Ascent of Rocky Mouth Canyon Peak on 1999-06-18

Climber: James Barlow

Date:Friday, June 18, 1999
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Rocky Mouth Canyon Peak
    Elevation:10292 ft / 3137 m

Ascent Trip Report

Day 4:
On the final day of our Bells trip, we woke up at the dam at the lower end of Upper Bells Reservoir, broke camp, and headed over to the parallel drainage to the west where we dropped packs for an ascent of Rocky Mouth Canyon Peak. There are actually 3 parallel drainages just to the east of Rocky Mouth Canyon Peak, so be sure to get to the westernmost one. After ditching our packs, the ascent was pretty easy, a mix of solid late spring snow with some boulder hopping mixed in in the sunny areas. The views from the top were great (just like every other peak ever...). We then slid down the snow to our packs and prepared for the hike out of Bells Canyon.

The trail down Bells Canyon is not that well maintained above the stream crossing around 7,900 ft. We reached the stream crossing and found it swollen with snow melt instead of the rock hop that I had found at this crossing in October, 1998. We continued down the east side of the stream, quickly encountering thicker brush. Not far below the correct crossing, we found a spot where the stream goes below some large boulders that we were able to use to cross it. Once across, we set out straight uphill, knowing that we would intersect the well-traveled trail heading down the canyon. We came across it very quickly and continued the easy hike down the canyon. Back in the 90's, there were only 2 options for hiking trailheads for Bells Canyon, Stone Mountain Drive and somewhere near Lower Bells Reservoir. We always used Stone Mountain Drive since we would get dropped off as parking was not allowed near the rich people's houses. Apparently there is now a trailhead off Little Cottonwood Canyon Rd with an appropriate parking lot. Just as Keith and I arrived at the trailhead (Stone Mtn Drive), I took off my full pack and the left shoulder strap snapped, breaking a buckle that holds the top of the shoulder strap to the pack. I was in luck as this happened at our pickup point, not on the trail somewhere. Keith's mom picked us up after about 20 minutes. I believe Keith had a cell phone (a new novelty at that time) that he turned on and called her with. Later that afternoon, I sewed my pack back together with my mother's help, as this was certainly not my last adventure for the summer of 1999.

Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1052 ft / 320 m
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1052 ft / 320 m
    Route:Via Upper Bells Reservoir
    Start Trailhead:9240 ft / 2816 m
Descent Statistics
Ascent Part of Trip: Bells '99 (3 nights total away from roads)

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Big Horn1999-06-16 a5577 ft / 1700 m
2Lone Peak1999-06-16 b813 ft / 248 m
3South Thunder Mountain1999-06-17 a1234 ft / 376 m
4North Thunder Mountain1999-06-17 b1050 ft / 320 m
5Bells Cleaver1999-06-17 c288 ft / 88 m
6Rocky Mouth Canyon Peak1999-06-181052 ft / 321 m
Total Trip Gain: 10014 ft / 3053 m    Total Trip Loss: 180 ft / 54 m

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