Trip Report: Day Hike to E Grandaddy Mountain

Day Hike to E Grandaddy Mountain
By L Beth Blattenberger
HIKE 07/05/2022 MOD+

July 5 hike to E Grandaddy Mountain (11659’)
Barb Gardner and Shasta, Jim Kucera and Dave Kinnecom joined me (Beth Blattenberger) on a sunny Tuesday to escape the Salt Lake valley heat and enjoy the high-elevation cool of the Uintas. It’s a pleasant 2 hours from Parley’s summit, over Wolf Creek Pass and down again (lots of deer by the road), then up up up to the Grandview Trailhead where we found only a few cars in the large lot. A good trail led to the broad Hades Pass with a lake for Shasta to play in. Most people continue on down to hunt and fish in Grandaddy Basin, but we turned off the trail to ascend the bouldery slope of E Grandaddy Mountain. As we approached the false summit, we encountered a short stretch where the ridge was broken into large rock blocks that were hard for Shasta to navigate and would no doubt be easier if filled with snow, but there were only a few minor snow patches to be found. Fortunately for Shasta, this section was short and we found a way around it on the descent.
Once on the false summit we could see easy going for about a mile to the true summit, across a broad plateau of rocky meadow that extended in various directions. The route was marked with large cairns, and there was an especially large one on the summit. Shasta led the way. Views were great in every direction and we took our time.
On the way down, we spotted what we first thought was an old birthday balloon, but that Jim identified as a National Weather Service (NWS) data-gathering device or radiosonde. The NWS releases these small instruments attached to a balloon, and they collect data on pressure, temperature and humidity (and sometimes wind speed) that are shared with other agencies internationally. It only takes a couple of hours for the balloon to get high enough to pop (but that can be as high as 115,000 feet). Then a parachute helps the instrument descent and land gently on the ground. Dave carried the instrument home. It had a self-addressed mailing envelop attached, and he mailed it in with the location where it was found. I’m sorry we didn’t get a photo. The parachute was bright orange. The NWS wants them to be found and returned.
Shasta had just enough energy for another romp in the lake before we took the trail back down. We all had a great day.