Ascent of Mount Bethel on 2020-05-17

Climber: William Musser

Others in Party:glen mizenko
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Sunday, May 17, 2020
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Bethel
    Elevation:12705 ft / 3872 m

Ascent Trip Report

Finally beat you Bethel! Was worried snow would turn us back especially when we came around the corner on I70 driving west and the entire side of the mountain was snow and I did not bring and ice ax or crampons, only microspikes and pokes. Glen got out of his truck optimistically saying worry not........that is the SE slope we are going to hit more from the southwest slope and there should be less snow and he was right so my second attempt at this this year (both times during snow months) was not to be thwarted.

But Glen picked the best line imaginable. The CMC book my Muller "Colorado Summit Hikes" recommends leaving from Dry Gulch whereas my failed attempt I came from Herman Gulch in OCT after heavy snows up through the eastern woods and got onto snow that was dangerous with out better equipment. Glen's track was as good as it gets. Interestingly, Muller recommends a track further to the west that is west of the snow fences and on gentler terrain up to the western saddle then climb up and then down the steep SW face by the ridge. I argued with Glen we should do that as it looked less steep but as it turns out that route was covered in snow.

The track we took was VERY steep. Almost uncomfortably so, but it allowed us to jump around over still frozen snow packs and we had minimal post holing leaving at 6:59 AM. The snow had good grip especially when I used microspikes. The hard part was the grassy shoulder by the snow fences (that area about 8 feet tall). That slope is tough! enough grass to get footing but a climb.

The summit had great views and there was snow still up above 13,000 feet everywhere. I only show 1.8 miles coming down because i was able to straight line more where coming up the steep shoulder I had to make switchbacks to keep my heels from getting too sore. We were up and down in 2 hours 50 minutes.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2173 ft / 662 m
    Total Elevation Loss:40 ft / 12 m
    Round-Trip Distance:3.8 mi / 6.1 km
    Quality:6 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Open Country, Bushwhack, Snow on Ground, Snow Climb
    Gear Used:
Crampons, Ski Poles
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:2153 ft / 656 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 2133 ft / 650 m; Extra: 20 ft / 6m
    Loss on way in:20 ft / 6 m
    Distance:2 mi / 3.2 km
    Route:see GPS track
    Start Trailhead:Dry Gulch Parking   10572 ft / 3222 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:20 ft / 6 m
    Gain on way out:20 ft / 6 m
    Distance:1.8 mi / 2.9 km
    Route:see GPS track
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by William Musser
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. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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