Peak(s):  Jackson, Mt  -  13,670 feet
PT 13,433  -  13,433 feet
Date Posted:  06/22/2014
Modified:  06/26/2014
Date Climbed:   06/21/2014
Author:  piper14er
 There and back again, a Hobbler's Tale  

There and back again, a hobbler's tale.

The Road goes ever on and on (and on and on)
Out from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
Let others follow it who can!
Let them a journey new begin,
But I at last with weary feet
Will turn towards the lighted inn,
My evening-rest and sleep to meet.

"It's a dangerous business, going out of your door, you step onto the Road, and if you don't keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to".
Okay I guess this peak is named after the director Peter Jackson, just a guess. Mount Jackson, 13,607 feet in elevation. It takes a long journey to get there and back. The journey is fraught with action like following an orc trail, steep mountains, high adventure, rocks, snow, bloodthirsty mosquitos and high humidity to name a few "fraughts".

The start of this adventure is from the Cross Creek trailhead on the Tigiwon Road (Holy Cross). Approximately 1.7 miles to the switchback where there is parking and signs. Thanks to my old and hopefully again hiking partner, Furthermore, for a gpx and details about these peaks.

The trail is one that the orcs would make and like, twisting and curving, meandering up and down through old forests, rocks and meadows.
I am awakened by alarms and lights (my iphone) at 3:30 in the morning 3 hours and 21 minutes before the summer solstice, the longest day of the year in Middle Earth. I would need most of that daylight.

My faithful companion, Billie Jean, Hound of Valinor and orc (ornery rabbits and critters in her mind) finder was immediately up and ready for the pursuit of the lonely mountain. The mountain is seen by travelers to the Holy Mountain but seldom visited in these days except by the valiant.

The first light of the Simarils.

The Holy Mountain.

...and where does the trail sweep you...

*** just added June 26, 2014 I forgot to mention Attercop, Lazy Lob and Crazy Cob***
I was going to mention that it took a bit to shake the cobwebs off and I meant it both figuratively and literally. If I walked through one cob web I walked through three hundred. I even managed to find a few along the trail on the way back.

The Brandywine known in the common tongue as Cross Creek.

We make our way along the trail for many leagues (about 6.5 miles at 9900 feet), looking forward, but also realizing that we will need to make it back again along the long and meandering way. We leave the safer confines of the worn track wary of our stealthy adversary.
After a steep climb through dense forest we gain the bench at 11,000 feet and there we see orc sign. Billie Jean has found our first sign that yes someone or something has marked the way, and she is licking her chops in anticipation.

We found a faint trail that looked as though it would lead us closer to the lonely mountain (11,600 feet). The trail wended its way through more trees, and then to the marshes, luckily for us this day they were not the Dead Marshes, those would be dreary and wearisome dead grasses and rotting reeds.

The first sighting of our goal as we prepare to cross the wetlands.

A mere shadow of the Falls of Rauros.

We stayed to the right of the falls and climbed up, through rocks and brush, keeping the rock wall on our right.

The short section led us to this view of a barren land, covered by snow and rocks, as though a fireworm had laid waste to all we could see. This daunting sight did not deter us for any great length of time though and we ventured forth.

...more snow and rocks...

Our line started in this vale but we quickly determined that after gaining another 1000 feet our destination was directly above us to our left. The climb rapidly steepened (50 degrees according to the gps).

I was starting to get winded at this point and was dragging like a goblin's hands along the ground, but with Billie's encouragement and a few lembas, I was able to push myself another 1000 feet up the steep snow and rocks, bringing us to the summit.

A moment's respite.

The Misty Mountains.



Our escape route, if needed, was block by cornices and snow. Unnamed 13,433 is beyond.

Unnamed 13,433 is a mere 0.7 miles away and another 360 feet of gain. We continue on our way.

The escape route unfeasible, we studied the mountain for a way down. The best way appeared to be dropping down along the East Ridge from Unnamed 13,433 for just a short distance (0.1 miles) and then boot skiing the dirt/small scree half way down the moderate slope. That is what we did.

Somewhere about half way down the slope turns to loose talus, and very near the bottom, similar to the Emyn Muil, we encountered ledges. The ledges were not high though and with a little searching we found a weakness that ramped down nicely to the basin.

The Secret Stairs, can you see it?

I think the dark lord hit me with the cruciatus curse, sore legs and sore feet, at about 17 miles because the miles were going so slow it had to be that (oops wrong story).

We made our way down the basin and found our ascent trail, which we (meaning me not Billie Jean) slowly followed to the main trail and then back again.

I was extremely slow on this 21 mile trek (thus the hobbler's tale), taking 16 hours to gain about 6000 feet, including all the ups and downs, coming and going, along the orc (Cross Creek) trail.

I was not trying too hard to push the pace due to the distance and vertical

I took my water filter and stopped three or four times to replenish my water supply.

The mosquitos (about 50 per square foot it seemed) were obnoxious even with bug spray, that and the humidity affected the hike.

The stretch between 11,200 and tree line was slow due to snow and downed trees. The snow held up and was mostly firm so I was able to walk across most of it without postholing, which was nice.

I had not been out longer than about 8 miles and 3300 feet in the last 6 months so it was a jump in difficulty and elevation ( a lot of 8ers, 9ers, 10ers, some 11ers and a few 12ers).

The eagles never showed up to fly me back.

Ps my gps went goofy I guess when I changed batteries because it reset the way it logs the track. The last 6 miles it was logging every ten minutes rather than all the twists and turns but since it follows the trail no worries. The gpx in this report was from Furthermore.

The only real difference in my route and the gpx as noted above.

My GPS Tracks on Google Maps (made from a .GPX file upload):

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

 Comments or Questions

Nice report
06/23/2014 01:57
Enjoyed it. It was kind of Radagast to provide a GPS track.

I always imagine that Lembas would taste like Honey Stinger Waffles. Great at first, sickening after a journey or two.


06/23/2014 15:28
yes, Radagast was sent to aid Elves and us mortal Men of Middle-earth in their struggle against the Dark Lord(not Voldemort) and long hikes...

here are two recipes for lembas bread that I found...

Elven Lembas Bread Recipe

6 TBSP butter or margarine, slightly softened
2 cups self-rising flour

1 TBSP granulated sugar
½ cup raisins (optional)

1 egg, well beaten
½ cup milk

4 TBSP heavy cream
Mallorn leaves

With a pastry blender of fork, cut margarine into the flour in a mixing bowl until the mixture resembles cornmeal. Do this rapidly so the butter does not melt. Add the sugar and if desired, ½ cup of raisins. In a small bowl, beat the egg and milk together until mixed. Reserve 1 TBSP of this mixture to brush the tops of the Lembas. Add the cream and egg mixture to the flour and mix just until combined into a stiff, soft dough. Knead three or four times on a lightly floured surface. Roll dough to a ¾” thickness and cut with an oval or leaf shaped cookie cutter. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet, leaving 1” of space between Lembas. Brush the tops of the Lembas with the reserved egg-milk mixture. Bake for 12 -13 minutes in a preheated 400 degree oven.

For safe keeping, wrap each Lembas individually in a fresh, clean Mallorn leaf. If these leaves are unavailable in your area, store the Lembas in a tightly closed container. Makes about 1 ½ dozen Lembas.

- Elven Maiden

Another rendition:

Elven Lembas Bread II

2 ½ cups of flour (I used bread flour but you can use all purpous flour too)
1 tablespoon of baking powder
¼ teaspoon of salt
½ cup of butter
1/3 cup of brown sugar
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
½ teaspoon honey
2/3 cup of heavy whipping cream
½ teaspoon of vanilla

Preheat oven to 425°F. Mix the flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Add the butter and mix well till fine granules (easiest way is with an electric mixer). Then add the sugar and cinnamon, and mix them thoroughly. Finally add the cream, honey, and vanilla and stir until a nice, thick dough forms.

Roll the dough out about 1/2 in thickness. Cut out 3-inch squares and transfer the dough to a cookie sheet.Criss-cross each square from corner-to-corner with a knife, lightly (not cutting through the dough). Bake for about 12 minutes or more (depending on the thickness of the bread) until it is set and lightly golden.

Let cool completely before eating, this bread tastes better room temperature and dry.


06/23/2014 16:43
...account and lovely pics. Looks like you had the perfect companion in Billie Jean for this saga.


great wilderness area
06/23/2014 17:23
to be hiking in (sans the mosquitos)

Billie is good to have along, she runs around twice as far as I hike, doesn't get tired or winded, waits for me around every turn and she doesn't care about how slow I go...


Very nice pics
06/23/2014 17:35
And, like Raj said, Billie is great company I'm sure. Gotta love dogs...


06/23/2014 18:22
sure is Jay


Billie Jean ... Image #9
06/23/2014 20:40
She knows how to cool down for sure. The Man and I used one of your (i.e., the two of you) trip reports about a week ago to climb Unnamed 13,472. You mentioned how much that route (up and down the ridge) would suck with a lot of wind. It did. Congrats on puttin' on some miles with this climb. Trust me when I say it will help your butt muscles. Happy trails!


Good to hear from you again Presto
06/23/2014 21:33
Billie Jean says hello she does take advantage of the cool snow or the cold water when she can get it.
The wind is one thing I can't take very much of, too bad you had to get it.


06/24/2014 14:54
will get out soon. That's a super long day to get ”back into the game.” Well done!


06/24/2014 21:47
Thanks for the GPX and route description, really helped and monster5 called you Radagast, you're not going to put up with that are you?


those blasted eagles
06/26/2014 13:44
Where were they, Al? I guess they only show up for Wizards and Ringbearers...Nice report!


the story behind that
06/26/2014 21:08
is that Gandalf forgot to tell the butterflies to tell Radagast to send them, dang Radagast...


ps I added about the Crazy Cobs, forgot before

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