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b00
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b00
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PostFri Jul 08, 2016 7:29 pm 
esmeralda peaks traverse 7-6-2016
via serendipity gully - class 3, grade .67

if you are playing pool and shoot the ball into a different pocket than you called, does it count?
does it really count as new route, if you do a route that gets there by accident, or is it just a bad comedy?

quick and dirty route description:  hike ingalls trail, at junction continue .2mi up esmeralda basin trail and cross the nf teanaway on log. ascend se, eventually heading up old stream gully to ~5100', continue up (generally east) on class 2/3 terrain on the right side of the face, in small gullies and on goat paths up to 5800', head up(se) the long obvious gully to its head where it empties into another gully(~6100'), head to top of gully.  at top of gully, summit is in view, take ridge (or drop down to the right and ~50' below ridge) and follow it to where it connects to summit block.  class 3.

great plan - do dayhike mike's(dhm) route up the east face of esmeralda and then do an esmeralda peaks traverse of its five summits.

roger and elle wanted to do the easy route up to east esmeralda, so we split the party.  but before we did, roger(thank you roger!!!) gave us a ride in my car as far as he could drive up the road toward ingalls creek trailhead.  the plan was for him to park my car at deroux campground(where we would all come out) and return my key to me at the top east esmeralda.  it never donned on us that the rest of us would have any problem getting to the summit :<(

we hike up the road to the trailhead, walked the ingalls trail and continued .2 past the esmeralda basin/ingalls trail junction and then found dhm's log to cross the north fork of the teanaway river - easy crossing.

at my suggestion, we had all brought river crossing shoes in case of problems.  i am sure everyone really enjoyed carrying them the whole day for nothing :>)

we started ascending in light brush and soon found a nice dry stream gully to ascend in.  while walking the road earlier, we had looked over the route carefully and looked over dhm's annotated route pic.  we thought we were doing all right.  at the top of the stream gully, although moving up and right looked better, my gps track suggested left.

as a group, we decided to go up and right.  i think this is where we deviated from the dhm's route.  left would have took us to the east face.  right looked more obvious.  we kept working up and right found ourselves on nice ramps, small gullies and goat paths.
ascending toward serendipity gully(around the corner)
ascending toward serendipity gully(around the corner)
https://scontent.fsnc1-1.fna.fbcdn.net/t31.0-8/13613305_1349970448351146_220455385338651904_o.jpg
https://scontent.fsnc1-1.fna.fbcdn.net/t31.0-8/13613305_1349970448351146_220455385338651904_o.jpg

we soon realized we had gone to far north, but decided to see where it led.  it did what we had feared, dead-ended on north side of the peak.
after going by serendipity gully, we descend back to it after being dead-ended.
after going by serendipity gully, we descend back to it after being dead-ended.

on the way to dead-ending, i had pointed out two gullies.  one, no one wanted to do.  the other, no wanted to do either, but it sure looked promising to me.  i could see a large part of it and it looked very doable.  as a backhanded vote of confidence, the others suggested they wait while i checked it out.

i scrambled ~400 vertical feet up the class 2/3 gully and when i reached the top, i still could not see the exact way to the summit, but i felt good enough about it to call the others up.  good thing it worked, or they would have been pissed :>)

at the top of the gully, it emptied into a much bigger gully that might have been the top of dhm's upper gully.  i scrambled up to the top of that gully and directed the others to follow.  from the top of the gully, i could see roger and elle on the summit.
waving from the summit of east esmeralda
waving from the summit of east esmeralda

i soon was able to figure out how to get to the summit and we all met roger and elle there.
nearing the summit of east esmeralda
nearing the summit of east esmeralda
heading toward east esmeralda
heading toward east esmeralda

we breathed a big sigh of relief.  if that gully would not have worked, or if from the top of the gully we could not have reached the summit, we would have had to turn around.  roger would have wondered where we were.  we would have had to try to figure out how to find roger to get the key.  it could have been a mess.  better lucky than good!  serendipity!

i think this would be a fun route and would recommend it for those into something different.  all three of the others on this route thought i was crazy - they disagreed and felt the loose rock warranted a dnr(do not repeat) warning.
the germans have an explanation for my recommendation: (dbddhkpsav) dumm bleibt dumm da helfen keine pillen, selbst aspirin versagt :>)

8.23mi 4028' gain
3:41 car to first east esmeralda summit
0:10 summit stay
0:34 first east esmeralda summit to second east esmeralda summit
1:01 second east esmeralda summit to middle esmeralda
0:17 summit stay
2:29 middle esmeralda to highest west esmeralda summit
0:11 highest west esmeralda summit to
2:20 other west esmeralda summit to car
10:42 car to car
heading toward west esmeralda
heading toward west esmeralda

equipment: helmet
equipment brought, but not used: creek crossing shoes

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awilsondc
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awilsondc
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PostFri Jul 08, 2016 7:46 pm 
How fun!  Love the summit photo pic, you guys crack me up!  This route looks interesting.  I might just have to put it on the to do list!

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Matt
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Matt
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PostFri Jul 08, 2016 8:18 pm 
b00 wrote:

Have to agree on the opening summit photo.

--------------
“As beacons mountains burned at evening.” J.R.R. Tolkien
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