This was my third attempt to bag Gilbert this year. My first was back in the winter with skis. I got ill approaching Dollar Lake after skiing from the temporary trailhead (road closed because of snow). The next day I couldn’t eat and decided to head out. The next attempt was in August, which was halted because of my wonderful FIRESTONE tire that decided to shred all over I-80. So I thought third time is a charm and off I went on Friday the 29th around 5:00 pm. After another flat tire (near Evanston - which no one in town can fix) I finally arrived at the trailhead around 9:00 pm. I lay down the back seats of my truck, ate, read, listen to rain and some damn close lightning.
So the alarm didn’t go off but luckily a few fellow hikers walking by the truck woke me up around 6:30 am. I ate and hit the sunny and cool trail at 7:00 am. Passed a handful of hikers along the way but basically had the trail to myself. Other than almost skating off the log bridge at Elkhorn crossing, it was going as planned. I decided because of the rain we had to avoid the streams crossing the trail before Dollar Lake and start heading East to the tree line. I ate and filled two bottles with water and started the climb up the ridge and to the peak. If looking from Kings Peak the terrain looks more like a meadow from 12,100 to the peak. It is anything but that. The climb was through rocks and small boulders. This usually isn’t much of a problem except for the few inches of snow that decided to fall the evening before. After eating again (I’m a pig) I noticed some black clouds rolling from the West and decided to double-time it off the peak. I seem to have an issue with high voltage when an insulated wire is not controlling it. I stopped a few times to chit-chat with others on the way down the main trail and made it back to the car at 3:00 pm.
I was going to try a different decent off of Gilbert to the North but forgot the map and compass. I had studied it enough but the black clouds and getting a late start I thought the same way in is the best way out.
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