Chrysaor Peak

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A mythical climb of Chrysaor.

Note: click images to see a larger version in a new window

Steve had climbed Pegasus with Super Dave last year. From the summit of Pegasus, they had tried to traverse to this peak (Dave refers to it as Peak 11,600') but were rejected. So Steve was keen to go back and try a different route. He also had named our peak, inspired by Pegasus and Greek mythology.

So with a prediction of 40% chance of thunderstorms, we drove up Saturday night to Mariel's house in Hailey to get an early start. It had rained heavily on Saturday, so there was lots of moisture: on the ground, in the brush, and in the air in the form of fog.

Early monring
The Fall Creek trail goes a mile or two up the creek, then you have to cross it. Immediately after the crossing, the trail splits, going south to the Right Fork and east to the Left Fork of Fall Creek. We were heading for the Left Fork.

After switchbacking a steep headwall, you have to wade the stream. It was cold.

As we made the turn south in the the Left Fork of Fall Creek, the sky was looking pretty good. And that's a good thing, because we still had a long way to go just to reach our peak.

Left Fork

It was already almost 11 when Pyramid came into view.

Pyramid

And quarter-after when we got our first views of our peak.

 

Chrysaur view

We stopped to water up and eat, then proceeded into the basin right under the peak. Lush green meadows and more elk poop than I've seen for quite some time. Of course, up here the elk poop petrifies, so it might all be from the same elk.

Approach meadows

A little higher and we could see our proposed route. Yum, talus!

Route

This is granite, so it comes in all shapes and sizes. In some places it had settled down and was fun clambering over the blocks. In other places, not so much: it was loose, roly-poly, and carried the potential for a quick descending bounce into your following partner.

Big Black Dome

As we got into the steeper terrain of the chute, we dispersed to minimize the potential. For the most part, we were successful.

Chute
I got to the saddle between Chrysaor and Medusa's Neck a little ahead, so had fun taking photos.

We regrouped at the saddle. Then dropped our packs for the scramble up the last 200' of vertical. It looked steep, but was Class 3. Just check the holds.....

Final climb
Here's a close-up of Medusa's Neck behind Steve. The patch of green on the left is Surprise Valley.
Medusa's Neck

I think Steve was excited to be on top.

That's some of the high Pioneers behind him.

Summit

Summit. It was already 2:30.

Although it had been quite warm all day, everyone had bundled up because up here the wind was blowing about 20.

We sat on top for some time marveling at the views. And putting off what we know was about to come.

Summit

Yep, more talus.

Mariel, who forgot to bring gloves, is playing sock puppets.

Sock puppets

But the descent went pretty well. We were able to take advantage of some dirt sections and a couple snow patches.

Then it was back down the valley. It's a long, long hike back to the car. But it seemed to go really well, mostly because of the outstanding scenery and excellent company. And this time the cold wade across Fall Creek felt really good.

Then we stopped for what Mariel assured us was the best pizza in the Wood River valley, South Valley Pizzeria in Bellevue. She was right, and the owner is a climber.

Alex's photos

 

Headed home

Mr. Natural Home | 2012 | Back to top of page | Questions :: e-mail to splattski