Ascent of Meade Peak on 2017-08-24

Climber: Dean Gaudet

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Thursday, August 24, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:4x4 Vehicle
Peak:Meade Peak
    Elevation:9957 ft / 3034 m

Ascent Trip Report

the right fork road is in considerably worse condition than described in summitpost. i did some gardening along the way to avoid the worst scratches, but i had to stop when there was an embedded stump in the right wheel track of the road. my choice was either lots of gardening on the left hand side of the road, or lots of scratches on the driver side, or risk my passenger-side tires... i gave in and started hiking.

past the embedded stump the road is OK until a downed tree, about a half mile from the start of my track. after that there are no more tire marks, not even ATVs, and the road-side bushes and trees are doing their best to reclaim the space. i think to get where dean molan did in his SP post you'd need a chainsaw and an ATV.

the climb is steep. sustained 45% sections. there is significant vegetation holding the earth and rocks in place though, so it's not slippery, just annoyingly steep. near the bottom i did have to do some bushwhacking through some aspens, but there could be a line which doesn't involve bushwhacking. i aimed for the saddle at 9200' so that i could enjoy the slightly less steep slope to the summit.

on descent i returned to the 9200' saddle and then dropped down aiming for the river at around 8000' so that i could return on the use trail that i had left earlier. the line i took was less steep, and worked well except the last 200' or so where i had to bushwhack through more aspen than i liked. there's probably a better way around that.

overall i ended up taking 2h longer than i had planned for (between the road gardening, the extra walking, and the steepness). given the extra distance on the road i'm wondering if other approaches are better.

i had noticed mike christiansen's report about going down the west ridge: it looked very tempting down to the saddle at 8600', and some directions below that also looked quite tempting. but it also looked like it'd be a longer steep downclimb than i felt like... and i also remembered a rocky slope along the trail further down, and i didn't want to accidentally end up there. i just wasn't sure enough i could get all the way down without running into issues from that western sub-summit. afterward, looking at sat view, it does look like some paths would go though.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:3158 ft / 962 m
    Total Elevation Loss:3158 ft / 962 m
    Round-Trip Distance:7.1 mi / 11.5 km
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Bushwhack
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Pleasant, Windy, Overcast
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:3158 ft / 962 m
    Distance:3.4 mi / 5.5 km
    Start Trailhead:6799 ft / 2072 m
    Time:2 Hours 42 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:3158 ft / 962 m
    Distance:3.7 mi / 6 km
    End Trailhead:6799 ft / 2072 m
    Time:2 Hours 8 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Dean Gaudet
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Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

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