Fadgen's Adventures

Fadgen's Adventures
Green Creek Lake

Monday, October 28, 2013

Moolack Mountain (Peak 10,330)

Since this was forecasted to be the last warm fall weekend, I wanted to get out and climb something in the Sawtooths before it was time to start skiing.  I texted John to see if there was something in the Sawtooth Mountains on his list, and he promptly responded with 8-10 suggestions.  On top of his list was Peak 10,330, and we set up an early Sunday morning rendezvous in Banks.

After dodging a half dozen rigs full of elk and deer hunters, we were on the trail out of Grandjean, at 8AM, in absolutely gorgeous weather.  Though the forecast was for a big change that afternoon, we were marching down the trail in cool temps, bright sunshine and no wind.

As we moved from the South Fork Trail to the Baron Creek Trail, four summited, Grandjean Peak towered above us. 

At the five mile mark, we headed off trail at Moolack Creek trying to stay out of the brush filled drainage as much as possible.  No such luck.
Moolack Creek
This first section of Moolack Creek was a grunt.  Bushwhacking and steep terrain made for a difficult first 1500 feet, but after a short while, we popped out into an open basin and stopped for a bite to eat.  Here we had views of our peak as well as Baron Peak.  Baron was to be a secondary climb, assuming we had time and the legs for it.
Baron Peak in the center
The summit of Peak 10,330 is the left tower of the two just to the left of center
Tom Lopez's book suggests climbing Peak 10,330 from the Baron/10,330 saddle, but after looking at the mountain, John suggested we just head straight up one of the gullies.  Not being one to disagree, I said we should go for it.  After picking our way through the stunted trees, we reached the chosen gully and started making the steep trudge up.  It was slow going in the loose sand and rocks as we zigzagged back and forth to the base of the rocky summit outcropping.
The rocky summit of Moolack Mountain
By this point the wind had picked up, so we dropped our packs and started climbing the steep, rocky, fun section.
Unfortunately, the fun scrambling only lasted 50 feet or so, but nonetheless it was great!  The views from the summit weren't too bad either.
Warbonnet Peak

Baron Peak
A couple of happy guys
Surprisingly, we found Sawtooth Sean's original summit register, and no one else had signed it.  We didn't want to soil it with our signatures, so placed it back.

After snapping some pictures, we took our time coming down the summit on the extremely loose rock.  Once off the rocky section we discussed heading over to Baron, but with it being 1:30 and with clouds starting to form, I didn't think it was wise.  (Actually, my legs were killing me!)  With that decision made, we dropped down a thousand feet and stopped for some lunch and to admire the views again.

From this point we tried our best to stay out of the brush as much as possible as we grunted and groaned our way down the 4000 feet to the main trail.  Once back on the main trail we did our best to move as fast as possible back to the car, but the dogs were barking.  Thankfully, we made it back to the car at 6PM.

Distance: a little over 15 miles
Time: 10 hours
Elevation: 5200 feet

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