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Hike Thomas Fork of Neffs Towards Triangle Peak
By Stephen Carr
| I've found that if I go more than 3-4 weeks without hiking at least 3000' to 5000', that it is like starting over for the season when the going is steep. Well, duty called, and I was too busy to hike much in August and September. Two days after the hike now and my quads are killing me. My 10.5# dog Rico is faring much better - but I gave him a 4 leg massage and he can sleep better.
The night before Cassie Badowski called to say she was worried she might hurt herself after a similar period of insufficient activity. We spoke at length but I respected her decision not to come. I had wanted to appoint her hike social director since sometimes I don't do with much tact things that facilitate group dynamics. At least, not as well as she does.
Joining me were the indefatigable Julie Kilgore, her brave dog Cici, Don Seeley, Stanley Chiang, Paul Kilkuchi, Mohammed Raja and Michele Stancer. Stanley, the only one beside myself who had been on the Thomas Fork trail, had also hiked to the location of the Neff's Cave entrance recently. He saw the cave area as we hiked up, noted a rough path down to it, and most of the group went down to look at it at the end of the day.
We left the trail just before it starts to be more noted by cairns than path. It wasn't bad but it isn't as fast as an established path. We finally got to the big boulder field. It was challenging for Cici and she needed Julie's help. The big boulders were pretty stable but at top the smaller rocks were unstable. Above that the couloir was partially vegetated with some trees but extremely steep and unstable. Some of the others were ahead of me and reported that the rest of the way up was nothing but currant berries and their unforgiving thorns. By this time everyone was pretty challenged anyway so we decided to go down to where there was still sunshine and have lunch. We had come within 3 or 4 hundred feet of the summit.
On the way down, below the boulder field, I guided us East and we found the trail eliminating some of the bush. It was a good day: sunshine, a breeze, clear air, mostly dry, not cold, and with happy participants.