Fadgen's Adventures

Fadgen's Adventures
Green Creek Lake

Monday, March 24, 2014

Peak 8562

Peak 8562
I hadn't been out with Dan since our Jerry Peak outing the end of December.  He emailed me with a few ideas and I was up for getting out but was hoping to limit windshield time and get home at a decent hour.  With this in mind we settled on an obscure peak in the Smoky Mountains north of Fairfield – Peak 8562.

Dan, Shadow and I hit the hill outside of Cherry Creek at 8:30AM sans snowshoes.  It was a bit chilly at first, so the heat we generated as we climbed the steep sagebrush hill was welcome.  As we progressed upward toward the sunshine we entered the moonscape that was the terrain after the Beaver Creek fire. 

Dan heading up the ridge
We made quick time in gaining the first 1100 feet to reach point 6788 and could finally see our objective, Peak 8562, a few miles away.  From here we followed the wide undulating “ridge” to the base of the peak alternating between solid snow and burned ground.  With the charred surface, the going was relatively easy since we didn't have to watch our feet as we walked and chatted in the bright sunshine.  All this time, Buttercup Mountain was looming on our left.  I was drooling, wanting to climb it, but without an ice ax today wasn't going to be the day.  Maybe I’ll head that way in a couple of weeks.

Buttercup Mountain
After four miles we reached the base of the peak and all that remained was the short 600 foot gain to the summit.   As we grunted up this section a cold breeze from the north started picking up.  The GPS read 11:45 and 5.25 miles.

The views from the summit were excellent.  The Pioneers really stood out to the east as did the burned our drainages that surrounded us.  The previous weeks hike up Newman Peak had us on the northern edge of the Beaver Creek fire; here we were on the southern edge close to 20 miles away.
Currant Gulch
The view back to the truck 
No sign of human occupation
We huddled behind the summit cairn out of the wind for a quick lunch before dropping of the north side to make a small loop out of the trip.  The descent path we chose provided some excellent views showing the destruction a large fire does to both the trees and land.

Dan making his way slowly down to Cherry Creek.  I glissaded the snow to the right.
Burned and blown out Cherry Creek
We arrived back at the truck a little after 2:30 in good shape and headed to Fairfield where the burgers at the Wrangler were excellent!  

Total distance was a little shy of 10 miles with over 3100 feet elevation gain.  

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A team of adventurers consisting of John, Tamara, Taylor, Dylan, and Shadow Fadgen