Ascent of Boundary Peak on 2010-05-30

Climber: Ken Curtis

Date:Sunday, May 30, 2010
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:4x4 Vehicle
Peak:Boundary Peak
    Elevation:13140 ft / 4005 m

Ascent Trip Report

The lower mountain was simple hiking made difficult only by the narrow path through some very thick and very thorny brush. Roughly 1.25 miles into the hike, the trail opened up and I soon found myself on the lower scree field. The trail was still visible with snow covering short stretches until 11,400 feet where the trail disappeared for good under the snow. It is now 9:58 am, I am roughly 2.5 miles into the hike, and it's time to put on the crampons and helmet.

The direct approach through the snow fields proved to be easy and straight forward. Unfortunately this changed when I reached the North ridge at roughly 12,100 feet. Atop the ridge, I chose to remove my crampons due to the amount of rock between me and the summit.

The rock made travel very difficult and I found myself spending a lot of time "route finding" through the exposed boulders. This was both time consuming and nerve racking given the slippery conditions. The final push to the summit was about 150 vertical feet through boulder free snow. I should have put my crampons back on, but I chose to go without them and I did fine. 1:01 pm and I'm on the summit of Nevada. The last 3/4 mile, from where I put on my crampons, was 1,740 foot elevation gain (2,300+ feet per mile ascent rate) and took roughly 3 hours - it was brutal...

Descending through the boulder fields was no better than on the ascent. I spent a lot of time plotting my path and making sure of my footings. With the boulder fields behind me, I was kicking my way down the snow field when I decided to glissade down the lower slope. I had a smooth glissade for roughly 700 vertical feet until the snow depth began to thin and show a few rocks. Although it was a relatively short glissade, it provided some welcomed time off my feet and made up some time I lost with all the route finding.

All in all I was pleased with this hike. I was hoping for only 6 to 7 hours on the mountain, but oh well... The views from the summit are impressive, yet seeing Montgomery peak so close seems to take something away from Boundary.

Here is my timeline. The crazy stuff people do when they are short on time!

Left home at 1:56 am
Arrived trailhead at 7:17
Started hiking at 7:33
On Summit at 1:01 pm
Left summit at 1:14
Back to car at 4:02
Left for home at 4:10
Back home at 9:51

What a day...
Click on photo for original larger-size version.
What a view (2010-05-30). Photo by Ken Curtis.
Click here for larger-size photo.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:4270 ft / 1301 m
    Total Elevation Loss:4270 ft / 1301 m
    Round-Trip Distance:6.5 mi / 10.5 km
    Grade/Class:Class 2
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Snow on Ground, Scramble, Exposed Scramble, Snow Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Crampons, Ski Poles
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:4270 ft / 1301 m
    Distance:3.2 mi / 5.2 km
    Route:Main trail to 11,400 then vertical
    Start Trailhead:Boundary Peak Trailhead  8870 ft / 2703 m
    Time:5 Hours 28 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:4270 ft / 1301 m
    Distance:3.2 mi / 5.2 km
    End Trailhead:Boundary Peak Trailhead  8870 ft / 2703 m

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