| More Gore to Bore the Hordes: Booth from the North
Sometime in early 2009 I was browsing Summitpost and stumbled upon this photo of The Spider by Kane, and ever since I have had a great desire to see this glorious mountain in person. I finally made the effort this summer to plan an overnight outing primarily to shoot some photos of The Spider and The Fly, but also keeping open the possibility of making a summit attempt in the area. I studied my Topo map and browsed Google Earth searching for a good shooting location and decided to check out an unnamed lake to the west of The Spider, hoping to get some good sunset reflection shots. I drove up to Vail after work on Friday and slept in my car just outside of the gate to the Piney River Ranch.
I woke up around 5ish, threw on my pack and hit the trail.
Toward the end of the maintained trail, I accidentally ended up taking one of the side trails that leads up to Knee Knocker Pass which allowed me to catch my first view of The Spider. If you see this on your way up, you are going the wrong way. The actual trail stays pretty close to the river.
I had to do some bushwhacking to make my way back down to the Upper Piney River Trail. The trail from this point on becomes a little more difficult to follow. It often dissappears into marshy fields, and it was during this section of the hike that I discovered my boots had lost all of their water resisting properties. Eventually I reached the point where the valley splits at the base of The Spider and left the trail to head up to the unnamed lake. I did some minor bushwhacking before stumbling upon a good game trail that led up the basin. This area appears to hold amazing amounts of wildflowers, which I seem to have caught just after peak.
The Spider and The Fly from near my camp
Home sweet home
Booth from the North. This looked like a safe bet for a summit attempt the following day.
Shortly after taking the above photo, a thunderstorm followed by a persistant rain chased me into my tent for a couple hours. The sunset photos I was hoping to capture would have to wait for another day. When the rain finally let up, I made a dash back up to the lake to try to get some more photos before all the light faded away. I was treated to a spectacular show as strong winds pushed clouds up from the south over Booth Mountain.
I woke up well before sunrise to take some twilight shots by the lake.
Twilight over The Spider
After making my breakfast of oatmeal and coffee, I headed up to the broad gulley on Booth's north side to begin my ascent.
Looking down from the top of the gulley
From the top of the gulley, it's just a brief but fun scramble to the top. I think it's possible to bypass the scrambling by taking some grassy ramps and ledges to the south, but why would you want to do that?
The ridge has a fun little knife edge. Nothing serious. Short and non life threatening...kind like a butter knife. Completely unnecessary, but fun nonetheless. Looks like someone left a little mustard and mayo on it too. So much for LNT.
The Spider from Booth...hey, there's people over there.
It looks like one of them is holding a can of Pabst. Damn hipsters.
I thought I would be happy just doing Booth, but this sub-peak of UN 12,195 looked like too much fun to pass up. You know you are scraping the bottom of the barrel when you start doing sub-peaks of unnammed, unranked 12ers.
The sub-peak from the west
The sub-peak with Booth in the background
From the summit of UN 12,195 I was tempted to follow the ridge around to the north side of the unnamed lake to grab a couple other summits. It appeared to be a pretty easy ridge walk, but I decided to play it safe and save some energy for the hike out.
On the faint trail leading back into the basin. This looked like a great place to be at peak flower season.
Glacial scarring on rock around the lake
Falls near the trail to Upper Piney Lake on the hike out
A Parting Shot
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