Ascent of Mount Peale on 2017-06-08

Climber: Connor McEntee

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Thursday, June 8, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Peale
    Elevation:12721 ft / 3877 m

Ascent Trip Report

Mt. Peale and the La Sal mountains are stunningly beautiful. Much of the way up to the La Sal pass is filled with rich aspen forests. I drove all the way to the pass in my Forester. The Nation Forest Service had not yet cleared the road, but others had moved some of the major blowdown far enough to get by. The creek crossing was no trouble at all. The water was maybe 1 foot deep late in the day, but the road bed under it well designed. It is shallower on the downstream side due to a concrete berm that acts a little bit like a dam.

From the pass, I could see that the couloir was still filled with snow, but most of the other snow on the south side of the mountain was gone. Rather than go back and find the more direct jeep road, which branched off in a muddy section, I decided to camp and start from the pass. I left early in the morning and followed a trail through the meadows around the pass to the jeep road. Shortly after motorized access on the road ends, I encountered snow in the trees. It was fairly firm and easy to walk across. This put me at the base of the couloir, which I ascended for a hundred feet or so. It was firm and a bit icy. At this point, I ended up getting burned by laziness. I didn't really want to stop and put on crampons only to take them off at the top of the couloir, and I saw a climbers trail in the rocks out of the snow. So, I decided to take that assuming it was the summer trail.

It turned out that this was more of a game trail, perhaps maintained by goats, and it quickly put me out on loose talus slopes. Being stubborn, I pushed ahead and attain the ridge climbing over loose football size rocks. As my descent would prove, staying on the couloir would have been much easier and likely faster. From the ridge, it's just a short distance to the peak and a sizable wind shelter. There are distant views down into Arches and the Rockies across the valley in Colorado. I searched for a register for a few minutes but was unable to find it. I descended by taking the ridge all the way to a grassy section that descends into the couloir and took the couloir all the way down into the valley.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2662 ft / 811 m
    Total Elevation Loss:2662 ft / 811 m
    Round-Trip Distance:5 mi / 8 km
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Snow on Ground, Scramble, Snow Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Crampons, Ski Poles
    Weather:Cool, Windy, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:2662 ft / 811 m
    Distance:2.4 mi / 3.9 km
    Route:Southwest Couloir
    Start Trailhead:La Sal Pass  10059 ft / 3065 m
    Time:1 Hours 29 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:2662 ft / 811 m
    Distance:2.6 mi / 4.2 km
    Route:Southwest Couloir
    End Trailhead:La Sal Pass  10059 ft / 3065 m
    Time:1 Hours 9 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Connor McEntee
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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. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

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