Sunday, July 18, 2010

Meeker Ridge

Adam and Laurel agreed to let me pick our adventure for today. We got another early start -- by 5:25 am we were hiking from the Horse Creek trailhead. Eventually the sun broke over the mountains behind us and cast shades of red on the hillside.

At the saddle between Lookout Mountain and Meeker Ridge, we left trail and began bushwhacking towards treeline. Cairns were scattered along the way, but didn't appear to be marking any trail that we could see. (On the way back we discovered an established, well-marked trail! It was only a few hundred feet southwest of where we had hiked up.)

We broke out of the trees and began climbing talus. Tough work that went on for hours.

Eventually we realized there was very little chance of summiting and descending back to treeline before the afternoon thunderstorms came in. We decided to continue on anyway, to see how far we'd get. 10:30 was our turnaround time, unless the weather were to miraculously improve.

We made it to a large headwall and found a way to climb up that wasn't too scary. Once we "summited" this block we could see just how much more scrambling there was to even get to the lower east summit of Meeker.

It was just about 10:30, and the weather was behaving as expected, so we decided this was our summit for the day.

On the way back we navigated towards Lookout Mountain. Just before reaching treeline we heard thunder rumbling, and shortly after there was 10 minutes of rain. We managed to pick up a trail once we got into the trees, which was much better than slipping down wet scree.

At the end of the day, we had hiked a bit over 9 miles, gaining 4500' along the way. (See our GPS route for Meeker Ridge.)

No comments: