9/18/12 cont. - I was a little stressed on the drive to Dry Ck. The rock crawling out of W Fk Pahsimeroi
and navigating unsigned roads didn't bother me. What was bothering me was the steeply sloped talus we had to drive over last time we went into Dry Ck. That time we only had backpacks, this time we were carrying a heavy load and I was having doubts about driving through it, which would lengthen our pack by a couple of miles ...and my feet were getting a little sore. The "check engine" light came on before we turned off of Pass Ck Rd. ...Now that bothered me, but we kept going. When we dropped off into Dry Ck, we rounded the corner and ...they had brought in a bulldozer and leveled off the road nicely. Score! We parked the truck and strapped on the backpacks.
The smoky view of Ferguson on the way in:
The pack in went pretty quick. We had camped in the same place last year when climbing Peak 11100'. We pitched our tents, had dinner, hung up the bear bag and went to bed. My air mattress has a slow leak in it and it's good for about 90 minutes if you lay flat on your back, 45 minutes if you lay on your side ...I'm a side sleeper. The mice had chewed through everything we left out in the W Fk of the Pahsimeroi, including the bite valves on both of our water bladders. I was just about to drift off to sleep when I started hearing dripping sounds. I got up and checked the water bladder which was just outside of my tent. Then I started hearing sounds like a rodent nibbling ...so I got up and drug everything I had into the tent. Time to refill the air mattress. Laid back down and wondered if the truck was going to start when we left. Then John started snoring ...then a cow elk close by started answering John's snore with a bark. Snore, bark, snore, bark... Then other elk came crashing through the brush within 30 yards of our camp. Bark... bark... bark... Hey, John quit snoring! Blew up the air mattress one more time right after that and soon fell asleep.
9/19/12 - had coffee and some kind of breakfast bar ...not SPAM & eggs.
This backpacking stuff sucks! We threw on the backpacks and headed up the drainage between Ferguson and Far Away Mountain
. When I say we went up the drainage, I mean, we went up the drainage. Right up the gut. Somewhere along the way, one of us commented that there was probably a nice trail up on the ledge to climbers right, but we weren't crawling all the way up there to take a look. ...There is a nice trail to climbers right. We found it on the way out.
We ogled Ferguson Pk on our way up and down FarAway.
When they named FarAway Mtn, they got the name right ...even after packing in 5 miles the day before. You won't be finding this one on my favorite 11ers list.
9/20/12 - we made better time up the drainage to Ferguson Peak
, now that we knew where the trail was. We were expecting a scree slog, but the footing was pretty firm in the gut of the south face gully. Once we got up to the ridge, we were treated to some scrambling ...and route finding.
After summiting we were able to scree ski out by staying up on the sides of the gully. We hit the trail and headed back to camp to pack up, taking in the scenery on the way down. The twisted sister peaks of Dry Ck:
When we made it back to the truck and it fired right up, so we headed for the Lemhis as the sun was setting...