Thursday, June 8, 2006

Lost Dog Peak 6.8.06

Lost Dog Peak is an entirely unofficial for the unamed Peak that lies just East of Pt. 6260 above De Roux Creek. I felt this name was appropriate due to my wandering Beagles escapades in view of this peak. The goal for the day was for a summit of High Esmerelda Pt. 6765 which is the highest point of the many peaks of the Esmerelda Group. I was pleasantly suprised to find no snow at the De Roux Campground. However consistent snow started right out of the gate making route finding much slower. I made my way to about 4900ft where I erred a bit and ended up above the trail on a subtle spur that tended SW. I was not looking forward to a ford of De Roux Creek due to the very high volume of water and I didn't really want to turn back so soon. The spur provided an easy grade towards Pt 6260 so I decided to press on. The spur was mostly snowfree until 5600ft and the grade became much steeper at around 5700ft. I was forced to unleash the beagle in order to use both hands to help drag myself to the 6000ft ridgeline. I made my way to a small saddle and dropped pack. When I looked down there was no Beagle anywhere, Because the last 300ft took all my attention I didn't really know if he was above or below me. Since the summit of what I thought was Pt. 6260 was easily within my sight I pressed on. My thought my sight lines would be much improved the higher I went. I was greeted with very strong winds and no visibility to the South. I had a feeling I wasn't on the true summit so I took a GPS reading that put me on Pt 6110. Since I was still missing my dog I decided to backtrack to my pack. It certainly a uneasy feeling to think about returning without my beloved pet. I wasn't sure what course of action to take, I didn't see any of his tracks around my pack so I surmised that he must be below me. I made my was to my ridge jump of point and was happy to find my wandering pet. Now my attention turned to how best to get down the steeper portions of the ridge. I decided it prudent to make my way down kick stepping facing the hill. I managed to make it back to the spur with only mildly raising my heart rate. I had no problems refinding the trail below me and I was soon back at the truck. On a curious side note I had passed a older couple on the way in, which suprised me since I didn't see any fresh bootprints on the way in. On the way out I didn't see any signs of their return either. Perplexing

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