Kessler Peak

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Trip Report
Utah, United States, North America
Date Climbed/Hiked:
Jul 6, 2002
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Created On: Jun 18, 2005
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I had heard that this trailhead was a little difficult to find so one Sunday morning, having in mind a half day hike, I thought I would look for a route to the peak. The road to the trailhead of Donut Falls and Cardiff Fork was open so this saved me from having to walk the mile plus from the BCC road. I parked and started on this trail system mixed with lots of spur trails and old mining roads, most of which parallel each other and may or may not end up in the same place. I had a map but it was still somewhat confusing as to where the trail I wanted was, so I tried to stay as high as possible on the West side of the stream. From shortly after the start, at less than the half mile mark, I was in snow.

I kept hiking, and looking for what I thought to be the faint trail that started the North Route. Soon it became obvious that I had gone too far and saw no trace of it so I looked for a place to try to cut West. I found what looked to be a drainage that was heavily overgrown so left the Cardiff Fork main trail and made my way thru the brush and snow. This ended up being South of the peak and led up to Carbonate Pass. I kept hiking up the chute alternating between the steepening snow and the rock just to the North side depending on the path of least resistance. I could see that there had been recent avalanche activity here and as the angle steepened so did my apprehension. I soon left the chute in favor of the more secure rock and climbed thru some cliff bands higher towards the peak. It got to the point where I didn't feel comfortable climbing alone as the difficulty was well into 5th class on loose rock so I stopped slightly below the 10000' mark. I enjoyed the views from this point before making may way into the chute for a fast decent by glissading most of the way down. This was a rewarding hike and pretty adventuresome even though I didn't make the summit.

The Second time I tried and succeeded using the North Route. I did this alone on a Saturday afternoon and used my map and GPS to locate the elusive start of the trail. This is a great hike if you like steep direct trails that gain elevation quickly. These have to be some of the steepest trails I have hiked, or maybe it's because of loose gravel on the trail making traction difficult. When you reach the summit you are awestruck with all the beautiful views. The third time I attemped this climb, I started around Montreal Hill and made the West ridge, then traveled North over peak 10380, Carbonate Pass and then reached the summit of Kessler. This was in early summer and the wildflowers were awsome in some of the lower meadows. I would recommend this route if you have more time as the hiking and climbing experience is great as is the scenery. We descended the North Route. This makes for a great half day hike regardless of the route chosen.


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