Ascent of Mount Peale on 2016-09-03

Climber: Rich Stephens

Date:Saturday, September 3, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Peale
    Elevation:12721 ft / 3877 m

Ascent Trip Report

The total roundtrip was about 13.5 miles. However, this could have been much shorter had we been able to drive all of the way to the turnoff of the main dirt road. However, we were stopped short in my Jetta because of a creek flowing over the road. We watched other 4x4s cross with no problem, but we decided not to risk it. So we parked the car in an open area adjacent to the crossing (this spot eventually became our camp) and we walked the 3.5 miles or so to the turnoff.

The walk up the main dirt road was scenic and I was keeping an eye on the clouds. The weather called for spotty rain throughout the day and at this point in time, clouds covered the summit. As we neared the turnoff, the clouds rolled in and unleashed havoc. It first rained and then it hailed, followed by powerful thunder that was near overhead. We took some cover in the trees but it still soaked whatever clothes we had that wasn’t covered with Gore-Tex.

After the rain stopped, we attempted to build a fire to dry out. But with all the wood soaked, this was useless. I was ready to head back down the road and attempt this later. Then the clouds raised and parted and we decided to continue our bid for the summit.

We made our way to the turnoff, then followed a short road that lead through a grazing area to a dead end. We found a trail that was well cairned and followed it up along the side of the mountain to the ridge and then eventually to the top. It was windy for most of the way up and the clouds were threatening once again. At the top, we rested for only a couple of minutes and then heard thunder in the distance. We packed up and scampered out of there. As we were headed down the rocky side of the mountain, it started to rain again and the rocks became slippery. Gracie tripped and went head first into a rock pile. Bruised and banged up, she fortunately didn’t break any bones. We continued our way down, following the same trail that we came up on. We made it back to camp without anymore incidents.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:4474 ft / 1363 m
    Round-Trip Distance:13.5 mi / 21.7 km
    Trailhead:Creek flowing over the road  8247 ft / 2513 m
    Quality:5 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Scramble
    Weather:Raining, Cool, Windy, Low Clouds
Ascent Statistics
    Time:4 Hours 
Descent Statistics
    Time:3 Hours 

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