After the day before's awesome off trail adventure, Scott had to up the ante. Our epic adventure for Thursday was to climb East Temple Peak. We hiked about 10 miles with 3000 feet accumulated elevation gain.
We awoke to a cloudy yet not windy day. After breakfast, we climbed up and over the ridge between Black Joe and Clear Lakes. There was a well beat in path off the main trail.
The reflections off the lake were stunning. It actually seemed at one point that all 11 of us had nothing to say. We were speechless from the views.
We continued past the lake and went up slick rock to a view point near Deep Lake. The view point back towards Clear Lake was of the Peaks of the Cirque. It was incredible to see them from this vantage point. They seemed to be packed into such a small area which was unlike what it seemed when we were in the Cirque ourselves. We took a nice long break soaking in the views.
On the far side of Deep Lake rose East Temple Peak. It is a ramp that juts out into space. It seemed a long ways up to the peak from where we sat.
We continued past Deep Lake up to a route above Temple Lake instead of taking Little Sandy Lake trail which goes down to the lake. We had great views of Temple Peak which rose high above us. You could see the glacier on the North Face that fed Temple Lake.
We more or less contoured high slightly at an angle until we reached a boulder field, from there we hopped across and picked up the Little Sandy trail up to the saddle. It was a very steep sandy trail. The saddle was mostly a boulder field. A little Marmot heralded our arrival at the saddle while the Pica joined in short chorus of high pitched chirps.
We then began our assault on the ramp up to East Temple Peak. We ended up in yet another boulder field. The ramp itself is almost a mile long to the peak. I told Joel to pace himself. Someone thought they saw the top and they took off really fast and Joel and another followed. It was just a false summit. We continued up and found yet another false summit. Finally hopping over the boulders we reached the peak. This peak has the appearance of being very scary. You can easy lean over the edge and cause yourself a heart attack because of the long drop off. The views from the peak were outstanding. You could see peaks in practically every direction. Weather moved in and it started to rain. This caused the pictures to not be as good as they could have been. We put on our rain gear and started to descend the ramp.
Ironically, we found a route down that avoided a lot of the boulder field. Note to self, next time stay to the left on the way up!
By the time we hit the saddle the rain had left us so we headed over to a small glacier/snowpack to play. I managed to get in some minor glissading before we had to leave.
Then down the steep slope we went. It wasn't as bad as I had anticipated. Soon, we were crossing the boulder field to catch our route out to Deep Lake.
We took a nice long break at the shore of Deep Lake. After our break we were all tired from our adventure so we didn't pause much on the way back to camp.
Joel stopped for a pit stop and he scared up a moose. We were all jealous when he arrived back to camp and told us about it.
We filtered some water and did some laundry before dinner. During dinner we started to talk about food. You could tell that four days of trail food was starting to make us desire what we could not have. I do have to say that my choices of homestyle food is a lot better than Mountain House
Sunset was really nice since there were several clouds. After sunset we slowly crawled into our tents looking forward to an easy day in the morning. We planned to explore the Clear Lake area. There was another dam thing to check out. Plus we'll try stalking moose!