Sunday, October 5, 2008

Saturday, 10/04/08 Pt. 9,300 Lost Creek Wilderness

Pt. 9,300 in Lost Creek Wilderness
~10.5 miles
~2,600 vertical
From Goose Creek TH
Jeff Valliere, John Prater, Dwight Sunwall, Sarah Thompson, Dominic Meiser (for the climb)
and Allison Valliere, Dave Hale, Emily Hale, Sierra, Shep and Kiefer (for the hike).

Two years ago, John, Dave, Allison and I visited the Goose Creek area of Lost Creek Wilderness with John and I climbing unnamed Pt. 9,242, a technical rock climb overlooking the actual Lost Creek. We were hoping to also climb Pt. 9,300 that day, another rock tower to the North, but the ascent of this rock tower took longer than we had anticipated and we simply ran out of time..... fast forward two years.

During the week John and I had gone back and forth on a bunch of different ideas for the weekend, one of them being to go back for 9,300. John ran the idea by Dwight and before we knew it, we had a great group of 5 committed for the climb.We started from the Goose Creek TH at 7:37am, intending to meet Dwight, Sarah and Dominic at the trail junction for the shafthouse at 8:30am, as they had camped out the night before. As the hike progressed, we realized that we were not going to meet them on time, so I ran ahead to let them know we were running a few minutes late.

We continued along the trail for another 1/3 mile or so, then began the bushwhack toward Pt. 9,300. This involved some areas of dense bushes, circuitous loops around giants rock gardens and a short ford across Lost Creek. We made our way roughly 2/3 of the way up the S. facing gulley which involved some steep walking, some class 3 moves over/around boulders. We then went climbers right to a spacious bench on the ridge at the base of technical portion of the climb.We took a short break, geared up and got on with the remainder of the ascent. Dominic led, placing a few cams along the way and had just enough rope to get to the top. Aside from a low fifth class move near the beginning, the climb consisted of nice class 3 and class 4 grippy slabs. There was a decent amount of exposure though along the way and since we carried the gear all that distance, it was great practice.

We found no cairn or register on the summit, so Dwight placed a register, only none of us had a pen on the summit to sign in with. We rapped down to the packs, signed in and Dwight zipped back up to put the register back on the summit. On the descent of the gulley, we met up with Dave, then made the short descent back to the field near the beaver pond where Allison, Emily and the dogs were napping. We took a long break, looking back up toward the giant east face of the tower.

There were great patches of aspen, and we took our time on the hike out enjoying this great area. It was great to hike with everyone as always and great to meet Sarah and Dominic. Can’t wait to get out there again soon!

As an aside.... this was little Kiefers first backcountry outing. He is an AWESOME little pup and did absolutely great on a hike this long. He learned how to cross a log bridge across a creek, bushwhack and did some very minor scrambling. It is amazing how obedient and well behaved he is at such a young age and did a great job keeping up with and learning from the older dogs.


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