Ascent of Medicine Bow Peak on 1994-08-05

Climber: Greg Slayden

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Friday, August 5, 1994
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Medicine Bow Peak
    Elevation:12013 ft / 3661 m

Ascent Trip Report

Friday, August 5:

I left my motel in Saratoga, WY pretty early and drove up into the Medicine Bow Mountains on WY 130, noticing for the first time that my radio/tape player wasn't working, the first time this intermittent problem occurred (it would always work eventually). The road crossed the crest of the range at timberline, near beautiful Lake Marie, and I parked my car and went for the last hike of my trip, a loop hike to Medicine Bow Peak, at 12,013 the highest point in southern Wyoming but an easy, 1500-foot gain trip due to the high road access.

I hiked up a trail that soon gained the broad ridge south of the peak, then hiked north along a path through the boulders, over a few minor bumps of the ridge, and eventually up to the summit. I knew that a county line passed just west of the peak, and I consciously tried to stay on the very crest of the ridge so I would touch the highest point of Carbon County at some unknown point. It was partly cloudy out and very windy, and I didn't see another hiker until I reached the summit at 10 AM, one and a half hours after starting.

There were a bunch of hikers at the top, all of whom had come up via Lookout Lake, and after talking to a few of them, and getting a woman from Orlando to take my picture, I set off to return the way they had all come up. It was very steep at first, switchbacking down to the lake through more rubble, then the path became gentle and passed Lookout Lake to the campground at Mirror Lake as it passed under the steep cliffs dropping off from the ridge I had just been up on. I was taking my time, since the scenery was nice, and I wasn't in my serious hiking mode--I even wore jeans for this hike. A couple of joggers on the trail passed me, and a few drops of rain fell, but no more.

I had to walk along the road a bit to return to my car at the south end of Lake Marie, and then I resumed my eastwards drive on WY 130. It took me steeply downhill, back to the typical hot, dusty plains of Wyoming, and then into Laramie.

The high, flat crest of Medicine Bow Peak (1994-08-05).
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1513 ft / 461 m
    Total Elevation Loss:1513 ft / 461 m
    Quality:4 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country
    Weather:Very Windy
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1513 ft / 461 m
    Route:SW Ridge
    Start Trailhead:Lake Marie TH  10500 ft / 3200 m
    Time:1 Hours 30 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:1513 ft / 461 m
    Route:Mirror Lake
    End Trailhead:10500 ft / 3200 m

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