Monday, July 22, 2019

Father Time takes his toll: Lockhart Traverse

On the Lockhart Traverse ridge line

Mark surveys what he plans to climb

On the way up

Mark opts against climbing Lockhart for a rest instead

It had been10 years since I last did the Lockhart Traverse ---- the knife-ridge walk between Lockhart and Teton peaks above the North and South Forks of Waldron Creek in the Rocky Mountain Front.
I can't say I did it Monday, but I did gitve it a try.
I'm finding the difference between being 61 and 71-years-old is pronounced on the aging downside.
We had a stunning summer day with light winds, temperatures in the 60s and a cloudless sky for this hike along an 8,000 feet ridge.
I just wasn't up to the task.
We thrashed our way up the North Fork of Waldron Creek to the bowl below the ridge.  This "trail" is nearly impossible to find and follow beyond a mile.  We had as much trouble locating it coming down as going up.  Nature has almost thoroughly reclaimed this area whose old growth timber was cleared away by a logging sale.  Massive trees and dense vegetation block the hiker and make path finding nearly impossible.  By the end of the day my sore knees had trouble clearing the enormous windfalls.
When it came time to summit Mount Lockhart I quite about 100 feet from the top, feeling that I had been there and done that, and not wanting to subject myself to the Class 4 scramble.
We spent plenty of time in that area, probably dooming any plan to walk the entire traverse to Teton Peak.
After doing the ridge line above the North Fork bowl, we decided to call it quits and bailed off one of the unnamed peaks.  Our bushwhack to the bottom was quite precariously steep, made possible by the trees we used to arrest hurtling to the bottom.
I'm pretty sure this was my last time to this spectacular ridge line.
The red is our route Monday; the fushia is the full traverse; the yellow is the high ridge line

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