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Thread: Pioneer peak trail

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    Member Rick P's Avatar
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    Default Pioneer peak trail

    Gun, Tracy, Andy and I did pioneer peak trail to tree line today, a little slick but what a wonderful day! I think maybe Gunther over did it though.
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    You ever go all the way up? My family and I have been looking at doing it this Summer. How difficult, and how long?

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    Member Rick P's Avatar
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    Not since Gun was born. The trail isn't for the faint of hart and I think the round trip took about 12 hours of solid hiking. Course I'm 40 and have broken my back twice so I don't set speed records. It's not like you have to rope off or anything but it's not a cake walk either. The top end is a little tougher than matanuska but it has a more rolling approach. I think the trail it's self is a little rougher at pioneer too, more ankle biters and rock.
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    The 3 fold way: Every step we take as we walk through life effects, our family, our comunity and ourselves. One should walk thoughtfuly.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    It's a pretty good trail, and there is even a picnic table at the top. Seriously. That was one of the more surreal sights I've seen at the top of a long climb, but it's kind of fun to sit there and take it all in.

    Once you hit the ridge you can turn right and head towards the summit. Be aware, though, that Pioneer has a false summit that is only slightly lower than the true summit. If you want to get your name in the summit register, though, you'll need to decend another few hundred feet and climb back up the 2nd peak, which includes the trickiest rock scrambling of the trip. It's nothing truly technical, but being confident and sure-footed in the mountains will help.

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    Member Roger45's Avatar
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    There are actually four picnic tables on the way to the top. The last one is at 5300 foot level. No good water to drink out of the trees...so take water and food. Took me 13 hours when I was 50. Most resources tell you not to try and go to the *real* summit unless you have technical gear as that is the area where you are most likely to die. Overall, it is a fun hike. Out of tree line you go up a bald ridge that seems to go on forever with about 20 false peaks before you get to the 5300 foot level...where there is snow year round and a great place to rest. When you head down the knife edge ridge at this point (continuing to the summit) the valley on your left is Goat Creak and there can be tons of sheep down there if you keep your eyes open. At the end of this knife edge (very easy walking) you will get to an area where you start going up again, the steepest part of the trail and has the most broken rocks. all in all a fun hike.
    "...and then Jack chopped down the beanstock, adding murder and ecological vandalism to the theft, enticement and vandalism charges already mentioned, but he got away with it and lived happily ever after without so much as a guilty twinge about what he had done. Which proves that you can be excused just about anything if you're a hero, because no one asks the inconvenient questions." Terry Pratchett's The Hogfather

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    Sounds like a fun trip. I'll probably need some conditioning first though. I will be dragging a wife and 12 y/o daughter and chasing an 11 year old son.

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    Member Rick P's Avatar
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    You might want to do it solo first not sure this would be a kid freindly trail, it is too me but then.......I've been acused of being a risk taker.
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    The 3 fold way: Every step we take as we walk through life effects, our family, our comunity and ourselves. One should walk thoughtfuly.

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    I climbed Pioneer a couple of decades ago and agree with Brian, the view is surreal.

    The one thing I came away from the climb was making sure your socks and footgear agree with each other. I ended up burning the bottoms off my feet as I galloped down the scree slide. Took five weeks for the blisters to finish healing.

    Moral of the story? Have a good climb and wear the right socks.

    Dobber

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    Sounds doable. The family and I have climbed before in Colorado, they love it. Thanks for all the help. We may not make the summit but sounds like a great day hike.

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    Default Pioneer Peak

    Does anybody know if there is a water source up there?

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    Member Rick P's Avatar
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    Not above tree line Jeff and the lower streams are seasonal.
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    Bowyer to the forces of light in the land of the midnight sun.
    The 3 fold way: Every step we take as we walk through life effects, our family, our comunity and ourselves. One should walk thoughtfuly.

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    Default Rick

    Thanks for the info

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    Member Roger45's Avatar
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    At the 5300 foot level there is a permanent snow pack. If you have a small stove you can melt water to drink. There is also a small stream near there but it tends to have a ton of sheep scat in it. I take my Camelback with one to two liters of a supplemented water. With as long as this hike is I also like to take an apple and/or orange with a bagel/cheese/salami or similar. All light weight so to speak, and they really help out. Oh, I almost forgot...I think there is a law requiring you to carry at least one piece of dark chocolate at all times
    "...and then Jack chopped down the beanstock, adding murder and ecological vandalism to the theft, enticement and vandalism charges already mentioned, but he got away with it and lived happily ever after without so much as a guilty twinge about what he had done. Which proves that you can be excused just about anything if you're a hero, because no one asks the inconvenient questions." Terry Pratchett's The Hogfather

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