Saturday, December 6, 2008

Lookout Peak

Greg and I decided to check out part of the potential TUERL (The Ultimate Emigration Ridge Loop) that we're planning on doing sometime in the future. The Plan was to get up to Lookout Peak to get a peak of the quagmire we'll be up against for the whole loop. Starting from the top of Emigration Canyon we took the trail heading north along the ridge to the junction of Killyons and kept heading north. It was pretty cool to start at around 20 degs. but it quickly warmed as the sun came up.

The high point on that ridge is Lookout Peak

Only 2 days before a small storm rolled through that left about 4 to 6 inches of snow covering the lower ridge. Normally not a big deal, but my ankles seem to be a little out of practice and I rolled my right one pretty good on one of the descents.

Greg grabbing a snack just as the sun is coming up

Looking up the long ridge to Lookout Peak

Looking back down the ridge, the Wasatch front in the background

The picture above shows the view looking back from the Emigration drainage, Freeze creek is to the right. Once we were on this ridge we could see the Wasatch 100 route over by Swallow Rocks and Big Mtn pass, but not Lookout peak. As we would soon find out the peak was hidden behind no fewer than four false summits. My ankle found some relief in the deeper snow as we made our way to the top but our lungs did not as we both notice the altitude.
Once on top I checked my GPS for the elevation and it read 8990'(Lookout is officially 8954'), which I knew was wrong, but we used that as a reference for the knob just to the west. We thought it might be higher, so we descended and climbed up to find that it read 8950'. This also allowed us a peek down at the route we will be attempting in the future and the real prize of the day. Just below us on the ridge heading west Greg spotted a bull moose, then two more appeared. The big one watched us for a minute or so before getting back to business whipping up on the other two. This was the first time I had witnessed this kind of behavior and it was truly awesome. The sound of antlers crashing together and snorts could be heard as the big bull let the other try and take him down. Below is a picture just after one of the battles.

The battle is over, the 3rd moose is in the middle right in the trees

All in all a great run, ~13 miles or so in a little over 3 hours.

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