Ascent of Mount Peale on 2011-08-21

Climber: BMS 914

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Sunday, August 21, 2011
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Mount Peale
    Elevation:12721 ft / 3877 m

Ascent Trip Report

This one fought me from the start. Using directions from, and, I set out from Moab for the east/south end of the road. The "challenge" of runoff in the small creek was way too much for my rental car, adding about 4.5 miles each way to my approach hike on the rough road. Weather was looking stormy but had held off so far. At the top of La Sal pass the rain started, but it wasn't bad. Encountered some very prickly plants between La Sal pass and the rocky base of the mountain, amid a field of downed trees. Due to the rain, I decided to take the theoretical route up the talus slope east of the "rocky gully" due to concerns about lots of water turning it into a stream. It was very steep, and very loose. The hail started on and off, and the clouds got darker. I was basically bearcrawling up the side of the mountain over serving tray sized loose talus, gaining some 1200' in 0.3 miles. When I was just about ready to turn back, a small use trail came into view, coming over from the standard route, and things got better. Approaching the saddle just a couple hundred easy yards from the summit, I got a weird static feeling and started running down the south slope. Lightning hit near the summit moments later, and a rain/hail mix started coming down, with the hail being more than 0.25" diameter. I was already later than planned, but had worked so hard for this summit that I didn't want to turn back. I waited on the side of the mountain, got a little gap in the weather, and rushed to the summit. I couldn't find a register, and didn't spend much time looking around as more storm clouds were on the way. I took the little use trail back to the gully, but it vanished amid large, unstable talus piles that were treacherous to scramble around in places. I finally hit the gully, got back to the road, and headed back to the swollen stream and my vehicle.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:4441 ft / 1354 m
    Elevation Loss:4441 ft / 1354 m
    Distance:13.6 mi / 21.9 km
    Grade/Class:Class 2
    Quality:6 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Unmaintained Trail, Scramble
    Weather:Thunderstorm, Cool, Windy, Low Clouds
Thunderstorms w/hail
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:4441 ft / 1354 m
    Distance:6.7 mi / 10.9 km
    Route:Southwest flank to saddle
    Trailhead:La Sal Pass Rd near stream  8280 ft / 2523 m
    Time Up:5 Hours 
Descent Statistics
    Elevation Loss:4441 ft / 1354 m
    Distance:6.8 mi / 11 km
    Route:Southwest flank to saddle
    Trailhead:La Sal Pass Rd near stream  8280 ft / 2523 m
    Time Down:2 Hours 45 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by BMS 914
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Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

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