Peak Climbed: Lone Peak

Peak Height: 11,253'

Route: Open Book (to summit) + others

Difficulty: 5.7

Location: Wasatch Mountains, Utah

Trailhead: Jacob's Ladder

Mileage & Gain: 10 mi & 5,500 ft RT

Date Climbed: July 4 - 7, 2018

Lone Peak stands immediately southeast and 7,000 feet above Salt Lake City. Pulling into the desert parking lot at 5,700 feet it will be hard to believe that phenomenal alpine climbing exisits just a few hours hike away. The entrance fee to this little climbers paradise is an infamous approach, requiring over 5,000 feet of elevation gain along steep, dusty trails. There is no year-round water source in Lone Peak Cirque, so the season generally ends mid-summer when the lingering snowfields finally melt out.

We did a four day trip, starting the approach mid-morning. The heat was intense and forced us to take it very slow, often breaking in whatever shade we could find to cool down. The next two days we spent climbing, and on the last day we did one short route before hiking out. This was a dry year, and we were at the tail end of the season. We only saw a couple of other parties over the course of our stay despite it being a holiday weekend.

The rock in the Cirque is quartz monzonite, which is like granite but with less quartz. It has some very interesting and unique features like big, black, infused concretions and incredible green patina. This might be the most fun I've ever had alpine climbing. Route lengths range from one to five pitches and it's easy to combine two in a day with good weather. I unfortunately forgot to pack the nuts so we couldn't try some of the harder routes we had on our to-do list. I can't wait to go back!

Routes Climbed

Lowe Route [5.8], 3p

The Open Book [5.7], 4p

Center Thumb [5.9], 5p

The Answer [5.8], 3p

Pika Paradise [5.8], 2p

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