Earlier this summer I dropped Polly off at work and picked up Sam and we headed down to Drapper, UT to hike up to the cirque of Lone Peak, and after climbing and hiking down I’d pick her up at 730pm. This sounds like a normal day out climbing, but the approach is about 5 miles and 5000 vertical feet.
The fastest way up to the cirque is apparently the Jacob’s Ladder approach, which starts just up from the town of Drapper. Via Mountain Project:
Follow Draper Parkway south until it also bends and heads west. At the first light after it heads west, turn left onto 1300 East. Follow 1300 East to the “Roundabout”. Exit east out of the roundabout onto Pioneer Road (12300 south). Follow this east until you hit 2000 East. Turn right, and head south as it transitions from pavement to dirt.
From the dirt parking lot hike down the road and to the trailhead for Jacob’s ladder. From here, its a lot of up.
We made the hike up in 4 hours, and I slowed us way down in the middle section that gains most of the elevation. Even with a super light pack (only water + food + camera + climbing shoes because of a stash at the cirque), I was moving really slow.
Once at the cirque it was time to refill on water and hike a short ways up to the Question Mark Wall and to the Lowe Route.
The above shot is the start of the Lowe Route, the first pitch is a cool hand crack in a corner that finishes at a small ledge/platform. I think the first two pitches can be linked, but I opted to stop at the platform. The last pitch is really exposed, but has enough gear that it’s safe (Sam led pitch 2 & 3).
Sam stayed up in the cirque for the night to climb again on Sunday, and I headed down to pick up Polly. Going down was much easier than the other direction and I made it down in 1:45 at a jog most of the way. The trail is steep enough in a lot of places that a trekking pole-controlled jog is faster and easier on the legs than a slow plod down. Even had time to spare to pick up Polly.