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Ascent of Spanish Fork Peak on 2018-04-08

Climber: Otto De Groff

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Sunday, April 8, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:4x4 Vehicle
Peak:Spanish Fork Peak
    Location:USA-Utah
    Elevation:10192 ft / 3106 m

Ascent Trip Report

On Sunday, 4/8/18, I ascended Spanish Fork Peak via Crowd Ridge. I started under the powerlines at the base of the ridge, at 40.093654, -111.571780. I won't go into detail of how I arrived at this point here. I will say that new development in the area is making it increasingly difficult to get to the base of Crowd Ridge.

At about 2:00 pm I left my truck and hiked northeast to intersect the ridgeline. Once on Crowd Ridge, I followed it up to the upper part of the peak. Above about 8300 feet the ridge was covered by a good snowpack. Below that the going was difficult, as I had to bushwhack through scrub oak for much of the way. At 9500 feet I hiked into clouds that were covering the upper part of the peak. By the time I came to the rounded summit of Peak 9960+, the temperature had dropped significantly, and snow began fall in fierce wind gusts that were roaring over the mountain. I hiked the final 1/3 mile to the summit in zero visibility conditions, with wind and snow howling around the peak. I must have been just a few yards from the summit before the orange metal of the summit tower finally appeared out of snow and clouds.

On my descent, I lost my way in the snow, and began heading down the northeast ridge of the summit. After 100 yards on this ridge, it became very steep, and I turned around to regain the main ridge. It was pretty tricky to navigate in the clouds and fog. At about 9800 feet on Crowd Ridge the clouds parted for a moment, and views of the valley below appeared out of nowhere. It was incredible to see Utah Valley after being caught in the storm. From there I descended to my truck below, which I reached at 8:00 pm.

This hike was quite cold, snowy, and windy, yet it was an incredible experience. I would recommend going up Crowd RIdge when there is more snow, to avoid the oak below 8000 feet.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:5052 ft / 1539 m
    Route:Crowd Ridge
    Trailhead:Base of Crowd Ridge  5140 ft / 1566 m
    Grade/Class:Class 2
    Quality:8 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Open Country, Bushwhack, Snow on Ground, Snow Climb
    Gear Used:
Snowshoes
    Weather:Snowing, Cold, Very Windy, White-out
Snowy, Fog and Clouds, very Cold and Windy



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