Peak(s):  Powell A, Mt  -  13,580 feet
Date Posted:  10/01/2020
Modified:  10/04/2020
Date Climbed:   09/04/2020
Author:  Mtnman200
Additional Members:   RandyMack
 Don't Let Life Get in the Way of Your Dreams   

Thursday, Sept. 3, 2020. Randy and I attempted Mt. Powell on Aug. 29, 2020, despite the lousy weather forecast (40% chance of morning showers and 80% chance of afternoon thunderstorms). We thought we could stay ahead of the rain with an early start, but the rain began about 6:30 AM and never let up. We were about 200' below Kneeknocker Pass when we decided to bail out. After all, Randy's bicentennial finisher should be fun, not a miserable slog in the cold and rain.

The Labor Day weekend weather forecast (no chance of rain) was too good to pass up, so we made the long drive to Vail and up Red Sandstone Road toward Piney River Ranch and found a campsite not too far from the trailhead.

Looking north from our campsite located a short distance below Piney River Ranch and the trailhead

Friday, Sept. 4, 2020. We made the short drive to the trailhead and started hiking at 4:40 AM. The moon was quite helpful in lighting the way. Our plan was to reach the intersection with the informal trail to Kneeknocker Pass at first daylight, but it was still dark when we got there. Happily, on Aug. 29 we'd waypointed the intersection for our (and your) convenience:

13S 0383402 and 4399249 (Lat.: 39.737054 and Long:. -106.360700). The elevation is about 9770' at the trail intersection.

There is a cairn on each side of the Kneeknocker Pass turnoff and another cairn on the large rock just past the turnoff. A previous trip report mentioned the turnoff as being near a leaning pine tree, but that tree has since fallen over. (The next four photos were taken on the descent.)

The Kneeknocker Pass turnoff (left) is marked with a cairn on each side of the trail. A third cairn is by the fallen tree

A closer look at the no-longer-leaning pine tree and cairn just past (east of) the intersection with the Kneeknocker Pass trail

Some of the lower sections of the Kneeknocker Pass trail are somewhat faint but are marked with cairns.

Follow that cairn!

Look closely and you'll see two cairns marking the trail

Kneeknocker Pass (right of cemter) from just above timberline

Looking back down the trail from the same location as the previous photo

The trail becomes rather steep as it approaches Kneeknocker Pass but isn't too bad, especially considering it's not a constructed trail. We took a food break at the pass to recharge for the final 1200' climb to the summit.

Looking back (southwest) at Piney Lake (upper center) from Kneeknocker Pass

From Kneeknocker Pass, the summit of Mt. Powell is the high point just right of center. The easiest route is up the grassy slope (center)

The east side of Kneeknocker Pass is well-known for holding lots of snow until late in the year. Snow was not an issue today, however. We descended about 150' on the east side of the pass and then contoured north toward an obvious steep grassy slope.

"Peak C" (13,220') from our route between Kneeknocker Pass and Mt. Powell

Looking up at Mt. Powell (right) from the same location as the previous photo

Eventually, the grass ends, and a scramble up the rocky slope takes you to the summit of Mt. Powell

Looking back (south) at Kneeknocker Pass (just left of center) from the same location as the previous photo; you can see why we didn't ascend the ridge

We climbed onto the summit of Mt. Powell together and were glad to be here on a day with great weather. Postponing Randy's bicentennial finisher by six days definitely made for a much more enjoyable experience.

Randy stands triumphantly on Mt. Powell's summit, with "Peak C" (13,220') in the background

Randy's bicentennial finisher celebration wouldn't be complete without our Packers flag

Looking southeast from Mt. Powell's summit

Mt. Powell's summit cairn, with Piney Lake visible to its left

Looking NNW at Eagles Nest (13,420') from Mt. Powell's summit

Looking ENE toward Duck Lake from Mt. Powell's summit

The view northeast from Mt. Powell's summit; Dora Lake is right of center on the plateau

We refueled with Girl Scout cookies (thanks, Laura!) while spending 45 or 50 minutes enjoying the views from the summit. The descent went quickly, and we returned to the trailhead just before 2 PM.

The Piney River trail is a nice one

Once Piney Lake came into view, we knew it wouldn't take long to reach the trailhead

Looking back toward Mt. Powell and Peak C from the same location as the previous photo

We got home in time to have a proper celebration dinner with pizza and root beer. Now Randy gets to decide what future mountain goals he wants to pursue. My favorite comment on Randy's finisher thread was when Mike (Chicago Transplant) said "way to make your dad repeat a bunch of them too."

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 26

Comments or Questions

Always a Pleasure
10/02/2020 00:20
Gotta say Iâve enjoyed reading your reports for many years. Congrats to your entire family. Three Cent finishers and two Bicents in the same climbing posse is something else. Oh, and GO PACKERS.


What JChitwood said...
10/02/2020 02:05
I too have enjoyed your reports for a long time.


10/02/2020 11:06
Congrats! What a beautiful way to wrap up that list, the views from Powell are insane


10/04/2020 07:45
way to finish. Congratulations on finishing the bicentennials Randy!

I just climbed Powell, unfortunately, socked in that day. Planning to go back for some vitamin "C" to see it all.


10/05/2020 08:56
Gores are cool. Well done on finishing the bicentennials. That is a great accomplishment.


Thanks to all
10/23/2020 19:11
Bill, Jay, Barnold, Glen, and Jason: Thanks for the kind comments.

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