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Ascent of Gray Wolf Ridge on 2018-11-20

Climber: Jeremy Fuerst

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Tuesday, November 20, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Gray Wolf Ridge
    Location:USA-Washington
    Elevation:7218 ft / 2200 m

Ascent Trip Report

Having to work over Thanksgiving weekend and seeing a bomber forecast in the Olympics, I decided to take Tuesday afternoon off with the plan to hit Gray Wolf Ridge by sunset and descend in the dark.

Ascended via Tyler Peak Way Trail, reaching Tyler Peak in about 2 hours. Once out of the trees I left the trail and beelined it to the ridge. As it was, I came upon a trail toward Tyler within a few hundred yards. This trail fades in and out but the route to Tyler is very apparent. I circumnavigated a couple of the bumps on the ridgeline and traveled up and over a couple others. The route is up to you.

From Tyler Peak I descended and traversed to Peak B. Here is where some confusion reigned. I scrambled to the top of several spires. My altimeter (which was calibrated) read about 6000-6100', but the map listed Peak B at 5700'. In order to cover my bases I decided to hit all the prominent spires. A ridgeline to a semi-prominent summit was seductive, but I was running out of daylight. Finally I looked up my position on Gaia and it showed I was standing directly atop Peak B. Whether I truly summited Peak B or not, is up for you to decide.

Descended to the ridgeline and then traversed over to unnamed peak 6527', then from there up to Baldy. Again, a path fades in and out, but it could not be clearer where to go. A sign on a tree in the saddle between 6527' and Baldy indicates when you are entering into Olympic NP.

Atop Baldy it got pretty windy. The descent from Baldy to the saddle is slightly steep scree but manageable. I ascended the bump on the saddle and descended back down; others may wish to circumnavigate it.

Ascent to Gray Wolf is more choose-your-own-adventure through scree. I recommend sticking close to the ridgeline. Only a 20-yard patch of snow required traversing on the ridge to the short scramble up to Gray Wolf's summit.

Indeed I made it just in time for sunset. I then descended in the dark. While circumnavigating Baldy on the way back was tempting, the added distance and steeper scree did not seem worth it. From Baldy and then back over to 6527', I descended via the Maynard Burn Trail. (I'd considered cutting down the ridgeline from 6527' but opted instead for certainty.)
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:7047 ft / 2147 m
    Round-Trip Distance:23.7 mi / 38.2 km
    Trailhead:171 ft / 52 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Open Country, Scramble
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
Ascent Part of Trip: Gray Wolf Ridge et al

Complete Trip Sequence:
OrderPeak/PointDateGain
4Gray Wolf Ridge2018-11-207047 ft / 2148 m
Total Trip Gain: 7047 ft / 2148 m    Total Trip Loss: 7047 ft / 2148 m



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