Robinson's Couloir - July 7, 2018

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scatman

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I wanted to name this post "Broads Fork Twin Peaks - The Robinson's Variant", but since we didn't make it up to the peaks, I settled for Robinson's Couloir instead. My daughter and I arrived at the Broads Fork Trailhead at 6:10 am to attempt to make it to the top of Broads Fork Twin Peaks. The temperature at the trailhead was a balmy 77 degrees and the parking lot was already full, so we had to park along the S curve.

As we made our way up the trail, I could tell that my daughter was struggling a bit to keep up, so I took her four water bottles and added them to my pack to help her out. I told her we would hike up to where the Broads Fork Valley opens up and we would see how she felt then. Along the trail, the wildflowers were on full display. When we finally reached the big meadow, we stopped for a break and checked out the draw we were going to be heading up to gain the ridge to the north of the eastern Twin Peaks summit. After resting for about 15 minutes I asked my daughter if she thought she could make it to the ridge and she said she thought she could.

So we began our hike up what I'm calling the Robinson's Couloir. This is a steep ascent to gain the low point along the ridge at the top of the draw. The terrain consists of loose talus and scree, along with slabs of fairly slick rock. I wasn't sure what line we should take, but we started out heading up the middle before eventually peeling off to our right. As we neared the saddle, the going got slower due to the steepness of the terrain, and just the heat of the day.

When we finally reached the saddle, my daughter informed me that she was out of gas. So instead of scrambling along the ridge to the south and up to the eastern peak, we decide to take a long lunch before heading back down.

When we returned home the thermometer at my house read 101 F.

Here are some shots of our hike.

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Wilderness boundary

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Broads Fork

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Indian Paintbrush


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Yellow Salsify

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Horsemint along the trail

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Nice grove of aspen the trail goes through

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Meadow of Showy Goldeneye

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The big meadow of Broads Fork with Dromedary, Sunrise and the easterm Twin Peak Peaks visible. You can also make out the small saddle, along the ridge at the upper right hand side of the image, that we will be shooting for to gain the ridge.

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Close up of Dromedary and Sunrise Peaks

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Looking up Robinson's Couloir

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Close up of the eastern peak of Twin Peaks and the ridge we hoped to scramble across.

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Some wild rose among the Showy Goldeneye

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Looking up the draw - our saddle is at the upper left of the image.

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Some of the rock slabs like the ones we would encounter further on up

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Katie making her way up the talus

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Encountering some rock slabs at this point

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Is that low point getting any closer?

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What now?

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Getting pretty steep and this point.

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A good look down into the meadow

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A quick scat break

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Katie, holding on for dear life. :)

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Almost to the ridge

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Mount Olympus to the north

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The north side of Broads Fork Twin Peaks

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Looking down Deaf Smith Canyon

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Almost there! Mount Raymond and Gobblers Knob can be seen along the Millcreek Ridge

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On the low point of the ridge with Wildcat Ridge, from Mount Olympus to Mount Raymond behind us.

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Hey, @xjblue, or anyone else, do you know what flower this is? Just below 10,000 ft on rocky, scree terrain

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Chillin' on the way down

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A look up Broads Fork in the afternoon

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Broads Fork


The end.
 
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Vegan.Hiker

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Beautiful wildflowers!
 

kwc

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Love the photos @scatman ! I can't imagine hiking up there with that exposure and heat (?) in pants & long sleeved shirts ... I'm sure there's a reason why you guys dressed that way.
 
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Nice, what a beautiful area. Compared to the nearby lake blanche I imagine you had the place to yourself as well.

I always hike in long sleeves and pants. I've already had skin cancer at the age of 35 and it makes one very conscious about sun exposure, especially at high altitudes.
 

regehr

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Nice!
I almost always hike in long pants, ya never know when it's going to turn into a bushwhack.
 

regehr

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I've long wanted to do the twins via Robinson, how long/difficult of a hike/scramble is it to the Twins from your stopping point?
I did the twins when I was in decent shape, not sure I could handle it right now...
 

Miya

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Yay! Look at you guys go!
Awesome report. Thanks for the share!
 

scatman

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Beautiful wildflowers!
They were pretty spectacular. Now is the time to be hiking in the Wasatch


Love the photos @scatman ! I can't imagine hiking up there with that exposure and heat (?) in pants & long sleeved shirts ... I'm sure there's a reason why you guys dressed that way.
I debated about wearing the kilt, but ultimately decided against it. This hike pretty much takes me most of the day to complete if I make it to the summit. Since I am very fair skinned (thanks mom), I have to reapply sunscreen every 90 minutes to 2 hours. This can be a pain sometimes when I'm under a time constraint. Plus I do occasionally forget that its been 2 hours because I'm in the middle of a scramble, or just concentrating on something else at the time. Or the hike has just plain worn me out and my tired mind doesn't remember.


Nice, what a beautiful area. Compared to the nearby lake blanche I imagine you had the place to yourself as well.

I always hike in long sleeves and pants. I've already had skin cancer at the age of 35 and it makes one very conscious about sun exposure, especially at high altitudes.
We did have a couple follow us up the couloir, but towards the top when it gets steep, they turned around and headed back down. It was funny, because they passed us while we were taking a break and then we passed them again on our climb to the ridge. As we passed them, the lady said, "You picked the wrong route." I was a bit taken aback and told her that sometimes you have to pick your poison. I'm guessing they were following us believing that we knew the route when in fact we had only been up the normal route before.


Nice!
I almost always hike in long pants, ya never know when it's going to turn into a bushwhack.
Agreed.


See above plus I thought there would be some bushwhacking to get to from the meadow to the bottom of the couloir. It turns out that there is a trail, overgrown in a couple spots that leads you onto the talus and from there you are on your own.


I've long wanted to do the twins via Robinson, how long/difficult of a hike/scramble is it to the Twins from your stopping point?
I did the twins when I was in decent shape, not sure I could handle it right now...
The last time I made it to the top was six years ago. I attempted it with my kids two years ago (the normal route up), but we had to cut it short because when we got to the knife's edge ridge, the wind was blowing so hard, I could barely keep my feet so I didn't feel comfortable taking my kids any further.

I'm guessing it would take between an hour to an hour and a half to reach the summit from where we were. It looked pretty straight forward to me with a lot of class 3 scrambling. And the parts that looked a little trickier along the ridge, it looked like you could just come down off the ridge and go around. I don't think you would have any problem with the ridge.

Here are some shots of the ridge. There is a bad sun angle, which is why I didn't include them in my original post.

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lookin up and south along the ridge that leads to the eastern summit

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More of the ridge

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Towards the upper right of the image might be a tad rougher, but it looks like if you drop off the ridge you'd be okay.

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Eastern summit

I'm giving some thought to attempting this again in the Fall when it cools off some, maybe late September or early October. Are you interested? You would have to put up with slowpoke though. :)


Yay! Look at you guys go!
Awesome report. Thanks for the share!
Thanks Miya! On our way down, we saw a moose laying down by an unnamed pond. Would I have to arrest it too? :D
 

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Up to you. You are the boss, but if he didn't have his tent up, I am thinking you could cut him some slack.

Where is the picture of the moose?! Lol

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Can you make it out by the pond?
 

regehr

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I'm giving some thought to attempting this again in the Fall when it cools off some, maybe late September or early October. Are you interested? You would have to put up with slowpoke though. :)
Thanks for the pics! Looks rough but doable. Yes, I'd be up for this in early fall!
 
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I can see a large brown mass and will trust you that it is a moose. :)
It is indeed a moose. We watched it come into the clearing by the pond and lay down as we made our way down form the ridge. Just past this vantage point, shrubs and trees obscured our view of the moose and pond, so we could not get a closer shot.
 
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View attachment 66227
Hey, @xjblue, or anyone else, do you know what flower this is? Just below 10,000 ft on rocky, scree terrain
Douglasia montana var. ???

An unidentified Rocky Mountain Dwarf Primrose variation would be my best guess.

Though the range for Douglasia montana covers Idaho, Wyo, Mont, and Canada, i believe this plant (pictured) to be a variation that is strictly endemic to the purplish-black Proterozoic Agrillite-slate out crop forming the ridge between Storm Mountain peak and Broads Twin Peaks and occuring above 9900ft+, on and below the ridge. My assumption is founded on my handful of observations of the pictured plant over the years while scrambling around that ridge and personally observing the aforementioned plant up in Montana-alpine.
On your next time up (around peak bloom) make sure to visit the NNW scree slope just below 'Peak 10350' and above the imposing upper Stairs Gulch slabs, there exist a healthy patch that really pops against the black shale. absolute alpine magic.

I searched the databases in the past and also shared my observations with an USFS ecologist contractor, to no avail.

...then again, i could be completely wrong...

Until I hear otherwise, i will refer to it as Douglasia montana var. Scatman:cool:
 
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Douglasia montana var. ???

An unidentified Rocky Mountain Dwarf Primrose variation would be my best guess.

Though the range for Douglasia montana covers Idaho, Wyo, Mont, and Canada, i believe this plant (pictured) to be a variation that is strictly endemic to the purplish-black Proterozoic Agrillite-slate out crop forming the ridge between Storm Mountain peak and Broads Twin Peaks and occuring above 9900ft+, on and below the ridge. My assumption is founded on my handful of observations of the pictured plant over the years while scrambling around that ridge and personally observing the aforementioned plant up in Montana-alpine.
On your next time up (around peak bloom) make sure to visit the NNW scree slope just below 'Peak 10350' and above the imposing upper Stairs Gulch slabs, there exist a healthy patch that really pops against the black shale. absolute alpine magic.

I searched the databases in the past and also shared my observations with an USFS ecologist contractor, to no avail.

...then again, i could be completely wrong...

Until I hear otherwise, i will refer to it as Douglasia montana var. Scatman:cool:
Thanks for the flower identification @moose droppings, it's very much appreciated. I'll try and hit peak 10350 and see the patch you describe. I noticed the clump that I took a picture of from a distance, and slowly made my way over to it. It was strikingly beautiful set all alone among the slabs. I'm afraid my picture doesn't do it justice.
 
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