Ascent of Parker Peak on 2013-05-09

Climber: Gustav Sexauer

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Thursday, May 9, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Parker Peak
    Location:USA-South Dakota
    Elevation:4848 ft / 1477 m

Ascent Trip Report

It was raining hard when I pulled into the parking lot for the George Mickelson Trail. It now costs $3 per person for a day pass. I put on a wool hat (excellent choice) and my winter coat and began running southward. I had hope that things would clear up as I just drove in from the west where it was not raining. It took me 20 minutes to jog the two miles. I was hoping to find National Forest signs, but I didn't see any at the start of the turn. Cows were grazing on the east side, and either they have a permit to graze their or it could be a private inholding. Regardless, I wasn't passing this one up so I went through the fence and began my uphill journey as the rain stopped. I maneuvered around some cows and worked my way to the north face of Parker. I used my hands a few times to climb over logs laid sideways for erosion and just because it was a steep hike. There was another fence on the ridge line with a private sign on it, but I turned right south and didn't need to cross it even though it ended on a boulder still 100' lower than the top. I found my way to the top easily and found the sighting marker on the north end. This was almost there, but the foot tall brick wall surrounded the highest land and was directly in the path of the marker's arrow. This was it, the last of the Black Hills counties for me! There are stunning views all around and I was so happy to have made it in between storms. It was 25 minutes up from the trail and 20 back down. This time I followed a narrow path that switchbacked on the west face and was much easier than tumbling down what I hiked up. Almost immediately after I was back on the trail, the rain was back with a strong north wind and a new storm. Despite this, I still made the jog back from mile marker 14 to 16 in just over 20 minutes. I was soaking wet on my front and dry on my backside which was good for my driver's seat. Despite the troubles, this was a super rewarding hike and I was reminded how much I love highpointing.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:713 ft / 217 m
    Total Elevation Loss:4175 ft / 1272 m
    Round-Trip Distance:5.6 mi / 9.1 km
    Grade/Class:Class 2
    Quality:8 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Open Country, Bushwhack
    Weather:Raining, Cool, Very Windy, Overcast
Rainy and windy on the Mickelson Trail out and back, sunny on the climb up and down. Strong north wi
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:703 ft / 214 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 693 ft / 211 m; Extra: 10 ft / 3m
    Loss on way in:10 ft / 3 m
    Distance:2.7 mi / 4.4 km
    Route:George Mickelson Trail
    Start Trailhead:Bradley Flats  4155 ft / 1266 m
    Time:45 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:4165 ft / 1269 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 4155 ft / 1266 m; Extra: 10 ft / 3m
    Gain on way out:10 ft / 3 m
    Distance:2.9 mi / 4.7 km
    Route:George Mickelson Trail
    End Trailhead:Bradley Flats  693 ft / 211 m
    Time:40 Minutes

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