Due to my long hard day the previous day, and Steve bringing his wife's cousin along, we opted for a fairly mellow scramble of Esmerelda Peak in the Teanaway.
To avoid traffic we started a touch late, and arrived at the De Roux camp trail head after 9:30am. We hiked up the trail and took frequent breaks. After consulting the map we ignored the turn off point thinking it was just a cut off a switch back. We went too far and arrived at Gallagher Head Lake. We hung out a bit on some wooden benches taking in the scenery and getting cold. We altered our approach and headed cross country to the ridge to climb.
With some light bushwhacking we were on rocky slopes picking our way up the mostly solid terrain. With a few sections of third class rock, we were on the summit, taking in the views. We hung out for a while and then headed to the next "summit" on the ridge to the east. We continued to the next and then developed our plan to hike down a different way. A few loose third class bits got us down the ridge where we followed game trails down most of the way back to the trail. The slope was steep and loose and only got easier as we descended. I saw a fat garter snake on the way down and then we hit the trail and hiked out.
This was a fun trip and a good trip to do after the bruiser I had the previous day. It was fun to be out with Steve, and the summit of Esmerelda offers pretty nice views in all directions. It took almost as long to do the round trip drive as it did to climb the peak. Steve and I discussed how the book listed it as a T3, but we found it to be fairly easy with only a few steps of 3rd class. However, I am beginning to think that the technical scramble rating used also increases for navigational difficulty. But who knows. Yet another nice day out in the mountains.
My pics are here.