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Forum Index -> Trip Reports -> Bill Peak (Point 6917'), Gene Peak (Point 6779') - 7/12/02
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Cube Rat

Joined: 18 Dec 2001
Posts: 2832 | TRs | Pics
Location: Near the Siamangs
Post Mon Jul 15, 2002 11:46 pm    Bill Peak (Point 6917'), Gene Peak (Point 6779') - 7/12/02
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This one starts at the end of Beverly Creek Road, trailhead for trail 1391, elevation 3650'.

A late start usually works out fine for me, a crack of noon start for an epic day-trip is not uncommon. Usually meaning I’ll probably have to jog sections of the route or make good use of a headlamp. Due to early morning commitments in Salmon La Sac, I was not able to leave the trailhead until 1030 at which time the temperature was already around 90, today the late start would do me in. As I set off up the trail, I seemed to be moving in slow motion despite feeling like I was pushing out my normal pace. By the time I reached the intersection with the Bean Creek trail I was ready to dip my hat in Bean Creek for a much needed cool-off. It was about this time where I began second guessing my plan to bag Bill, Mary, Bean, Earl, Navaho, and Freedom Peaks. What the heck was I going to do for water high up on the ridges I had planned on using for my route?

The Beverly Creek trail was shaded for about 50% of the route up to the intersection with the Fourth Creek trail which provided some relief, but not enough. By the time I reached the intersection I was already down 60 ounces of water and needed to fill up. It seemed the crux of this trip was going to be finding water sources along my route and rationing in between stops - not trouble with difficult climbing routes. Near the intersection, I filled my Camleback with 70 ounces then filled my spare water bottle with 32 more. I lugged all this up the Fourth Creek trail to the pass at 5600 ft where I hid my water bottle and filter under a tree for safe keeping. Bill Peak was my next objective NW  and 1300 ft above my current position. I headed through open trees then up 400 ft of scree and talus to Bill’s SE ridgeling obvious from the pass. With the heat, making decent time up the scree was difficult at best. Once on top I was admittedly exhausted and hadn’t even reached my first peak yet! I walked the ridgeline and got 300 vertical feet out of it before I headed north to avoid cliff bands at about 6300 ft. Once around, and to the north, of the cliffs I headed back toward the top of the mountain walking up one steep section of slush just before the summit. The summit block is 20 ft of class 2 rock and the views from the top were amazing. A welcome breeze greeted me on the summit, but upon looking at my thermometer it read an unwelcome 88.  A quick read through the summit register and a couple squirts from my Camleback satisfied my summit stay and I was quickly heading back down to the pass. I chose a more direct route back down passing through and between some of the more precarious looking rock I had by-passed on the way up, it wasn’t anything too bad. I could literally feel the temperature increase every few hundred feet on the descent! Once back at 5600 ft I found a great tree that offered up some good shade; here I ate and lounged about for 20 minutes. During my summit trip I once again consumed nearly all of my water and by the time I was done eating all that was left was 32 ounces in my water bottle, the nearest water being a half mile away in the opposite direction I was heading. From the shade of my new best friend I had a great vantage point up to the ridgeline separating Mary and Bean peaks; my next objectives. Yet, with no water in sight and an unwillingness to risk doing the rest of the route on 32 ounces of water I opted to retreat back down to Beverly Creek.

Back at the creek I filled up with another 100+ ounces and once again left 32 and the filter under a tree. It isn’t often, if ever (except a couple times up Burnboot Creek), that I leave a trip unfinished, but this time the motivation just wasn’t there, at least I was staying hydrated, eh? However, one peak just wasn’t enough and I was determined to do another before I left this scorching inferno! From the summit of Bill, I had a darn good view of neighboring Gene Peak, commonly known as Point 6779'. My interest was triggered after realizing its inclusion in the "Back Court 100" -  I made it my next target.

I made my way up trail 1391 to the intersection with trail 1399, elevation roughly 5600 ft. From here three potential routes to the top of Gene Peak present themselves. From east to west: an open scree gully offering up an unimpeded 1000 ft of gain, a class 2/3 rock face, and a winding, snow filled gully 50% of which is hidden by the rock face. The scree could wait, I’d had enough uphill on that terrain already. I headed toward the snow gully and rock slope and eventually chose to ascend the rocks because they looked easy enough and getting to the snow gully was just that much further. The rock face got me half way to the summit and from there is was an easy 400 ft to the top. I gained the NE ridge 80 ft below the summit and walked right on up. No summit register was found. More good views, it was especially interesting to look back over at Bill Peak and trace much of my route down to the pass and over to Gene. I walked the NE ridge back down, focused on accessing the top of the scree slope I had seen from below. When I found it, parts of it were good others weren’t. Most sections didn’t have much depth and it was nearly impossible to plunge step down this as I found out on a couple occasions.

Eventually, I made it back to my trusty water bottle and filter waiting for me under the tree. Down the hatch with the water then another massive filtering operation ensued. The trip out was at a moderate pace back the way I had come in. It was decided on the walk out that Mary, Bean, Volcanic Neck, Navaho and Freedom Peaks would make for a good day trip come September or October and not before then. Trip stats: 7 hours round trip, 9.5 miles walked, 4700' gained, and 300 ounces of water consumed.
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