Boundary Peak 10/11/05

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      [Ed: Imported from Americas Roof ‘Summit Trip Reports’ forum]
      [By: Diane on October 13 2005 at 10:18 AM]

      Here is my trip report from my recent Boundary Peak visit.

      After spending four days camping/backpacking/hiking in Zion National Park with some friends, I parted company and headed for a solo hike of Boundary Peak. After reading all of the trip reports, I decided to try the Queens Mine approach even though the lady I talked to at the White Mountain Ranger Station discouraged it because of the “rough road”. I got to the gravel road across from Janie’s Ranch late afternoon on Sunday Oct. 9th and drove up the road as far as the mines. (Heck, I’ve been on worse gravel roads in my county in Ohio and people live on them!) From the mines at the 6.1 mile mark, I hiked up the last 1+ miles of the jeep road to the trailhead to see if it looked doable in my rental Jeep 4X4. I decided it looked quite doable, but the wind was really howling. There were high wind warnings up for some of the mountains Sunday night and into Monday so I decided to hole up in Bishop, Ca that night and just dayhike in the area on Monday. I stayed in Bishop Monday night too.

      Tuesday morning I got up early and drove to the trailhead all the way up to Queens saddle. Oh and I am a weenie and I made it up there so it’s not that bad in a standard SUV 4X4. My biggest concern was not the road condition, but a few narrow spots where brush was rubbing up against the SUV. I was worried about scratching the paint on the rental SUV, but everything was fine when I got back down.

      The trail starts at an old sign post/board with nothing written on it. It is a very obvious trail and I had no problem following it all the way to Trail Canyon Saddle. The wind was blowing pretty hard at the saddle so I didn’t dawdle there.

      Most of the reports I read said to take the trail to the left out of T.C. saddle. Well, looking up the hill, the trail to the right was very well-used and pronounced while there were just a jumble of faint trails to the left. So I took the trail to the right which was probably a mistake. I got off the trail a few times and into some nasty scree which frayed my nerves a little. I finally connected with the main trail that contours around the surrogate peak and was able to follow the ridge easily from there. Well, except for hiking around the huge rock piles on the ridge to the summit. I never did find a good route around the rock piles on the way up or down. I would be following some cairns only to lose sight of them and just fumbled through the talus on my own. All the hiking to skirt around the huge rock piles was VERY slow for me because I never did find a decent route. I hate talus anyway, but I guess the scree was worse at least on the way up.

      The summit weather was beautiful with just some high clouds and light winds. No one had signed the register for a couple of days. Since I was by myself, I didn’t end up staying at the summit more than 15 minutes. It was too early for lunch and I was worried about coming down the scree (I always worry about the coming down part). I met three women making their way up as I was hiking down. They had come up the standard Trail Canyon route. They were the only other people I saw the whole day.

      I found the “left”hand trail (now the righthand trail) on my way down and was able to follow it easily all the way to T.C. saddle. It was actually pretty easy coming down the scree as opposed to going up and being on the correct trail probably helped too. One good thing about scree is that it is very gentle and cushioning on my middleaged joints and feet. There! I said something good about scree. LOL! I ate lunch at Trail Canyon saddle and then I noticed some darker clouds forming over the summit so I hurried back across the ridge to the trailhead. The clouds were really rolling in by the time I reached the Jeep, but it never did rain or thunder at all.

      My times were:
      Start 7:30am / Trail Canyon Saddle 9:00am /Summit 11:30am for a total hike up time of 4 hours

      Left summit 11:45am / Trail Canyon Saddle 2:00pm / Left Trail Canyon Saddle 2:25pm / return to trailhead 3:30pm for a total hiking down time of 3 hours 20 minutes.

      Total trip time with breaks: 8 hours. This was my 24th highpoint.


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