Ascent of Kings Peak on 2013-07-16

Climber: Rob Woodall

Others in Party:Alan Bernier
Date:Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Kings Peak
    Elevation:13528 ft / 4123 m

Ascent Trip Report

Th 0436, summit 0952-1030, th 1452

Climbed the day after our Borah Peak ascent.

Early start to beat afternoon thunderstorms (showery forecast, very wet evening as it turned out).
Camped at Henrys Fork trailhead the night before. Used Petter Bjorstad's directions.

Trail from N40.90907 W110.33120 (2881m, by signboard) obvious and easy to follow in dark, although a bit bouldery. Daylight by the time we cross bridge. We pass 2 other hikers with day hike aspirations but don't know if they made it. Didn't spot Dollar Lake but very fine scenic basin, terraced cliffs reminiscent of Torridon in Scotland (also Glacier National Park).
Stay on obvious trail to Gunsight Pass (N40.79705 W110.35947, 3620m, cairn). Young lad from Colorado arrives while we rest: he's also day hiking and had made nearly half an hour on us!

Distracted and not reading directions properly we descend the YDS 1 trail, skirting west round the base of Dome Peak then head up grassy slope towards Anderson Pass, striking off L up bouldery slopes of Kings Peak. Mostly stable boulders but a few move or slide unexpectedly. However the contouring route described by Petter and taken by Greg Slayden's GPS track on Peakbagger would be more efficient - we take it the Colorado lad went that way.

I struggle on ascent, maybe due to fast pace and relative lack of acclimatisation. Alan goes ahead but is just beaten to the summit by the lad from Colorado (who summits in under 5 hours: Alan in 5:09. I make my own way, following the final part of the ridge, which is very impressive, with some YDS 3 scrambling which can be avoided on L.

The summit (N40.77638 W110.37299, 4123m) is a slightly rickety pile of rock slabs, possibly natural. No sign of any trig/bench mark. Fine airy situation with sheer drop to W and nice peaks all around. Sky mostly overcast with some sun, no thunder clouds as yet but it's only 10 am.

A local couple soon join us here, also a man with 3 young lads, the youngest barely 10 years old. He is duly congratulated!

We pick our way down the long boulder slope to Anderson Pass (then head up the hill opposite, Dome Peak (N40.79283 W110.36654, 3985m - waypoint derived from GPS track but location should be pretty accurate). I'm still feeling rough and glad it's last climb of day. Nice situation and view. Alan finds a great descent line east, reaching main trail just below (N of) Gunsight Pass.

We find a stream and Steripen some water to refill our bottles, then walk/jog out, passing several large groups on their way in. At 1 pm it rains briefly and thunder rolls around the summits to the north. We wonder if Kings is affected and if anyone is up there.

We're down just after 3 pm, just over 10 hours round trip, nicely inside my 11 hour estimate despite collecting an additional peak and my being off the pace.

Now to Salt Lake City where Alan Bernier flies home after 5 days shared peak bagging (many thanks Alan) and I head for Mount Timpanogos - through heavy evening rain, planning a much more gentle ascent tomorrow after three quite tough days.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:4719 ft / 1437 m
    Total Elevation Loss:4719 ft / 1438 m
    Round-Trip Distance:24.8 mi / 39.9 km
    Grade/Class:YDS 2+
    Quality:7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Partly Cloudy
1pm brief thundery shower, otherwise dry
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:4063 ft / 1238 m
    Distance:12.4 mi / 20 km
    Route:Gunsight Pass
    Start Trailhead:Henrys Fork  9465 ft / 2884 m
    Time:5 Hours 16 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:4719 ft / 1438 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 4063 ft / 1239 m; Extra: 656 ft / 199m
    Gain on way out:656 ft / 199 m
    Distance:12.4 mi / 20 km
    Route:Gunsight Pass
    End Trailhead:Henrys Fork  9465 ft / 2884 m
    Time:5 Hours 
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Rob Woodall
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
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. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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