Utah and Wyoming 2003 Itinerary

Dear mom and dad,

        Final trip of the season chasing new county highpoints.

My original plan was to climb Gannett Peak, the Wyoming (WY) state highpoint (HP) with several people in September. We could not secure a lead climber for summit day - Jim Earl (of Montana) suddenly had work obligations, and Chuck Bickes (of Massachusetts), having returned from Mount Everest, had used up his vacation allowance at work.

So when Jobe Wymore went around looking for a partner to go climbing in WY, I jumped on his offer. Afterwards, Mike Coltrin decided to join us in his own truck.

I have decided to refrain from completing Utah (UT) this season because I can do THAT on the drive back from Gannett Peak next year. Furthermore, should we fail on Gannett Peak, likely next July, then I have the UT state completion as a "consolation prize".

Nevertheless, I will be getting SOME UT counties on the current trip, namely, the ones which will finally augment my home glob radius beyond the current 408 miles to something like 488 miles. These counties had been previously planned for the (now cancelled) Gannett Peak trip - that is, they are not sudden "additions" to the journey.

A county map of Wyoming is attached to this e-mail for your reference. PLEASE PRINT IT and use as a guide to understanding the zigs and zags of my journey. I believe that you already have a Utah county map from my July trip with Scott Casterlin.

Here is some vital travel and contact information - provided in one location, for your convenience now and on future climbing trips.

Note: This contact information is not included here because it contains personal telephone numbers and e-mail addresses.


I meet Jobe Wymore mid-day on Thursday September 4 in Salt Lake City (SLC), having driven up on Interstate 15 over 1 1/2 days from San Diego. After parking my Tacoma in his space, we drive in his truck to WY. There follows four days of climbing - including three real mountains and two trivial county highpoints that entail minimal physical effort (less than one hour hiking apiece). Again, Mike Coltrin will join us in his own Tacoma, having come up from Tucson.

We aim on getting six WY counties. However rainy weather will diminish our chances in the mountains - and we might then opt for eastern WY plains counties instead of just doing nothing at all.

Jobe and I return to SLC Monday night, September 8, and I sleep in his unfurnished apartment.

Tuesday will likely be spent in central SLC exploring - there is a Godiva chocolate shop where I passed up a decadent ice cream bar last July. I wait one day so that the following morning two Utah highpointers can join me for a morning ascent of the Salt Lake County highpoint - Dale Millsap and Ben Knorr, both relative newcomers to the hobby. They have both visited this HP but, as it is in their neighborhood, and would not mind repeating it for the opportunity of meeting the webmaster. Ben cannot make it on Tuesday.

I drive to the southeastern section of Utah and, over three consecutive days (Thursday through Saturday), visit the HPs of Garfield, Grand and San Juan Counties. None of these are full day efforts, nor are any of them difficult by any means (unlike, e.g. Mount Thielsen or South Sister or Borah Peak).

I have the opportunity to do these three counties with Dale Millsap. However I would have to wait until the weekend. I do not feel it is worth the wait to go with somebody.

On the return drive home I want to visit Four Corners National Monument. However to do so might lengthen the journey from 1 1/2 days to 2 days: after the final county it will be mid-day, and I can get home over THAT afternoon plus one full driving day. If I stop at Four Corners then I might have to sleep two nights on the road instead of just one.

I have the opportunity for ten counties on this journey - six in WY with Jobe and Mike C; one in central UT with Dale M and Ben K., and three by myself in southeastern UT. Since I currently have 194 counties, I would become a "double centurion" - just as Edward Earl did on his recent swing through the Pacific Northwest.


Wednesday Sept 3

Drive all day up I-15 to Utah. I'll keep my cell phone "on" - it should function along the entire route. I will camp somewhere in southwestern Utah or slightly closer to SLC.

Thursday Sept 4

Complete the drive to SLC in the morning. Meet Jobe Wymore and transfer my gear and food to his Toyota T-100 (a make no longer manufactured - it is mid-way in size between the current Tacoma model and the larger Tundra model). We drive to Wyoming and camp near the base of our first goal.

Hopefully Mike Coltrin will show up this evening.

What follows through Monday the 8th is Jobe's suggested itinerary in his own words.

-----------begin e-mail message from Jobe W-------------

Alright Adam --

Here IS the plan. I know, I know, I have said that before but we have had a major change since we talked on the phone last night. I got home and checked my e-mail and guess who wants to come along? - Mike Coltrin-!! I had mentioned to him before that you and I were hashing things out but he has decided he wants to follow us around. Cool huh?

After talking to Edward last night, that crazy fish-cooker, he had me more than convinced that we could do Cloud in a day. He said with multiple rests we could even score the thing in about 15 hours or so BUT still after thinking it over, I think I should just chill out and do it over 2 just like I had initially planned. Besides, we might have a 4th as well, Scott Casterlin. I guess he's in the Winds right now, really doesn't know much about this gig, but, maybe once he does he will be interested in diving back in?

So the plan:

All of us bail on up to Wyoming, Mike and I driving on Thursday - early as we can.

Friday - Francs Peak and then try to get as close to the Natrona cohp as we can.

Saturday - Natrona cohp / Washakie cohp & backpack the 6, or so, miles into Mistymoon Lake. From looking at the map distances I don't thing this is going to be any issue at all when it comes to time.

Sunday - Cloud and out & then a moderate drive to Warbonnet. There is a campground real close by.

Monday - Warbonnet and then home. The sweet thing is that I might (emphasis on the might) be able to get a extra v-day for Tuesday where we could still try to pull off a stealth or 2 and then home but if not, home Monday after Warbonnet.

This plan should work better for all involved.

I'll call you both this morning so we can get this smoothed. One thing I might add. From looking at the maps I have, I had initially planned on approaching Natrona from the south. Now that it looks like we're going to be coming in from the north, could anyone of you score us maps from that angle? I have everything else we need.

Jobe Wymore

------------end e-mail message from Jobe W--------------

I will now translate this message from Jobe into an itinerary that you can follow.

Friday Sept 5

Francs Peak (13,153 feet) - the Park County Highpoint ("cohp")

This is a big day with a 5,000 foot elevation gain. Rain will cancel this one.

Saturday Sept 6

BM Mine in Bighorn Mtns (9,121 ft) - the Natrona cohp

Three unnamed points (9,600+ ft) - the Washakie cohp

Both the above are trivial. We then commence a two-day climb of Cloud Peak. In the afternoon we should have time to backpack into Mistymoon Lake - about seven miles from the trucks. Originally Jobe wanted to climb Cloud Peak in one mammoth day. Edward and I convinced him to spread the effort out over a second day.

Sunday Sept 7

Cloud Peak (13,167 feet) - the Big Horn cohp and Johnson cohp (a "two-fer")

Even starting from Mistymoon Lake, seven miles in, this will be a LONG, arduous day. There are miles of class 2 climbing over boulders.

Poor weather will ruin our chances on this one.

Monday Sept 8

Warbonnet Peak (9,414 feet) - the Converse cohp

Maybe five to seven hours for this one. No biggie.

At the end of his e-mail message Jobe mentions the possibility of an extra day for stealthing some counties that are on private property. I have since convinced him that I am not interested since they are not true mountains. Therefore I would only want to do them if I were set on a WY state completion - something that I have never really thought about. Only a would-be state completer is interested in doing EVERY county a state has to offer - including the thankless task of trespassing on private property to visit a point which is not even a real mountaintop.

We return to SLC by evening. I stay at Jobe's place (he lives with his family).

Tuesday Sept 9

Rest day in SLC as described above. I spend yet another night in Jobe's apartment.

Wednesday Sept 10

American Forks Twin Peaks (11,489 feet) - the Salt Lake cohp

Dale Millsap, Ben Knorr and myself will probably start from the Snowbird Ski parking area on the north side of the mountain. One can take an aerial tramway most of the way - however they don't start operating until 11 a.m. in summer - far too late for our purposes. The effort should take up the entire morning.

I depart the Salt Lake City area and head southeast on route 6 to near Green River and Interstate 70. Then I head for the next day's venue by going south on route 24, past Hanksville, to the Lonesome Beaver Campground for the night.

Thursday Sept 11

Mount Ellen (11,502 feet) - the Garfield cohp

This is in the range with a wildfire in July. The fires have long since gone. Garfield County limits my home glob radius to 408 miles. The approach road requires high clearance and four wheel drive in order to shorten the climb to a three hour effort. If the road is too rough, I will just make this a 3,000 elevation gain over most of the day. I'd rather spend the effort on foot than risk vehicle problems.

I drive back north on route 24, then east on Interstate 70 to Crescent Junction. From there, I go south on route 191 to Moab - in the general area of both remaining climbs. I can call you from Moab after Mount Ellen (or from Hanksville is that is convenient).

Friday Sept 12

Mount Waas (12,331 feet) - the Grand cohp

I can make this a 2,500 foot affair by following the instructions of one trip report, and without having any worries about road conditions. Andy Martin shaved this off to a shorter climb, by driving much farther up the spur road.

However Andy is widely known to push his vehicle beyond what most would consider reasonable. Grand County does not hold back my home glob radius. However it's highpoint, Mount Waas, is very conveniently done with San Juan County's highpoint (see below) on back-to-back days owing to their proximity to one another.

I pass through Moab this afternoon on my way to the final mountain of this trip - yet another MCI phone card opportunity.

Saturday Sept 13

Mount Peale (12,721 feet) - the San Juan cohp

Note the palindrome elevation. About a 2,500-3,000 foot elevation gain - should consume six hours.

I can choose to do these final three counties in any order that I please. The order listed is designed to

1) Get the bad driving of Garfield County overwith as soon as possible.

2) Save the best for last: Climbing Mount Peale raises my home glob radius to 488 miles - surpassing all but Bob Packard in that records category. Mount Peale also has over 5,000 feet of prominence.

It is noted that after this trip, Juab County, Utah will be the county that limits my radius to 488 miles. I have the opportunity to climb Juab County's Ibapah Peak on this trip as well... however it is very remotely located near the Nevada border ... and is more conveniently done next year during a Utah state completion. On such a future trip I would have just four counties remaining of twenty-nine in the state. My radius will then be 542 miles - limited by the southwesternmost county of Colorado.

To surpass Bob's lead in this category (at 578 miles) requires just four counties in southwestern Colorado. That, again, is for another season.

If Mount Peale is indeed my final county of the current trip, then I will drive south on route 191 to northeastern Arizona; west on Interstate 40 through to Flagstaff; south on route 17 to Phoenix; west on Interstate 10 thirty miles to route 85; south on routh 85 forty miles to Interstate 8; and finally west on Interstate 8 for 290 miles to home.

I will use my cell phone whenever it is in-range.

        Love, Adam