Ascent of Kings Peak on 2019-07-04

Climber: Mike Znachko

Others in Party:Jeff and Kate
Date:Thursday, July 4, 2019
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Kings Peak
    Elevation:13528 ft / 4123 m

Ascent Trip Report

Henry's Fork TH. Set up base camp @ 1/2 mile south of Dollar Lake ( campfires within a 1/4 mile of Dollar Lake). On the trail @ 0530 following morning and snow became more and more prevalent as we approached Gunsight Pass. After ascending Gunsight we ruled out the 'short cut' to Anderson Pass - route was covered in snow/ice and, without crampons/ice axe, deemed too unsafe. Instead, followed the trail as best we could though this was challenging as much of it was buried in snow. Constant post-holing and numerous stream crossings throughout. Summit ridge was covered in snow - best bet was to hug the ridge line and boulder hop to avoid the snow/post-holing. Finally summited @ 1230 (first party to summit that day) - seven hours after leaving camp and very wet, cold, and tired. Coming down, was missing our ice axes - glissading would have been a breeze. For return leg, we gambled on the shortcut - betting that the ice/snow would have melted enough to allow us to get a solid footing on the steep, snow covered slopes. It had...but was still sketchy and (again) wish we had had at least our ice axes for self-arrest if needed. Return leg back to base camp took only four hours, though.

Lots and lots of snow up there - the constant post holing was physically exhausting and a mental mind melt. Snow shoes would have been really nice...along with the ice axe. Crampons as a back up.
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack, Stream Ford, Snow on Ground, Scramble, Snow Climb

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