Ascent of Kings Peak on 2015-07-12

Climber: Ken Curtis

Date:Sunday, July 12, 2015
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Kings Peak
    Elevation:13528 ft / 4123 m

Ascent Trip Report

Saturday 07/11/15

04:30 AM - Left LAX
10:30 AM - Arrived SLC
02:35 PM - Arrived Henry's Fork Trailhead
02:57 PM - began hiking
05:10 PM - Thunder, Lightning, Rain, and Hail begins
05:32 PM - Arrived in the vicinity of Dollar Lake & quickly set camp to get out of the rain/hail

Sunday 07/12/15

06:53 AM - Left camp (clear skies but very windy)
08:05 AM - Arrive at top of Gunsight Pass - Left trail and headed for the boulder/scree fields
09:02 AM - Arrive at base of Kings Peak
10:08 AM - SUMMIT
10:19 AM - Leave the summit (extreme wind)
01:08 PM - Back to camp in Dollar lake vicinity (admired two moose at a trailside lake along the way)
01:55 PM - Left camp (packed up after a 20 minute nap)
04:36 PM - Back at the car

The Henry's Fork trail was very easy to navigate up to the top of Gun Sight Pass. From the crest of Gun Sight, I chose to take the bolder/scree approach which starts as a faint trail on the climbers right as you crest Gun Sight pass, and quickly disappears into the boulders. This stretch has a mix of both "very stable" and "very loose" boulders & scree - be careful!

Once you get through the nasty stuff, line up the cairns and follow them to the grand daddy of all cairns. trust me - it's obvious. From here, set your sights (across the valley) on the obvious trail leading up to a saddle on the summit ridge. Set a course through this valley of boulders (maybe a half mile) to get to the trail.

Take this trail to the saddle then follow it up the ridge until it essentially disappears into the large chunks of rock that make up this summit. I recommend you try to stay on, or as close to, the ridge line as possible. I stayed 30 to 100 feet below the ridge on my ascent, and pretty much on the ridge on the way down. Staying on the ridge line was much easier scrambling.
Click on photo for original larger-size version.
Ken on the Summit of Kings Peak (07-12-15) (2015-07-12). Photo by Ken Curtis.
Click here for larger-size photo.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:4688 ft / 1428 m
    Extra Gain:300 ft / 91 m
    Round-Trip Distance:24.4 mi / 39.3 km
    Route:Henry's Fork
    Trailhead:Henry's Fork Trailhead  9440 ft / 2877 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Stream Ford, Snow on Ground, Scramble
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles, Tent Camp
    Weather:Thunderstorm, Cool, Very Windy, Partly Cloudy

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