This was my seventh time up, leading a Wasatch Mountain Club group, probably the best weather I've ever had. Did the usual Miners canyon route, just before we got to the end of the road we passed a herd of about 25 mountain sheep. For those who are wondering about a good time of year to do the peak I have found October to offer the best conditions, April and May I've had snow over scree to deal with and in November snow and very cold conditions, I believe a summer climb would be silly due the best route having continous south facing exposure.
8th Time 2 days ago 11/08/09.
Climbed this via Miners Canyon. From the canyon I went straight up the southeast scree covered slope, eventually connecting into the ridgline leading to the summit. I decended via the large boulder/scree slope heading down to miners spring. Conditions were very hot, and dry. Total trip was 8 miles, and took 11 hours. I had a climbing partner who was a little out of shape for this caliber of a climb, significantly slowing me down.
My friend Zach and I started from the end of the Miner's Canyon road. We started on the ridge directly north of the road and proceeded west up the hill until we made it to the major ridgeline. We followed the ridge north until reaching the peak. It took us about 3:24 to summit. We decided to take a more direct route back...and that turned out to be a mistake. Lots of loose talus to contend with. I'm not sure if there is a "good" way to the top, just a "not as bad" route. It was a great adventure though!
Started on a ridge on its east slope, but had to bail northward into the talus at about el. 7500 because of cliffs/vegetation. Stayed on the talus the rest of the way up. A couple of register entries mentioned an old CCC(not sure how they knew this) trail coming off the peak from the north and going down to the "pipe road", which I'm assuming is the aquaduct. Sure enough, it was there, switchbacks and all. Most of it was still under snow. Dropped down the snowy slope hoping to find the trail again...only found bits and pieces as the rest has been obliterated by massive slides. A toppled forest of trees is layed out on top of the talus slope, making the descent even more treacherous. If not for the trees, this would make a good summit route because its upper reaches had limited talus and the trail.
Got to look DOWN on an F-16 as it flew low in the valley between Pilot and the Silver Islands while descending the peak. Glad I saw it first, because the roar was deafening...probably would have otherwise thought an avalanche or rockslide was coming down on me. Later viewed six more flying directly above the peak at a more normal elevation. Pretty cool!
Duane and I were hoping for consolidated snow on the upper slopes of this mountain to help with the footing. But alas it was not to be - there was virtually no snow on the south side of the peak, and what little snow was there was shallow and fresh. So we dealt with the those highly portable rocks all the way up and down. We took a variation of the Miners Canyon route, heading north toward the peak up the draw that begins at about 6,400 feet. The white background on the topo map is ALL talus. We actually used much of the ridge just east of that talus for much of the ascent and descent, but there was no good way to avoid that nasty stuff. We think the mountain should be named "Devil's Rockpile" or something along those lines. But it was great to nail down this Ultra-prominence peak.
This is an ugly hike. Lots of talus. Thankfully I carried lots of water.
After finally scouting the mountain out for possible trail-routes, I came across Miners Canyon around 8:30 pm. Hit the canyon (route) around 8:00 am and blazed my may towards the ridgeline. Made it to point 9,113’ by 9:00am and decided to avoid point 10,182’ by skirting around and below the east side. Hit the summit at 10:10 am. Read some of the summit posts in the mail box. Followed my same route back but broke off down a gully before point 9,113’, this was a mistake, cedar trees and brush just ripped me apart. It took about two hours to make it back to the truck which was now around 12:00 noon.