Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Devil's Thumb & Lee Peak via Ski Slopes - 7/12/16

Lee & Charleston Peaks from Bristlecone Trail

Lee Canyon Overlook at Top of Chute
  Although it seems this fine-tuned Around the Bend Friends Tuesday bunch goes a little extreme sometimes, you have to give it to them! They are some really extraordinary hikers! Today's hike took in two high elevation destinations with one of the most difficult approaches; the Ski Lee ski slopes. Kudos! We are proud of you all! Mike OC tells it how it was:

There were three distinct whines throughout the course of the day:

“Damn, this is steep!”
“This is the hardest hike I’ve ever done with the club.”
“This hike should have been rated very strenuous.”

Lee Peak Summit with Charleston Peak in Background

Back at the Top of the Ski Slopes
It was a backdoor approach to Devil’s Thumb & Lee Peak. From Lee Canyon, it was up the ski slope and into the Class 3 chute till it intersects the North Loop Trail. Follow the trail to the Thumb. Grab Lee Peak on the way home. Do an exploratory descent alongside the infamous funnel.

 Tough terrain all day, but the precipitous chute took all the honors. The absolute crux of the hike. The sharp ascent was slow, taxing and laborious. But the new descent route got premier billing. It was a monster. And things got a bit dicey as rocks began to cascade down the slope. The entire group wisely spread out all over the mountain to avoid the occasional landslide. Big relief to get back to the top of the chairlift. Unscathed. 

It was another keeper.

Vitals: 11 trekkers, 7 miles, 3300’, 5 3/4 hrs.

Down after a Hard Day on the Trails

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