Ralston Peak Climb October 2015

Ralston Peak

Kate and I, along with our friends Stephen and Janelle, did an amazing hike/climb to Ralston Peak, elevation 9,235 feet. It was up hill the entire way. The most strenuous hike I have ever done. Stephen and Kate led the way, with me in the back, but not far behind. Pretty amazing considering Stephen is 70, I’m 69 and Kate is just turning 65 in couple days. Janelle is the baby at 60. I think we all did terrific. There were a bunch of teenagers, a high school ski team, who also went to the top, but their 40 something mom’s didn’t even make it half way. It was a 2800 ft. elevation gain in a little less than four miles, which relative to other hikes, is considered difficult and thats why this was properly rated as such.  Total miles round trip was 7.75.

We left the house at 7:30am and got home at 7:30pm. It took us two hours driving to get to the trail head. Weather started out cloudy but cleared up almost immediately when we started the hike. Temperature was in the 60s until we got to the top, whereas we all had to bundle up. Maybe it was high 40s up there but the wind was outrageous. Blowing like crazy. Had to be 40 mph winds as a guess. You can hear the wind in the video. Kate can’t stand the wind so she didn’t hang around the top too long. Then entire hike was a little less than eight miles RT. We took the shortcut to the top, which is steeper but more direct.

Around the 8500 ft level the tall trees disappeared and were replaced by much shorter ones. Eventually, around 9,000 ft, there were just rocks. We were rewarded with the most amazing view. We could see Pyramid Peak (9,985) just off to our left. Then lake Aloha which didnt even look like a lake but instead like a whole bunch of islands or a bunch of rivers. Lake of Woods was full, as was Echo and lower Echo lakes. Fallen Leaf Lake looked fine, and of course the beautiful Lake Tahoe in the background. There were several other smaller lakes also in view.

Going down was not as easy as you might thing. Using those downhill muscles for four miles gets really strenuous, plus that is always harder on the knees. We didn’t bring the dogs this time since it was a new hike and I didn’t know how Ben would do. Actually, he may have been just fine. It would have been way too much uphill for Biggs. Stephen wants to make this a once a year thing to keep us young. We’ll have to see about that.

I only used my little Cannon this time, and took some little movie clips. I think it turned out better than my previous movie endeavors but at the top the wind was so strong you can hardly make out the voices. oh well. At the bottom is the topo map showing the hike and the surrounding landmarks.

Ralston Peak Climb
Topo map showing our trail relative to surrounding landmarks
Topo Map of Ralston Peak trail we took
Closer veiw of topo Map of Ralston Peak trail we took

Author: Geoff

Quick rundown: Grew up in Lombard, Illinois, went to Arizona State University, worked as a CPA with Arthur Andersen & Co, then Laventhal and Horwath, then Rolling Stones, then Heron International, then Goodby Berlin and Silverstein in San Francisco. Moved to the foothills in 1990 and traded futures and designed websites. Married to Kate Stewart, now living in Colfax, CA. We have six grandchildren. I enjoy camping in our RV, hiking, kayaking, fishing, droning and cross country skiing Also conga drumming, photography and dogs.

3 thoughts on “Ralston Peak Climb October 2015”

  1. Geoff
    You put together an excellent combination of your outstanding video plus all of the great photos. The territory you climbed looked so extremely jagged rocks everywhere plus it appeared to be an awfully steep climb. You covered so much ground going up the 2 miles so quickly considering the rough trails plus your steep climb.

    I really enjoyed this travelogue, it was just like I was there with you guys. You sure we’re right on about the wind & the constant loud noise it made on the video. You really have a sensitive microphone in your video camera. I could tell this was the toughest climb that Kate & you had every taken. Can you just imagine climbing Mt. Everest?

    Thanks for creating this wonderful package plus you guys taking the neat hike.
    Bro George

    1. I always enjoy your feedback Bro. It was actually just under 4 miles to the top, then another 4 down. But rising 2800′ in just 4 miles is a rapid rise. Usually there are lots of switchbacks that ease the uphill climb but most of this trail was just straight up. My legs and right knee are racked today. Ouch! Hurts just to get up from a chair. Next time I need to be in better condition in my legs.

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