Sunday, June 3, 2007

Mount McDougal

Tate and I planned a short overnight trip up into the Wyoming Range, for a jaunt up McDougal. This peak just north of Triple and south of Deadman. We found an exceptional camping spot a few miles downstream just above N. Cottonwood Creek. Perched on a bench we had an uninterrupted view from McDougal all the way past Triple Peak. Outstanding. Built a fire and cooked hamburgers and fried potatoes. Delicious!


Slept in the back of the Durango for expeditious reasons, and woke very early to get a good start on this short but steep trek. As I rolled down one of the windows a couple of frisky yearling elk paused long enough from play to look over at us from the edge of a meadow and then disappeared around some trees.

Wyoming Range

Triple Peak

**Better shots of McDougal can be found on the Triple Peak report, and this one shows shots of Triple.....

We ate while we drove the few miles to the trail head and were soon walking up the trail. We came to the old Cottonwood Coal Mine, not much more than a big pile of discarded low grade coal, with one building standing, the powder shack.

We left the trail and headed up the ever steepening slopes of our chosen peak. We soon left the scrubby vegetation and crossed slopes of rock that was at first fairly solid, but soon became the stuff that every climber hates - loose scree. You know, one step up, two steps back. We toughed it out and reached the upper slopes of this route, not the regular route I may add. Too much snow lay on the easier SE slopes still, so we picked our way carefully up a steep south ridge. One small steep section of class 4 and we found ourselves within a couple 100 feet from the top. Huge snow cornices blocked the final 20-30 feet. We thought about digging through but decided to call it good.

"Hoofin" it!

Tate on McDougal

Tate on McDougal

A short lunch / rest and we found ourselves on the way down. We saw an easier way to get to the trail head and took it, cutting off perhaps a quarter mile of trail. A great little "hike"!

Triple Peak

We had plenty of time to get home so we drove over to Daniel through the desert and down the Hoback to Granite Creek for a short soak in the hot spring located 1/4 mile downstream from the pool. Ahhhhhh!

Near Granite Creek Hot Springs

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