I accepted the new Six-Pack of Peaks Challenge for Utah yesterday with a Grandeur Peak Double! There are several routes up Grandeur that I would categorize as Standard, Strenuous and Adventurous. The Standard route is up from the Church Fork trailhead out of Mill Creek Canyon. This eastern approach climbs 2,500′ in about 3 miles. The Strenuous route comes in from the other side, up West Ridge. That approach climbs 3,200′ in about 2 miles. The Adventurous route is a traverse along the next ridge south of West Ridge called the Dragon’s Tail. I would imagine this elevation gain and distance is like West, but I bet the experience is a whole lot more intense.
Since I’ve already done the Standard route three times before and the strenuous West Ridge only once, I thought I’d up the ante for this challenge and combine the two for what I’m calling a Grandeur Peak Double. Dragon’s Tail is still on my ToDo list, but didn’t want to traverse that spine alone.
I started out for my first summit from the Church Fork trailhead.
It was a beautiful day with nice views of downtown Salt Lake City.
I made good time up the east side for summit #1.
I then went down the West Ridge…
…and back up for summit #2. My time climbing this west side wasn’t so great, but it was what I needed to push myself harder.
A late start put me into the evening hours but I didn’t mind. Some like to start early to catch a sunrise. Others like to start late to see the sun set (or because of that thing called Work).
Turned out to be a 10.5 mile day with 5,700 feet of elevation to kick-off this year’s training for bigger and better things later. Speaking of bigger/better, I later found out another group started earlier that day with a similar idea in mind. They tied all three routes together and called theirs a Grandeur Yo-yo-yo (up west, down east, up east, down dragon, up dragon, down west). That’s nearly 10,000′ of elevation in 14ish miles… talk about intense! I didn’t ask how long it took them, but I know they move fast.
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