Sunday, July 6, 2008

Friday July 4th, 2008, Jasper Peak

Jasper Peak (12,923)
6.6 miles RT
2,860 vertical
Northeast Slopes from 4th of July TH
Jeff and Allison Valliere, Kevin Lund and Sierra

Had an awesome hike on the 4th of July from the 4th of July TH (this was not a novel idea we observed on the way out, as there were cars parked down the road for nearly a mile!).

Started around 7:15am and got a good parking spot at the TH. Cruised up the trail to the Jasper Lake turn, dropped a bit of elevation to cross the creek and found the short lived trail on the South side of Middle Boulder Creek. From the end of the trail, it was a short and simple bushwhack to tree line.

We followed Roach’s route description to the small lake and then the crashed plane.From the plane, we headed up the NE slopes to the ridge. We could have avoided snow all the way to the ridge, but opted to cross a few patches as it is relatively low angle, the snow was perfect for kicking steps and we had axes.

We were kind of wishing we had brought crampons and started an hour earlier as there are ample moderately angled snow climbing opportunities here.Once on the ridge, we could peer over toward Snow Lion, Snow Leopard and Gaiteraid.

I was secretly wishing we had opted for Snow Lion, but it would have required a bit more planning and a much earlier start on the day (there was a significant amount of rocks littering the route, some as big as kitchen stoves).From the saddle, it was a snow climb up the ridge, not too steep, but with snow it was enough to keep your attention and we were happy to have our ice axes just for peace of mind.

We made the summit around 10:45am at a very leisurely pace and lounged for quite some time.The descent back was a breeze and involved some top notch boot skiing. All too soon we were on the main trail passing the masses, a stark contrast after spending most of the day by ourselves, only seeing 2 others briefly on the summit.All in all an awesome way to spend the 4th, topped off by going to a friends house for the requisite top notch BBQ.


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