Objective: Rock Roll Peak 10,458ft.
Stats: 10 miles, 4,153ft round trip. Class 2. Strava Track.
Gear Notes: N/A.
Links: Summit Post Page.
|South Ridge of Rock Roll Peak.|
I had been wanting to try Rock Roll Peak for a few years, but some how kept passing on it. I was looking for a quick ascent above 10,000ft before the winter closes in and with the recent high pressure, I figured conditions were about as good as they could get. While driving into the trail head, I couldn't remember how far the road was passable by car. As I came to realize, you can actually drive the whole length if it. I parked way too soon and ended up walking an extra 1.4 miles to the actual trail.
|Near the end of the road.|
The head of the canyon is a fantastic place with several good camp sites. I missed the actual trail on the way up but was able to find it after a short cross-country hike up a dry creek bed.
As I like to say; the adventure starts when you don't know what will happen next.
|Nearing the ridge.|
The plan was to hike the trail to around 8,200ft then head for the saddle on the south ridge of the peak. It is important to note that there several lines that will take you to the south ridge from the trail. They all vary in difficulty based on length and elevation gain. There was an obvious Col that would require the least gain, but more time on the trail hiking away from the peak, then back tracking along the ridge. I picked a good looking line and headed up the west slopes.
|Looking down the ridge from the false summit.|
Reaching the ridge meant getting the awesome views, but it also exposed me to the biting cold wind.
DBE looked quite gnarly.
And, I uh... want to climb that... hu...
Higher on the ridge, there was just enough snow to make things interesting. Again, not enough to make it a high risk operation or present a mission critical problem.
|Rolling along the rocky ridge.|
|Near the summit.|
After the false summit, some careful probing and step kicking, the true summit was near.
The ridge heading north to peak 10,334 looked passable but I wouldn't have time to head over there.
Quite possibly the best thing about Rock Roll Peak is the expansive view that includes the Pioneer Mountains to the south, the Hemingway-Boulders to the north and into the White Cloud Mountains beyond that. To the west and northwest the Smoky Mountains are visible and off in the distance to the east, the Lost River Range can be seen.
|Lost River Range.|
There were options-O-plenty to descend the ridge and regain the trail. I blindly chose a different route down the west face and almost ended up in a quandary of crumbling rock in a steep gully. After some side-hilling and careful stepping, I was back down on the trail, out of the wind and day dreaming of the options for future adventures here.
|Baldy in the background.|
|The Magic Gully.|
For future reference I would consider this, the magic gully, to gain or descent the ridge between Rock Roll and Peak 10,334.
|Rock Roll Peak from the road.|
It was a fine day to be out exploring a new (to me) area and I almost forgot to gripe about the added pedestrian mileage on the way back to the car.