Sunday, November 2, 2008

(Dog-gone ) Haystack Peak Summit Attempt)

The Guilty Party-Apparently dogs can't climb trees or rocks.

Eric Taft

Looking across Strawberry Canyon.

Onward and Upward.
This fall weather has been spectacular. Now that my coaching responsibilities are done for a while, I've had a bit more free time to get out in the mountains. I spent Thursday night trying to swing a last ditch effort to join Hart, Luke, and Jared on part of the Pocatello 50 trail. In the end I was just too chicken. I didn't have a sub to cover my classes and I didn't dare call in sick because I had to drop my kids off at school in the morning. Word travels fast in small towns. Plan thwarted, I joined up with Eric Taft to try and bag the summit of Haystack Peak, a cool peak just East of the town of Thayne. We met at 6:30 and right away ran past the trailhead in the dark. Once we got started up it was a slog. We had to pick our route carefully because of long shaley chutes and cliff bands that could leave us stranded. The climb was very Hardrock-esque. We worked our way through the technical sections and about 500 feet from the summit (by this time totally covered in fog) I cleared the last band with a couple of easy down-climbing moves but my dog, Joe, couldn't. Before Eric dropped over he decided to go back around and call the dogs with him. Joe decided he wouldn't leave me so I had to scramble back up to him and drop down around the cliff. We lost about 500 feet and decided that rather than going back down that we'd better pull the plug because Eric had to be at work by noon. 4 miles, 4000 ft. climb and descent-3.5 hours.


Hart said...

well you were both missed on the pocatello run. but this sounds fun too.

Eric Taft said...

Good old haystack, definitely easier in the firm spring snow. If not skiing it, a 3000 foot glissade above cliff bands sounds rather exciting. One of these beautiful clear spring days, we'll get up there; sans the dog. Fun to be up there anyway.