Wednesday, July 18, 2012

BootJack 6789' 7.18.12






I was looking for something on trail and with some decent vertical. I had been up Bootjack a couple of years ago and remember the trail as being efficient and pleasurable. That trip I was forced to ride my bike 5 miles from the washout to access the trail. This year the road has been fixed and I was able to drive all the way saving much time and aggravation. The trail starts about a 1/4 mile before the signed Jackpine trailhead. The trail is easy to spot if you are looking for it although it is not signed.


I left a little later than I would have liked but I still had plenty of time. I was concerned for the predicted afternoon thunderstorms. I left the ice axe and crampons lessening the chance of being struck my lightning. If the weather looked safe I had hoped to make my way along the ridgeline to Highchair. The weather was dry but recent rains made some of the brush lining the trail wet, but worse was the humidity but since the temps were lower is was quite pleasant. The trail joins the Jackpine trail and to your left is a junction with the tread to Bootjack. The trail is in great shape and the grade is efficient in the dispatching of the 4000' of climb to the summit. I just kept a moderate pace and soon I broke out on the ridgeline in a beautiful ghost forest. I stayed on the trail until I reached a small saddle with a perfect view of the summit above me. I left the trail following the ridgeline to the summit. I had no issues with making the summit which is a wonderful regional viewpoint.


I relaxed for some time carefully watching the brewing thunderstorms in the area. I searched for the summit register that I had left on my last visit but was unable to find any register. I assessed the route to Highchair and felt I could make it there and back in 2 hours. I wasn't quite sure about being able to outrun the thundershowers that were drifting my way. I was caught on a ridgeline once in a thundershower and I desperately wanted to avoid that happening again. I decided to prolong my summit stay instead.


On my previous summit of Bootjack I had really pushed the pace on the descent because of the great tread and was able to descend the 4000' in just over an hour. This trip I was not so aggressive and still was able to make the round trip in 5 hours.

The day was a perfect fit for what I needed for this day.

Approx 9 miles 4000' of climb 5 hours car to car
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