2018/11/10 – Toil Peak + Double Toil / 艱苦峯+加倍艱苦峯

Double, double toil and trouble
Double, double toil and trouble

Photos from this trip can be found here.

Access: Beckler River Road (NF-65)
Round Trip: 10 miles
Elevation Range: 1,600′-5,427′

Gear: snowshoes; ice axe packed but not used

“Double, double toil and trouble; fire burn and cauldron bubble…” 

Two years ago, a late start with unanticipated road closure forced us to abandon the plan to include these two peaks on the trip to Troublesome Mountain. Though it was only a matter of time before we came back to finish singing song of the Three Witches.

Road 63 closure
Road 63 closure

Photos from this trip can be found here.

Time flew by us fast since we first hiked the Blanca Lake Trail eight years ago en route to see the serene alpine lake. While I don’t remember much about the trip, I do remember at the time being able to drive all the way to the trailhead.

Impediment
Impediment

Photos from this trip can be found here.

Four hikers in the other vehicle parked by the gate started hiking as we were getting ready. One big down tree on the otherwise smooth sailing two-mile road walk to the trailhead. Three sections of washout at mile 1.7 were easy to cross on rocks.

One of three sections of washout
One of three sections of washout

Photos from this trip can be found here.

By now the sun had been out for an hour, though temperatures were still low in the forest as we zigzagged our way up. Snow level at 3,000′, where I used microspikes for traction on ice. Limited views through small clearings starting from 4,000′.

Snow level
Snow level

Photos from this trip can be found here.

We met the four hikers as terrain gradually flattened at 4,400′. I put on snowshoes at 4,600′ before trail took a turn toward the saddle to Blanca Lake. Pup and I then headed south while the hikers continued north trudging through days-old tracks.

Toil Peak bound
Toil Peak bound

Photos from this trip can be found here.

Scrambling southbound on the gentle ridge in calf-deep snow, we soon arrived on the partially woodsy summit half a mile south from the turnoff. Columbia Peak, Kyes Peak, Monte Cristo Peak, Cadet Peak, plus a small section of Blanca Lake were all visible through a large clearing on west slopes.

Mountains and lake
Mountains and lake

Photos from this trip can be found here.

After enjoying more views to the east and the warm sunlight, we descended 400′ on south ridge to reach the woodsy south saddle at 4,680′. Only the view of Hubbart Peak to the west was to be had on the saddle.

Hubbart Peak through forest
Hubbart Peak through forest

Photos from this trip can be found here.

Real crux in getting to Double Toil was the first 100′ above the saddle. After scoping out the terrain, the ridge route looked easier than going through the north basin. With the help of snow coverage, we weaved our way through boulders and tree stumps to attain the north ridge.

Notch view
Notch view

Photos from this trip can be found here.

The ridge wasn’t entirely conducive to scrambling due to the amount of trees on the crest and steep drop-offs on the west. Instead, we travelled southbound on east slopes for the final ascent to the top. Summit sported a near panoramic view with most trees congregating on the south side.

Northwest panoramic view
Northwest panoramic view

Photos from this trip can be found here.

Being 300′ taller, views here were undoubtedly better and much more expansive than on Toil Peak. Gigantic peaks above Blanca Lake continued to steal the show. Gothic Peak, Del Campo Peak, and Silvertip Peak behind the ridge above Troublesome Creek drainage looked pretty gnarly.

Sheep Gap, Gothic, Del Campo, Silvertip
Sheep Gap, Gothic, Del Campo, Silvertip

Photos from this trip can be found here.

To make this a loop trip and to, we descended south ridge to 4,800′, then picked up our old scramble route from Troublesome Mountain to exit. Eventually we came out onto Index-Galena Road at 1,680′ for the.7 mile road walk back to the car.

Thanks for another beautiful day
Thanks for another beautiful day

Photos from this trip can be found here.

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