Pegasus Peak

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Our first big peak of the season, Pegasus Peak offers up incredible scenery in a lonely setting.

Note: click images to see a larger version in a new window

Although Mariel and I had done most of this hike last year when we climbed neighboring Chysaur Peak, Michael had not been up the Left Fork of Fall Creek and wanted to climb Pegasus. It sounded like a good excuse to visit my daughter, so Michael and I drove over to Hailey and crashed at one of the best reasons to have kids.

After grabbing breakfast burritos at Hailey Coffee Company (for later) we were on our feet at 7:30. 34° according to the car. According to NOAA, 20% chance of precip and/or afternoon thunder, but so far not looking too bad.

Trail start

We had the usual scintillating conversation as we cruised up the easy trail. We managed to do the upper creek crossing without wading.... (not sure if that is good or bad?). And as far as I could tell, we were the first boots on the trail for quite some time; the 'elkes' own this trail!

This is still on the Highline Trail, above the last creek crossing, but looking into the Left Fork.

 

 

 

Highline trail

Here we have left the Highline Trail and are successfully following the climber's trail (do you see it?) into the Left Fork.

Left Fork
With Pyramid Peak in the background, we came upon a large elk herd, perhaps 20-30 individuals. Unfortunately, they were grazing right on the trail so to progress we had to run them off. Sorry, guys. Elk
And then we got our first view of the peak and our route. We were roughly following the route taken by Super Dave. Pegasus Peak

After following some really excellent elk trails through the lower woods, we were confronted with about 900' of talus of varying size and quality.

Somewhere just below here I saw (and heard) several pika. These little creatures use to be everywhere, but now seem quite rare. Sad.

Talus
Above the talus field, the broad flank was a mixture of tundra-like ground with embedded rock, and our friend, the talus. Tundra
Looking back down the flank at Big Black Dome. Big Black Dome
Fleur the wonder dog had no problem with this, but other dogs may find their mileage varies. Standhope
The north face of Standhope Peak with the Fin peaking over its shoulder. Standhope

Summit shot.

A little clouds, a little sun. No wind, yet a bit chilly. We had done 7.5 miles and 4400' in about 4.5 hours. Due to the exertion and first high peak of the season, we had all earned slight altitude headaches for our trouble.

We lolled around for about half an hour and finally had to move before Mariel, curled up fetal and falling asleep, turned into an Incan sacrifice.

Summit
On our return, we chanced getting treed on the lower flank while successfully navigating a cliff system to avoid the talus field we had ascended. Descending

Mountaineering is hard work.

By the time we got to the valley bottom, we had been on our feet for around 7 hours, yet still had 5 miles to walk. While Mariel pumped water, Michael practiced his sleep deprivation (and avoidance) skills (Michael blamed it on the breakfast burrito).

Napping

During the march out, we were rewarded for our vigilance with several goat sightings.

When we got to the creek crossing, Mariel took advantage of the cold water to soak her tired dogs. From there, she chose to finish the hike in her sandals. We all had tired feet; this was a tough 'break in' for the summer season. But well worth it.

Goats

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