Friends of Kings Peak
2019 Ranger Summary
So, 2019 was the year of lingering snow......
Early training tours, starting June 13th found us either working lower in the basin, on trail projects or crossing snow fields with snowshoes. And for the first time ever, a training tour was snowed out after 16 straight hours of snow at Dollar Lake. But Justin, Nick and Lucas persevered and actually climbed to the top of Kings Peak, for the first time, July 4th weekend.
Needless to say, visitor contacts were lower this year because most folks heeded warnings about remaining snow. Our hearts went out to visitors who had planned to climb Kings months in advance to complete high points in the US. Some hearty locals looked at the snow as a challenge, and style points were awarded to the summit visitors that slid down the north side of Kings on their butts, a speedy decent under Justin’s watchful eye.
2019 was also the first year where the split between the Boy Scouts of America and the LDS church was very noticeable. Of 44 organized groups contacted, only 3 were oversized. The Boy Scouts are still coming up to Henry’s Fork to climb Kings Peak, but missing are the massively oversized, 25+ member troops of the past. The tone of the BSA interactions has changed. An abandoned camp at Hessie Lake that the wilderness crew went to pick up, had already been cleaned up by a scout troop with horse support. I know I’m not alone in wishing this trend of smaller, well-mannered BSA troops continues.
Justin, Nick and Lucas visited other basins as well. Nick helped Savanah clean up Red Castle area. After Nick’s stories of trash and fire rings, all three ventured in the following week to conduct a full clean. The three volunteers also headed into Amethyst Basin for a few tours to do some long overdue clean-up. The even found time to take a day tour into Ruth Lake and work on that well used area.
Sadly, Nick and Lucas had to return to school, which left Justin to his own agenda. He helped haul in signs to Middle Fork Beaver, that allowed me to finish the work from the RTP grant from two years ago. The last six signs were installed 9/16, just before snowy weather. Justin set his sights on the Highline trail and with Steve’s help completed the trail in four days.
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