Monday, August 27, 2012

mt. raymond

Friday night, as we were waiting for the movie to start, we determined that we would go hiking Saturday morning, getting up and getting an early start to the day.  When Saturday morning rolled around, well, we'd sort of slept in a bit (not B, who insisted that I get up and feed her at 7 a.m.), and hadn't really decided on where to hike.  I wanted to do something a little more strenuous than we'd been doing lately - although since we hadn't hiked since August 6th, anything was going to be more strenuous than what we'd been doing lately - and H always prefers to do something new, if at all possible.  So we picked one out of the book that fit those criteria, plus with the added bonus that the trailhead was Butler Fork, which I haven't done but have wanted to since we moved here: Mt. Raymond.

That's where we were headed - seemed
 far away to me too (but not so bad)

The trail is mostly shaded until you get to the ridgeline, going up fairly steeply through aspen groves and along the creek in the Butler Fork drainage.  There are numerous turnoffs, at least two of which head over to Dog Lake, but we kept to the left, skirting Mill A Basin until we reached Baker Pass (elev. 9,340ft.), where we could see down into Millcreek Canyon and also into the Salt Lake valley.  This pass is the junction of four trails: the one we'd come up, one down to Bowman Fork in Millcreek, one up to Gobbler's Knob, and one - the steepest, of course - heading up the ridge to Mt. Raymond.

Pretty ridgeline walk

The ridgeline walk was pretty steep in sections, but the views were great: to the left, Mill A Basin; to the right, impressive cliffs on the backside of Mt. Olympus.  After a bit, though, the trail pretty much stopped, with the summit still ahead of us.  We left our hiking poles to one side and started scrambling up the ridge.  We both really like scrambling on hands and feet like that - I don't need to do any more rock climbing than that.  It took a little time, trying to find the best way up, but we attained the summit (elev. 10, 220 ft.) ... and stayed there for about two minutes before the big, annoying flies drove us away.  Strangely enough, those flies were only at the very top and didn't follow us down at all.


Our descent was much quicker, even with the steepness and loose footing in some spots.  We got to play good samaritan a couple of times too: once to help two map-less/guidebook-less guys figure out which was the trail into Bowman Fork and once to give half a liter of water to two trail-runners who had sorely underestimated how much water they need.  (I wasn't thirsty at all ... until I gave half my remaining water away.  Stupid psychosomatics.)

Hike statistics:  7.61 miles RT, average speed: 2.0 m.p.h. (it was slow because it was steep in spots), total ascent: 3,050 feet, time: 4 hrs. 50 min.

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