MT. PEALEMt. Peale
Highpoint of San Juan County and La Sal Mountain Range
August 6, 2009
After a successful bid of Mt. Waas, my friend Hardy and I headed to the other side of the La Sals to hike Mt. Peale.
We drove up to Beaver Lake, where we set up camp. It was still afternoon, and not wanting to sit around for too long, we went back down into civilization and geoached for a few hours.
We went to Faux Falls, which is a man-made falls for suppling a small resivour. They picked a pretty good place. We then went for a ride on SteelBender. Okay, not really, we just went to the pictograph panel and turned around.
We killed time a while longer, and decided to head back to camp before it got dark. The roads are easily accessible to camp, but the deer were everywhere on our way down.
After arriving at camp, we fixed dinner, and turned in early.
We dragged ourselves out of bed a bit later than we wanted, but we were soon at La Sal pass, and headed up at 06:30.
We ended up going the hard way up to the saddle, picking our way through loose talus and avlanche debris, trying to avoid hastles like porcupines, but saw the trail start up the other side of the couloir.
We have been keeping an eye on some dark clouds that were coming in, lucky for us they are missing us, but by the time we were up on the ridge, the wind was really nasty, and made it tiresome to fight the wind and the elevation.
We bundered down as much as we could .10 miles from the peak to rest for just a minute. We made our final push to the summit, with a storm on our heals. We hadn't seen any lightning, but we still didn't spend much time on the summit. It was 40 degrees on the summit, and a stiff breeze, making it all the colder.
We started to head down, and it started to hail. Trying as much as we could to avoid the stinging hail, and hurring down as quickly as possible, we took the gully down, following the cairns.
This was a much easier way to go than what we did. We soon caught up with a 4x4 trail, and we soon hit the road that took us back up to the ridge.
Tired and cold, we made the six miles in close to four hours. I wish we could have spent more time up top, but I have two more highpoints down, and seven more to go.
Total Elevation Gain: 2,700'
Trip Mileage: 5.6 miles
Time: 4 hours, 10 minutes