I stopped by a friend’s house early morning to gear up and off we went on our Trek to Henry’s Fork trailhead via I80 from Salt Lake City. We stopped in Evanston to grab some “success beer” for post climb celebrations. We finally arrived at the trailhead around 10:00 am and sorted the gear out. It was my first time to Kings and was very excited to hit the trail. The plan was to spend three days for the hike, one day in, one day to do Kings and a Gilbert and the final day to hike out.
So it was off to a place past Dollar Lake, it had been in the 90’s in SLC that day so the snow that still existed in the lower drainage area was melting very rapidly. After a few miles I started to develop a hot spot on my heel, damn not now. I stopped and put some moleskin on which helped immensely for the rest of the hike to camp. Since we had plenty of time we were in no hurry, so I must have taken 50 photos along the way. We finally arrived at a spot off of the main trail just before it starts up to Gun Sight Pass around 3:00 pm. We sent up camp and started a nice fire to sit by while watching the sun go down. The plan in the morning was to contour around to the Anderson Chute and crampon up to the Pass. I think I mentioned the warm weather, well we post holed to the crotch level all the way to the base of the chute. Then from here it starts to increase in grade, imagine standing in snow to your waist on a 40-degree slope, basically we were trying to swim out of the snow. Reaching out and touching the snow was no problem. So the oblivious decision was to try and avoid the snow. Off to the left was some exposed scree\ talus, so we made our way to it and continued the climb to Anderson Pass. The wind was starting to pick up and dark clouds were forming in the west direction. We ate at the stone shelter at the Pass and started our push to the summit of Kings. After picking our way trough the snow and rocks we arrived at the summit. After taking in the view the decision was to push for South Kings instead of Gilbert. There were three reasons for this choice, 1. Weather wasn’t looking good, 2. Remember that hot spot I spoke of, well it was now a full on blister, 3. The effort to push through the snow had taken a lot of energy out of us. OK maybe there are four, I’m a pussy. While watching the storm brew we pushed off to South Kings, it’s a short hike down to the saddle between the peaks and back up to South Kings. Form this point back to Anderson Pass I have no photos; it was an absolute white out. We decided to contour around the east side of Kings on the return, one to avoid the regain of elevation and two to try and get out of the west wind. Ok that was a bad Idea, remember that post holing I spoke of, well we hit it again but this time it was worse. We were posting holing into rocks to the crotch level again. After using every colorful metaphor that I could muster up we finally had a nice glissade down to the Pass. The snow had stopped but the wind was still blowing like a two-dollar whore. Ok here’s where the fun begins, a nice thousand-foot glissade down into the basin….right. My buddy started down first and damn did he pick up some speed. So I jumped in and started my slide and after about a thousand feet I noticed that besides my buddy picking up speed he had also picked up a tremendous amount of snow. After witnessing the close call I decided to roll out of my glissade and try for the rocky decent. After reaching him and checking out the wounds, which looked like he had spent about 25 to life in a maximum-security prison, we made our way back to camp. It was raining and starting to lightning so in the tent to dry off we went. The next day was a perfect weather related day all the way back to the trailhead. As you might noticed I mentioned only the weather was perfect, my blister was really starting to piss me off. So after reaching the truck we tipped back a few of the brews that were left in the stream to stay cool.
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