Ascent of Thurston Peak on 2014-11-08

Climber: Gustav Sexauer

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Saturday, November 8, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Thurston Peak
    Elevation:9706 ft / 2958 m

Ascent Trip Report

Katrina had a med school interview with the U of U so I had to pick up a cohp while I was in the SLC area. I chose Thurston Peak because it was a two-fer, but because of the Corolla I was driving I chose for the valley to peak route from Fernwood Park instead of the ridge driving route. I came up to the parking lot but I realized I hadn't packed any food. I had to go back to the gas station by the main road and get some trail mix which wasn't overpriced. Then when I got back the parking lot was full so I parked in front of a castle on the curbside. I had three top layers and water bottles and I left the main trails and headed on faint trails going straight up the sub ridges of the mountain. I got into some short trees and burned trees and went by a small cabin by a stream. The temperature was hot in the valley, but decreased steadily on the way up. I passed a man that says he hikes here a few times a week and he was cutting branches back from the path. He was going only as far as his "2h 37min rock" or something like that. The trail is much less maintained beyond this. Eventually the trail hits shrubs and I had to follow yellow ribbons for the best trail to the main ridge-line. Once I got close there was a north facing bowl with snow and the temperature dropped way off. I tried following the ridge south to Thurston, but the trail dropped lower (this is a bigger ridge-traversing trail now) and I left it. I definitely struggled more because of it but didn't loose much vertical. I saw a man reach the summit and head back while I was still at a distance. I made the top and enjoyed the views and celebrated the most vertical I had hiked in a day hike before! What a journey. Unfortunately, the city side of the mountain perforates the air with sounds of traffic all the way up. I went down and followed the trail better along the ridge and then hit the yellow ribbons. I eventually caught up to the other man and we chatted the rest of the way down. He didn't know about county highpointing, but he know of some Lat/Long coordinate people that seek out those points. It took a little bit longer than I thought, but it was a superb use of a day while Katrina was in interviews. Loved Thurston.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:4776 ft / 1454 m
    Total Elevation Loss:4776 ft / 1455 m
    Round-Trip Distance:8.6 mi / 13.8 km
    Grade/Class:Class 1
    Quality:6 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack, Snow on Ground
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:4606 ft / 1403 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 4586 ft / 1398 m; Extra: 20 ft / 6m
    Loss on way in:20 ft / 6 m
    Distance:4.3 mi / 6.9 km
    Route:Kays Creek Trail
    Start Trailhead:Fernwood Drive  5120 ft / 1560 m
    Time:3 Hours 5 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:4756 ft / 1449 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 4586 ft / 1398 m; Extra: 170 ft / 51m
    Gain on way out:170 ft / 51 m
    Distance:4.3 mi / 6.9 km
    Route:Kays Creek Trail
    End Trailhead:Fernwood Drive  5120 ft / 1560 m
    Time:2 Hours 20 Minutes

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