Leaders: Asher Waxman and Luella Fickle
My co-leader checked the Lake Hughes Road approach, the Saturday prior to the hike. He then scouted the road as far as Piano Box coming in from the Templin Highway exit from I-5.
By 7AM December 7th, we had 10 people assembled. We carpooled to the roadhead off the Templin Highway exit from I-5, down 6N32. The road is gated at a junction about 1 mile before the Cienaga Creek/Fish Creek canyon bottom. We hiked 6N32 to Cienaga Campground through beautiful Fish Creek narrows. From near the outhouses (just up canyon) there is a great view of Redrock Mtn. It completely fills the skyline looking up the fork of Fish Creek that heads toward Piano Box. The lower peak on the left facing up canyon is point 3991.
We followed the old roadbed described in Hugh Blanchard's peak guide. Where it begins to be washed out (about a mile), there is an old gear box (according to Kyle at least from the 1950's, maybe older) sticking out of the middle of the creek bed. When you see this, begin to look for a sharp turn in the canyon. Where the canyon begins to turn away from Redrock Mtn to the northeast, look for an old trail going steeply out of the creek bed across the canyon from the old roadbed. We followed this trail to saddle 3150' on the side of Redrock Mtn. I questioned Hugh about his direction "keep to right of first outcrop and to left of second outcrop." I saw one outcrop. I'd been watching the peak since Cienaga Campground. Hugh pointed to a little pass in the middle of the outcrop and said, "You go through there." What Hugh saw as two, I saw as one. About 15 minutes later, I found out Asher also saw it as one. He was doing lead up the steep slope. He started to continue past this little pass. I shouted up at him to ask Hugh if we shouldn't be going through the little pass. Asher stopped and saw a large duck at this pass.
We reached the summit around 11:30. The views are excellent of Burnt, Sawtooth, Cobblestone, White, Snow, Frazier, and Alamo.
On the descent there were at least seven falls. None serious as I led down slowly to below the outcrop to a place where it gets less slippery and Erich led fast down to pass 3150. Falling is a problem on the slippery slope.
On the hike back through Fish Canyon, we enjoyed the fall colors. I feel this is a good late fall hike, but might be a problem after a hard rain, as there are so many stream crossings.
The participants were Hugh Blanchard, Dan Butler, Kathy Cheever, Winnette Butler (no relation to Dan), Robert Young, Kyle McDonald, Barbara Guerin, and Erich Fickle.