Triplet Rocks Attempt = FAIL
15 miles, 7200 ft
Those darn rocks!
Ok I’m feeling pretty lazy, so this might be short. I planned on taking it easy this weekend, but the unusually cool weather offered to great of an opportunity to do something big, and so on a whim at the end of last week Mike, Lee, and I decided to take on Triplet Rocks.
I didn’t do much planning other than read the previous TR’s and mark a few waypoints. A little Google Earth analysis would have been nice!
Anywho, we started from Buckhorn at 5:30 am. Made good time up to the East Twin, arriving at 7:30. Then we headed down the famed SE ridge. We basically stayed on the NE side of the ridge for most of this part, which provide to work pretty well. The terrain is of course pretty rocky and loose; there were many occasions of walking across steep loose slopes, but I actually don’t mind this stuff and tend to do well on it.
On this part (until 6800) there’s some interesting little moves, just as a short 5′ downclimb with a drop to the left and a yucca to the right, leaving little room for error. Then there’s the 20′ rock mention in Erik Siering’s report, which can cause some trouble but is doable from a few angles.
We were making great time, arriving just before the 6800 bump around 8:30. Up to this point, we had clear views of our destination. Suddenly the clouds rose and lowered the visibility to perhaps 100 – 200 ft. Right at the bump, I went down the NE side just a bit, perhaps 100 ft, before realizing that I was off on a spur and not the proper route. This would have simply required a climb back up or across, but we stopped and talked about our “options”.
I quote that word, because, in hindsight it’s quite amusing that we started discussing different route possibilities on an already off-trail adventure on perhaps the hardest to get to point in these mountains! With only 2 TR we knew of talking about one way, and for some reason we started thinking, ‘hell let’s just take this gully down and see what happens’ !!!
And we did. I know don’t why, perhaps some combination of over-confidence, laziness, lack of vision of the target…but we knew where we were. I think it was just, we really DO have a sense of adventure!
So we started heading down this rocky gully, sort of like Falling Rock canyon, although it seemed worse. We would go down and perhaps try to cross over a bit, but there were a lot of cliffed out sections. Our basic idea was that we would go down far enough to avoid the cliffed out sections, traverse SE, and climb up to the saddle just before the final climb to Triplet Rocks.
Well, down about 1400 ft, and it was still cliffed out. At this point, we just were resigned to turn around. I think we were all a bit off that day. It was weird because 1.5 hrs before, we were making great time, and now, it was over! So we turned around and went back up the gully, which was a very strenuous climb. A mix of big rocks, medium size rocks, and scree. Back up to where we diverged from the original plan, and we headed back to the East Twin.
Having ascended over 6000′, we got back to the Twin at ~ 1:30. We crossed over to the West Twin, then headed back to Buckhorn.
So, we still have some to do for next time Up to point 6800′, I enjoyed the ridge, and have no problems heading back there for more. Certainly, the worst is to come in the famed brush-filled gully past 6300′, but I think after Bighorn Ridge we are prepared for it.
Mike was repeatedly stating he thought we could get to Triplet from Buckhorn in 5 hours, which I thought was quite off. However, for the part we did, we were faster than I thought. I think a good 12 hrs will get this done.
On another cool, long day.
This entry was posted on Monday, June 8th, 2009 at 7:14 pm and is filed under Trip Report. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.