King's Peak
13,524', 4,123 m

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Kennen poses a few miles from the top
Shaun and Kennen set out to climb Utah's highest peak early in September when snows are usually most melted and early storms are least likely to hit.

Pulling into the parking space at the Henry's Fork trailhead, just south of the Wyoming border, the car made a funny sound and felt hard to steer. After a brief glance at the car and finding nothing visibly wrong, they set out on the 26 mile round trip to the summit.

The majority of the route remains relatively flat and grows more scenic as you near the summit. They got within a hundred feet of a large bull moose near one of many high (and cold!) lakes.

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Shaun and Kennen take a break just before the steeper, rocky section begins
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Near the summit with dollar-size snowflakes
(you just missed them)
After camping near Little Bear Lake, they made the summit push the next morning in cool, overcast weather.

At the top of the drainage, the trail takes a few excellent switchbacks into a higher valley. They chose to skip the longer route here and hiked the steep, loose rocks to the high, rocky plateau instead.

From there, make your way south to a faint trail through some water to avoid the worst of the boulder hopping. Head west to Anderson Pass (11,700'), probably over a large drift, and up the ridge to the south.

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Within spitting distance of the top
(far left snowfield close up: next photo down)
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Kennen poses by the summit plaque
Once you reach Anderson pass, the next half hour or so of boulder hopping takes you easily to the summit. Be careful for loose, shifting rocks, and don't drop your car keys into any dark holes.

The climb is easy enough that you hardly notice the thin air. The summit ridge provides excellent views for a few seconds at a time as the clouds blow by at amazing speeds. If you hear the rocks buzzing, get down and wait for the clouds to pass.

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Kennen slides down a year-round drift
(see top view in next photo up)

After returning to base camp for another night, we made our way back to the parking lot, glad to be moving downhill. The trail always seems a few miles longer than it was on the way in.

At the car, the same grating sound was still there, but since there was nothing we could do about it, we proceeded to drive slowly down the muddy road. A mile or two later, going about 30 m.p.h., the right front tire came off (hey, at least this didn't happen in Mexico a month earlier!) and we came skidding to a stop on the road side.

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The Civic's equivalent of a twisted ankle

We didn't have long to wait before hitching a ride for twenty miles in a horse trailer. From there we were able to get one of the only tow trucks operating on Labor Day to take the car into Evanston for repairs.

Kennen's girlfriend (now wife) Shaundra picked us up and brought us home. Isn't it great how everything works out?

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