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Ascent of Ibapah Peak on 2011-08-27

Climber: Anthony Wilkinson

Others in Party:Lee Jensen
Date:Saturday, August 27, 2011
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:4x4 Vehicle
Peak:Ibapah Peak
    Location:USA-Utah
    Elevation:12087 ft / 3684 m

Ascent Trip Report

Absolutely amazing. The contrast of the vast Great Salt Lake Desert and surrounding Great Basin region with the cool, moist uplift of the Deep Creeks made this place magical.

4x4 access road was not too bad, the hardest section for us was just past the second stream crossing (low clearance vehicles would probably want to stop at the first stream crossing). Camping areas were abundant, especially after the second crossing.

The ascent elevation was significant, but never extremely steep. The unmaintained trail was easy to follow to the meadow at ~10,400 ft, then route finding up past the lower foreground peak (we followed ridge to its front and left as you face Ibapah from the meadow, then around the right, or east, side of the foreground peak to pick up the access trail) was pretty easy. Switchbacks up last section to the summit were welcome.

Views from the top of Ibapah Peak were predictably spectacular. 100+ miles, all the way to the Stansburys and perhaps Oquirrhs near Salt Lake City to the NE, GBNP and Wheeler Peak past Mt Moriah to the SSW, and desert interrupted by craggy ranges in all directions. Very little evidence of civilization is apparent from the summit of Ibapah.

The weather was mild on the ascent, calm and fairly cool all the way up. A small cloud NE of the summit grew rapidly and darkened in the short while we were at the top, so we left by 12 noon. By the time we were back down to the tree cover at the meadow, hail, rain, and lightning had unleashed. This made for a cool, beautiful hike down the canyon past the waterfalls. Yes, waterfalls. :) My friend and hiking partner (who grew up hiking the Washington Cascades) said the canyon forest reminded him of hiking in the moist Cascades. Deep Creek Canyon was one more absolutely intoxicating, high-elevation mountain canyon in the Great Basin that I will dream of for years.

Route finding between the meadow and the access trail below the summit block itself was pretty easy, there are cairns to follow, but they are also relatively easy to lose. The route was easier on the descent as we were able to follow the access trail longer on the east of the sub-peak, but ended up losing it on the way down to the meadow anyway. Not a big deal though, we just contoured our way back down the ridge to the meadow, making sure we didn't lose too much elevation, which would have put us down the drainage into the canyon, below the meadow itself. Once you pick up the trail back at the SE edge of the clearing, it's just the long descent back to the car, but the tree cover is wonderful.

Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:5227 ft / 1594 m
    Distance:12 mi / 19.3 km
    Route:Deep Creek Canyon/SW Ridge
    Trailhead:4x4 Trailhead  6860 ft / 2090 m
    Grade/Class:1
    Quality:8 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Scramble
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Nights Spent:1 nights away from roads
    Weather:Thunderstorm, Pleasant, Calm, Partly Cloudy
Clear, then hail, rain, thunderstorm
Ascent Statistics
    Time Up:5 Hours 
Descent Statistics
    Time Down:3 Hours 



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