolutely priceless.

After making it back to the vehicle, we headed south toward Las Vegas, with a planned stop to hike up Brian Head a couple of hours into the drive home. See the separate trip report for Brian Head for details.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:3058 ft / 931 m
    Total Elevation Loss:3058 ft / 931 m
    Round-Trip Distance:6.8 mi / 10.9 km
    Grade/Class:Class 1
    Quality:4 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country
    Gear Used:
Tent Camp
    Nights Spent:1 nights away from roads
    Weather:Pleasant, Breezy, Clear
Clear and warm but smoky
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:3057 ft / 931 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 3055 ft / 931 m; Extra: 2 ft / 0m
    Loss on way in:2 ft / 0 m
    Distance:3.4 mi / 5.5 km
    Route:North Walker Road (trail) to West Ridge
    Start Trailhead:Turnoff of North Walker Road  6657 ft / 2029 m
    Time:2 Hours 33 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:3056 ft / 931 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 3055 ft / 931 m; Extra: 1 ft / 0m
    Gain on way out:1 ft / 0 m
    Distance:3.4 mi / 5.5 km
    Route:West Ridge to North Walker Road (trail)
    End Trailhead:Turnoff of North Walker Road  6657 ft / 2029 m
    Time:2 Hours 36 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip


 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by BMS 914
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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 responsibility or liability from use of this data.

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