Ascent to South Gateway Rock-Near Top in 1979-06

Climber: William Musser

Others in Party:Frank Musser
Date:June, 1979
Ascent Type:No Summit Goal
Point Reached:South Gateway Rock - Near Top
    Elevation:6610 ft / 2014 m

Ascent Trip Report

Tourist Trip - But my first scrambling ever before i became interested in backpacking and scrambling in wilderness areas free of people. Before i overcame my fear of heights. My brother Frank and father took me up scrambling on the sandstone formations. We climbed for hours on the large "Gate Rock" formations. Frank coerced me up to the top of the southern Gate Rock formation around 6,640 feet (slightly lower than the taller knobs to the north and much safer to climb). I learned two things that day: I had a fear of heights that I needed to overcome (and overcame through subsequent scrambling and rappelling trips 15 years later) and secondly, that climbing to the top of of interesting rock was exciting!

Most of this short climb was simple steep hiking and routine scrambling and very safe unexposed bouldering as an easy route slices up its spine. There was near the top, however, a very exposed maneuver. This experience left an urge to climb to the top of mountains and formations for the rest of my life. I thank my brother for giving me a good healthy climbing scare that day - and fostering what later became my passion to outdoor hike, scramble, backpack and climb.

Update 2014. Re-visted this area and things have changed. The type of hike-scramble we did in 1979 does not appear to be "legal" today; although the park does allow technical rock climbing in groups of two or with a guide.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:210 ft / 64 m
    Round-Trip Distance:0.6 mi / 1 km
    Quality:7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:210 ft / 64 m
    Distance:0.3 mi / 0.5 km
    Route:Back saddle rib and scramble
    Start Trailhead:Parking lot (no longer there but was in 1979)  6400 ft / 1950 m
Descent Statistics
    Distance:0.3 mi / 0.5 km
    End Trailhead:same  

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