Forum Index > Trip Reports > Earl Peak via Bean Creek Trail 6/7/03
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Slide Alder Slayer
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PostSun Jun 08, 2003 12:13 pm 
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Packpup was tuckered out after a long week, so I decided to take a rare solo outing and hiked to Earl Peak. Only three other vehicles at the Beverly Creek/Bean Creek trailhead when I arrived at 10:00 AM, and it was already hot, hot, hot! I have certainly been in warmer conditions, but sitting in an air-conditioned office and working out in an air-conditioned gym does not prepare you for hiking in the heat.

Volunteer Trail Engineers have erected an acceptable patchwork that allows for the first crossing of Bean Creek. Having said that, I maintained dry feet by wearing light mountaineering boots, OR Rocky Mountain gaiters, and an excellent pair of hiking poles. Given current conditions, I would not recommend that a family out for a casual hike, especially with children, cross at this time.

Except for what appears to be some slide accumulation where Bean Creek flows into Beverly Creek, there is no snow on the trail until past the second crossing of Bean Creek at 2 miles. Faced with a hot scramble up Earl Peak, I decided to see if I could follow the Bean Creek trail #1391.1 through the cooler forest to the ridge at 6,100 feet before ascending the final 900 feet to the summit.

Minor trail engineering provided a log to safely cross Bean Creek and the first half of the trail up the forested ridge was easy to follow, as it was 50 percent covered with snow. From half way up to the top of the ridge snow coverage over the trail increases to 95 percent and snow depth appeared to be two to three feet below the ridge. Navigation was not difficult, and near the top where the slope gentles out, the way was obvious to the ridge. As I was hiking alone, I did use my ice axe for approximately a quarter mile to cross some steep sections where the trail was covered in snow. Once past this section the grade eased and my hiking poles were sufficient.

From the ridge to the summit I followed a faint but obvious snow free path to the top. I noticed that a party of two had recently come down from the top and their tracks appeared to indicate that that they were heading SE and taking a steep cross county short cut to Standup Creek.

The higher I climbed the cooler it got. At the summit it was the perfect combination of wind and temperature to take and extended 45-minute break to view my personal kingdom. Miller Peak, The Three Brothers, Navaho Mountain, Bean Peak, Iron Mountain, Koppen Mountain, Esmeralda, Ingalls, Stuart, Sherpa, Argonaut, Dragontail, Colchuck, Little Annapurna, and McClellan were all stunning! Navaho Pass is clear of snow with the basin below approximately sixty to seventy percent covered. Bean Creek Basin appeared to be 40 percent snow covered except for the upper North and East facing ridges that still had considerable snow cover. Bean Peak was virtually free of snow.
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Dean
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Joined: 02 Mar 2002
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Location: ex Kennewick, Wa & Lehi Utah
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PostSun Jun 08, 2003 12:42 pm 
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Great trip report as usual.

Since you had a great look at the Crystal Creek  and McClellan / Lil Annapurna areas,  how much snow is still up there?  BPJ and I are considering going up Crystal Creek into the Chants this coming week so your info will be helpful.
Thanks.

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Dean - working in Utah for awhile and feeling like it is a 'paid' vacation.
http://www.summitpost.org/user_page.php?user_id=1160
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JimK
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PostSun Jun 08, 2003 1:10 pm 
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Dean,

I took a photo from Navaho last weekend. Most of the basin is in this shot if I know what I am looking at:

Crystal Creek
Crystal Creek

SAS,

I'm not sure what is easier, the 32 degrees and ice I faced 3 weeks ago on Earl or the heat you faced.

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Dean
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Joined: 02 Mar 2002
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Location: ex Kennewick, Wa & Lehi Utah
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PostSun Jun 08, 2003 2:23 pm 
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Thanks Jim, that is a super pic.  I read a report by some people who went up Cashmere mtn recently and they said the snow level was up to 6000 feet.  This heat should make a dent but I expect we'll still see a lot of snow.

In checking back on the trips reports, I found your recent Navaho Peak pics.  Outstanding.  This pic really grabbed me:
http://www.kuresman.com/2003/Trip_Reports/Navaho_Peak/26.html

I can see some of the Crystal Creek valley just to the right side of the above pic.  I really need to get up on Navaho, your pics are an inspiration.

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Dean - working in Utah for awhile and feeling like it is a 'paid' vacation.
http://www.summitpost.org/user_page.php?user_id=1160
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Backpacker Joe
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PostSun Jun 08, 2003 3:53 pm 
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Hey Doc, looks as though we're gonna be shoe-ing it! winksmile.gif

Bring your sun screen!


The snow kid!

TB
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JimK
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PostSun Jun 08, 2003 4:02 pm 
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Dean,

I checked with my partner on Navaho and she had a better photo. Here it is:

Crystal Creek 2
Crystal Creek 2

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Dean
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PostSun Jun 08, 2003 5:50 pm 
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Thank you Jim (and your partner)  That is just exactly the picture I need.
Thanks for taking the time to post it  A super pic of the whole Crystal Creek drainage.  Ok quads, get ready for a real good workout.

I'll bring the biggie super sized sun screen tube BPJ, a good hat will also be a good idea.

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Dean - working in Utah for awhile and feeling like it is a 'paid' vacation.
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Packpup
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PostSun Jun 08, 2003 7:58 pm 
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From Earl Peak, my view to Crystal Creek was partially blocked. Jim's picutres are much better.
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Slide Alder Slayer
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PostSun Jun 08, 2003 8:20 pm 
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This is one trip report that I am looking forward to reading! Crystal Creek, Nightmare Gorge and Enchantment Pass.
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Dean
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PostMon Jun 09, 2003 5:07 am 
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SAS
Quote:
This is one trip report that I am looking forward to reading! Crystal Creek, Nightmare Gorge and Enchantment Pass.

Update
We've postponed our trip to July 10-13.  Still too much snow and a month from now we'll have some nice photo op's.

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Dean - working in Utah for awhile and feeling like it is a 'paid' vacation.
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Forum Index > Trip Reports > Earl Peak via Bean Creek Trail 6/7/03
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