Brewster County Highpoint Trip Report
Emory Peak (7,825 ft)
Date: December 21, 2005
Author: Scott Surgent
This was a revisit for me, having climbed it on January 1st, 2000, and Beth's
first attempt. We followed the Pinnacles Trail and the Emory Peak spur to the top,
so I'll go light on the details.
We started our hike close to 10 a.m. local time. We took it slowly; the hike to
the Pinnacles ridge took us 2 hours and we segmented the whole hike with back-up
plans in case we needed to stop for a prolonged period or even need to turn back.
At the Emory Peak spur trail, we took a 30-minute break to rest. The steepness
and 'steppiness' of this portion tested Beth, and it took us 1.75 hours to get
up to the base of the summit rock. She had made it, for all intents and purposes!
I could tell she was really pushing hard, almost in a meditative
trance for the final bit to the top.
At the rock, I up-climbed a 10-foot section to a safe ledge and turned to assist
her up. After about 5 minutes of watching and trying to assist from where I stood,
I told her that it's probably not a good idea, and she agreed. One slip
could have been injurious here and the margin for error was too slim for her.
She then asked me to come down too. I had not yet scrambled the remaining few
feet to the true summit, although where I stood, my head was virtually level
with the little communication antennae apparatus on top. Since I'd already
climbed the peak in 2000, I skipped the last ten feet or so, and down-climbed
back to the base of the rocks. We stayed there for about 45 minutes as others
showed up; a total of 8 more arrived but not one could manage the rocks to the
top (or seemed to be bothered).
Our hike down went slowly, too, and we actually egressed with about 5% light
remaining. By cohp standards she did not get the HP but in our book, she did
everything asked of her and then some!