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Ascent of Electric Peak on 2014-03-08

Climber: Duncan Lennon

Others in Party:Jon
Date:Saturday, March 8, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Electric Peak
    Location:USA-Montana
    Elevation:10969 ft / 3343 m

Ascent Trip Report

Wow. This was one of the most beautiful experiences I've had in the mountains. Jon and I reached the Beattie Gulch TH at around noon on Friday. To our consternation, two days of 40+ degree temps had melted nearly all the snow in the flats near the Yellowstone River, so a hike of maybe one mile and 400' gain was required before we could put our skis on the ground. The route followed a road, the surface of which was approximately 50% elk shit, 40% bison and wolf shit, and 10% gravel. This material gave way to slush, which we skinned in for roughly four miles to the crest of the north ridge and some cabins and communication instruments. Entering Yellowstone NP and reaching good snow for the first time, we continued skinning about a mile through a burn and camped on the far edge of the burn in a green forest at ~8,500'. Four hours total, 5.5 miles (ish).

Saturday was windless, with near unlimited visibility. Cloud banks existed over much of Yellowstone Park, but the views towards the Beartooths, northern Gallatins/Crazies, and the Madison Range were unimpeded. We began skinning at 7:30, and by 11:00 had reached the snowy bowl where the north ridge of Electric merges into the face of the west summit cone. Here, Jon decided to lap the bowl and leave the summit climb to me. I put crampons on at the lower edge of some wind-washed scree, then began climbing, picking my way up narrow bands of snowy crust between scree patches. Before long, I was near the lower west summit (10,928'). From here, the route descended the ridge toward a saddle, but the ridge cliffed out so I gingerly crossed 50 degree snow to the north of the ridge and reached the saddle. Moving to the south side, I climbed beautiful windblown snow past some rock ribs and up some class 2+ rock features to the summit. It was 11:40. The Grand Teton was just visible above the undercast, nearly 90 miles away. Winds were less than 5mph and it was around 20 degrees.

Skipping most details of the descent, we were down at 3:45, passing a coyote carcass and a fresh buffalo carcass (both wolf kills). A great, great mountain climb and an incredible adventure.
Summary Total Data
    Quality:10 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)



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