Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Rampart Ridge 8.23.06

was saddled with the dreaded summer on call shift so I didn't have much more than a half day to devote to climbing. I decided a summit of the Rampart Ridge high point would afford me the proper amount of time. I used the fisherman's trail that begins at the end of the logging road that runs along Rocky Run Creek. This is a spur road that branches off of Road 4934 at around 3300ft. The road is in great shape other than the encroaching brush. I was suprised to find three vehicles at the trailhead along with an empty tent. I was a little nervous due to my ankle injury of two weeks ago. I thought a day to test the waters would be good. As it turned out the ankle only gave me minimal discomfort. I took the side trail to Lake Laura only because I have passed by it on previous trips. As I suspected it wasn't really worth the short side trip. I made Lake Lillian in about 50 minutes. You can plainly see the climber's on the north side of the lake. I needed to use this trail to access the summit ridge. There is a way trail that goes around the lake, I chose not to use this trail because there is some tricky rock work to make around the lake. I instead backtracked a couple hundred feet to another way trail that is quite defined that climbs east up and over the rock and then drops to regains the way trail. I proceeded up the climber's trail making the ridge with little problem. It was very cloudy so I was unable to see my objective. I found a well worn boot path going my way so I joined it only to summit a point 200ft lower than my intened goal. I was really running short on time but I just couldn't be so close without closing the deal. I dropped down a sandy gully to one of the many area tarns. The desent in this gully was pretty straightforward. I rejoined the trail that continues on to the Uppermost Rampart Lake. Just as the trail crests a small saddle and drops into the Rampart Lake Basin there is another climber's trail which takes you easily to the 5870ft summit(#43 on the Homecourt 100).I was glad that I was able to get cell reception to call work to see if I had to work, I thankfully didn't. The way out went a little slower than I would have liked, I just didn't feel like my ankle could take any rapid descents.

2500ft of climb 4:20 car to car.

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