We headed up for some time in the Hurley (June 29/30) to check out Grouty Peak for a nice ridgewalk. This was about a week after spending 4-days in the headwaters of Downton Creek, so we were stoked, albeit a bit tired to get back out there.
The Hurley was noodle-necking as usual, but in good condition Ė we parked at Railroad Pass, and found the trail after a bit of poking around. Hersh described it as more of a route than a trail, but the flagging is decent, and you go straight up 500m pretty near straight away. The bugs were on destroyer-mode lower down, but in the steep meadows, they dissipated. Almost gave a grouse a heart attack as we unknowingly stepped over this grouse chick. Pretty darn cute -
Once on the ridge, itís just ramble city. Right where you gain it, there is a little lake at the crest, although we didnít check it out this time. Anyone ever camp here?
Great view on the ridge in all directions! Someone just turned on the glacier lily switch too, the meadows were a beaut.
Ridge ramble in full effect; sticking to snow for some parts, rock for others.
We went to the first high point, and saw there were many more to check out. We kept on going over a few false-summits, and were finally content on stopping at Mortar Peak (bivouac name). Seems to be some question as to whether it is higher than Grouty official, which we could see in the distance with a massive cairn. Regardless, we were bagged and it was now 4:30pm, so time to go.
Saw a ninja on the summit:
On the way back, we were pretty tired, but really enjoy the view of clouds over the Semaphore Lakes area. Felt like it took us a while to make it to the rock denoting the start of the trail down the ridge; make sure to note this area in bad visibility, it would be easy to miss the turn off.
Descent was quick, and we made our way to the campsite with beer, scotch, and a nice fire. Next day, weather looked lousy so we ditched other plans and went to say hello to Locomotive + Face at Semaphore. Pic for snow conditions:
All in all, Grouty ridgewalk was pretty sweet, and it was good to get back in the Hurley. Hope to check out Hope Creek FSR area next time.