The plan was Weavers and then Bluff Mountain summit from the southwest ridge, back to Eli Anderson, Bluff and TH. Jackie and the pups came along for this one, however, with the expectation of being spectators for Weavers. It was apparent from the start that this was going to be a wet foggy day, however, I still held out hope that Weavers would be dry enough to summit.
Weavers was in fact dry enough and someone left a line behind making the difficult first part of the climb pretty harmless. The scramble up was slick in a few spots, but never felt in danger. Chilly, windy and zero visability on the summit. In fact, throughout the entire hike to the Needle, we never saw it until we got to its base. I kept thinking the wind might blow the fog out of there, but it never did and the fog lingered the entire day. No worries though, as I enjoyed the little climb and scramble up Weavers. After meeting back up with Jackie and the relieved dogs, we backtracked to Terrapin. I then realized that I did not upload the route of Bluff via the SW ridge, but not to be deterred, I suggested we at least walk down to that area and look for something indicating a route up. We turned off the trail at some cairns and found a few more, but I was not overly confident it was the route and felt we were most likely on the wrong ridgeline, from turning off too early. After that wasted endeavor, it was to a fun little set of waterfalls off Terrapin, where I then proposed we just complete the Dutchman, Peralta Loop since we had gone so far down Terrapin already. I told Jackie that, "I could not imagine the loop leading to more than a 12 mile day." We came in just under 16 miles after taking Terrapin down to the Dutchman and then across to the Peralta Trail for our return to the TH.
Despite the higher than expected miles and wet conditions (on and off light showers) we enjoyed the loop. We were finally able to enjoy some nice views of the relative surrounding area and the Needle around 3 p.m., the opening in the fog lasted about two hours and then it was back to 50 feet of vision for the descent down to the TH. We finally broke at 6:10 p.m. and put our head lamps on for the final few minutes on the trail.
In the end it was really nice getting out to an area in the Supes where it is hard to go wrong when there is flowing water. It could have been a little dryer, but we prevailed, however, spent several minutes discussing our regret in not bringing our rain pants. We only ran into a couple of hikers all day and never passed a person on Peralta. The loop may have been long and the conditions not ideal, but it was nice to achieve solitude in such a popular area of the Supes. The SW approach to Bluff looks cool, will probably be out there shortly, but with a route.