Granduer Peak (Mill Creek Canyon)

Posted: 7th May 2011 by Jonathan Wood in Walking
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Today was definitely feeling more Summer-like as I headed up Mill Creek Canyon and hiked from Church Fork to Granduer Peak.

This is a somewhat more aggressive hike and, while the temperatures remained warm, the amount of snow increased as I climbed closer to the peak. While the¬†warmer weather definitely brought out the hikers today, the amount of snow prompted most of them to stop at the “saddle”.

The forecast had called for today to be overcast as yet another round of storms move in this week. But it was mostly sunny and, with temperatures in the mid 70s, sections were uncomfortably warm, especially for my dog.

Most of the hike is spent working up to the saddle of the ridge that runs along the North side of the canyon. Most of this trail was dry with no snow. Once I was within range of the ridge, the amount of snow increased considerably.

I had brought my MICROspikes along and I put them on at this point. They helped with traction but not where the snow is soft. And there were a number of places where the warm weather and melting snow prevented me from getting good traction.

I then took the ridge West towards Granduer Peak. I wasn’t overly concerned about avalanches as the snow was well settled. That said, snow can become unstable while melting and there were some extremely steep slopes on either side of the trail.¬†This got a little precarious in places.

Normally, the trail takes a slightly more gentle route around the peak before finally reaching it. However, the regular trail was under several feet of snow and the tracks I followed simply went straight up to the peak. (See photos.) The last stretch in particular was very steep and gave me a great workout.

Altitude Gained: 3,159 Feet
Distance Traveled: 5.58 Miles
Time on Mountain: 3 Hours and 18 Minutes

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