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Ascent of Gentoo Peak on 2018-09-23

Climber: Cody K

Date:Sunday, September 23, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Gentoo Peak
    Location:USA-Alaska
    Elevation:4193 ft / 1278 m

Ascent Trip Report

This was my last climb before getting surgery on my shattered wrist this morning, and the weather was crisp and cloudless - couldn't ask for better. We pounded the uphills for exercise but mostly walked the downhills and flat parts, soaking up the views.

Despite how popular this traverse is, I couldn't find a GPX route, just some crappy topos with a route scribbled on them. That is useless on the Girdwood side, where the trail is tricky to find. Two days in advance, I wandered through the California Creek woods with my GPS and followed the trail to Gentoo. On my traverse, I was happy for the GPX, as were the four other people at the top who didn't know how to get down.

On the Penguin side, drive down Konikson Road to the end, just past the gas station. Take the main trail, hanging right, and you'll find a sign that points up to the ridge trail. In Girdwood, park just before the creek after the Double Musky Inn. The Girdwood trail hangs left alongside the creek until you reach Abe's trail, which you follow for about 0.5 miles to a trail that cuts uphill. Take it, then look for a smaller path that heads straight up. If you miss the second trail you will hit a dead end. The up trail is easy to follow to the ridge, emerging in a mossy bowl about 0.5 miles SE of Gentoo.

I hiked this with a broken wrist and a friend who hadn't done any serious scrambling before. In our opinion the route is solidly 2nd class except for one 50 foot 3rd class descent approaching Crested Peak. That means that you will occasionally use your hand(s) to steady yourself, but there's no sphincter-clenching exposure. That said, if you've never set foot on a narrow ridge before, you might have some vertigo. Also, we are both runners in okay condition. If you're not...the 9300 feet of gain could be tough.

For perspective, we were passed by an elite mountain runner dude who smashed the entire route in about 6 hours...respect!

Trip stats:
16.1 miles, 9295 feet cumulative gain, almost exactly 8 hours

Classes:
Nearly entire route - 2nd
One 50 ft section approaching Crested Peak - 3rd

Pro tips:
Bring lots of water. You won't find any. Know your limits - there's nowhere good to bail. Use my GPX for the down trail. Don't try bushwhacking. Be careful, but don't be intimidated by the trail reports calling this 3rd class. There are tons of bear sign on both ends - bring spray.
Summary Total Data
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip


 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Cody K
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. Peakbagger.com accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file




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