Ascent of Griffith Peak on 2017-07-15

Climber: bob l

Date:Saturday, July 15, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Griffith Peak
    Elevation:11060 ft / 3371 m

Ascent Trip Report

I started the hike at the Cathedral Rock/South Loop trailhead around 6:45am or so. The morning had already started off running towards its own perfect peak. It was just mountain nice everywhere. Soon into the trail, you reach the lower burn area from the 2013 fire. The trail rises persistently through this charred area twisting up to follow a lower ravine area that sits below Griffith Peak. The trail is easy to follow as it approaches then smartly inclines alongside a high rock wall. You use some built in steps here then soon cross the lower ravine into switchbacks that steeply contour up the other woodsy side of the ravine towards an overlook. It was in here that I first felt the mountain’s kiss of fresh breezy air. Also, there was still some snow in the ravine area. A neat picture in July. After the first overlook, there are more and more switchbacks and two other overlook areas. The trail is pretty in here and it kept reminding me how truly real and strong nature is. In the switchbacks, there are several places where the ridgeline, which you know is waiting, seems within reach, but the switchbacks just keep grinding higher and higher. Finally, you encounter a meadow-like grassy area which welcomes you to the saddle area between Griffith Peak and Charleston Peak. The elevation also nudges you in this section as if to let you know that you have entered rarefied air. At the saddle, you go left and traverse a flattish ridgeline towards Griffith Peak which is now clearly perched in view in front of you. There are still severe effects from the fire in this part as well as up along the sides of Griffith Peak below the summit area, but you can almost feel the recovery tiptoeing below your boots. After a very short distance on the ridgeline, you veer left and take a tough use trail that zig zags up Griffith’s side to the summit. Enchanting views sit with you on the summit. This is a tough hike and I really appreciated the mountain’s own determination and endurance along this trail.
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