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!