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Whale Peak Via Little Blair Valley North Messages in this topic - RSS

Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 444


12/10/2020
Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 444
On Sunday I hiked up to Whale starting in the canyon just north of Shake Benchmark. I have been traditional route via Pinyon Mountain Road and up Smugglers Canyon. This route starts where the road ends and goes up a small canyon.



Video
https://imgur.com/PXtqVBJ

The canyon empties out into a pretty good size valley.


The canyon I went up is to the right of center. East going, just pick a game trail and zig zag through.

This canyon is much easier to navigate than the one to the south. It's less choked, widens out sooner and seems less steep. Wouldn't have any issues with good size pack except a couple of boulders you need to pull yourself over and one tree you crawl under.

Video
https://imgur.com/vmK1hRE

Looking back down on my way up


Deer bone I assume.


Lot of dead Pinyons but some really nice ones as well once you hit 4,000ft or so.


Love the vibrance of the moss


As the canyon widens out there are plenty of nice places to camp. Lots of animal tracks up this canyon. I assume because it's an easier route it's the preferred path to get to lower elevations.
Video
https://imgur.com/5wCGldg

The canyon eventually leads to the standard trail to Whale. From the junction it's about 2 miles to the peak.





Going back was much quicker and I noticed even more cat tracks. 1 fully intact balloon recovered. I think this is my favorite route up to Whale. Longer but nice terrain changes.



11 miles, 2,700ft +/- gain.

edited by Rocko1 on 12/10/2020
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ziphius
ziphius
Posts: 888


12/10/2020
ziphius
ziphius
Posts: 888
Looks like a great time. I liked that route you took up, did it earlier this year. Gotta get back out there soon!

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Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 444


12/10/2020
Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 444
ziphius wrote:
Looks like a great time. I liked that route you took up, did it earlier this year. Gotta get back out there soon!

Yeah, I really liked the canyon and area just before it connects to the main trail. Some healthy trees in this area.
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Brian
Brian
Posts: 87


12/10/2020
Brian
Brian
Posts: 87
I remember scoping out a similar route on a map 10 years ago, back when I had to figure out alternate ways of doing hikes that required 4WD/AWD to get to the trailhead. But then I ended up doing Whale the usual way with a friend who had an outback. Never got around to doing any of the alternate routes, but that looks like a good one.
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Scooter
Scooter
Posts: 101


12/10/2020
Scooter
Scooter
Posts: 101
Great trip report. Beautiful day !
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dsefcik
dsefcik
Administrator
Posts: 2513


12/11/2020
dsefcik
dsefcik
Administrator
Posts: 2513
Great route, thanks for sharing. Did you sign in to the Shake register?

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Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 444


12/14/2020
Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 444
dsefcik wrote:
Great route, thanks for sharing. Did you sign in to the Shake register?

Sadly I didn't make it to that-I was right there too. I will definitely be coming back to the area.
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tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 288


12/15/2020
tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 288
Thanks for awesome report! The canyon looks really fun. The video snips bring it to life.
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Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 444


12/16/2020
Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 444
tekewin wrote:
Thanks for awesome report! The canyon looks really fun. The video snips bring it to life.



Thanks. Here is a little video I put together. https://youtu.be/bfGdid3Otkw
edited by Rocko1 on 12/16/2020
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rockhopper
rockhopper
Posts: 597


12/17/2020
rockhopper
rockhopper
Posts: 597
Looks like you had superb weather. Great timing!

We had a snow ball fight on the north side. Whale has a neat eco system variation during the climb and has superb views on a clear day. Thanks for sharing.
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Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 444


12/17/2020
Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 444
rockhopper wrote:
Looks like you had superb weather. Great timing!

We had a snow ball fight on the north side. Whale has a neat eco system variation during the climb and has superb views on a clear day. Thanks for sharing.

Thanks. I am hoping to catch snow on Whale at some point this winter. Need to do a overnight up there.
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Britain
Britain
Posts: 519


12/17/2020
Britain
Britain
Posts: 519
Well done and some nice captures!

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Cant drive 55
Britain
http://icorva.com
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