Ascent of Gunn Peak on 2014-10-04

Climber: James Barlow

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Saturday, October 4, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Gunn Peak
    Elevation:6240 ft / 1901 m

Ascent Trip Report

A lot of the beta that I have for this peak indicates that it is a 10-12 hr day out. I aimed for an early start of 7am, but with sunrise at 7:15 this time of year, and a long week at work, I slept a bit longer than I liked and did not arrive at the trailhead until a few minutes before 8am. I was hiking by 8:05am. The stream crossing rocks and logs were wet from stream spray and morning dew, so I had to be careful as I crossed. The route is marked with flagging tape at most key points, which I found very convenient to keep my speed up. Naturally, my GPS took a long time to zero in on my location in the dense forest and steep surrounding ridges. I found the use trail from the campfire ring to the slopes above Barclay Creek to be easier to follow than advertised. As far as I can tell, I did not lose the trail at all until I was over the ridge below Peak 5,760. I made a wrong turn here, thinking that I could traverse below the peak and I ended up continually cliffing out. I decided that I was already half way up the peak, I may as well climb it. So, I did. Nothing much to Peak 5,760, a short class 3 scramble on my ascent route, but class 2 on my descent route.

I reconnected with the exact spot where I went off route and continued to descend further. This put me on the correct route where I headed up the boulder field to the gully. The class 3 gully was much easier than I expected. It was dry, so that helped out a lot. I guess it turns a lot of people back. I then crossed the upper talus field, staying below a small cliff on the left to the notch where you go over to the north side of the summit ridge. I crossed over and expected the ledge traverse to be difficult. It was easier than expected, just like every other part of this ascent. The views from the top were unparalleled. I could see as far as Rainier to the south; Daniel, Hinman, and Stuart to the southeast; Glacier to the northeast; Sloan, Pugh, and White Chuck to the north; Whitehorse, Three Fingers, and Pilchuck to the northwest; and finally Whidbey Island and the Olympic Mountains to the west.

After descending from Gunn Peak, I headed for the notch north of Peak 5,760 with the intention of at least scoping out Jumpoff Ridge. I didn't really have any intention of heading up it, but I wanted to see how feasible it would be. After checking it out briefly, I headed up Tailgunner with the intention of checking out the endless horizon pond below it. Tailgunner had a register as opposed to Gunn, which did not. I descended to the pond and set up to take a lot of pictures. This beauty of this area is absolutely jaw-dropping. Gunn will definitely go down as one of my favorite dayhikes in Washington.

The descent was uneventful, though I did stop to take a few photos of mushrooms near the creek crossing. The diversity near Barclay Creek is pretty incredible. I was back to the car at 3:15pm on the dot. Pretty good time considering that I spent 35 minutes detouring to the extra bump on the ridge, 45 minutes on the summit of Gunn, and 20 minutes at the beautiful pond. So, in the end, I made the round trip with the extra delays and peaks in just over 7 hours - not too bad!

While not technically challenging, I rate this peak a 9 for ascent quality as it is one of the finest day hikes that I have done anywhere! To get a 10 for ascent quality, I need to break out a rope, skis, ice axe, or crampons....

Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:4160 ft / 1267 m
    Total Elevation Loss:160 ft / 48 m
    Quality:9 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Stream Ford, Scramble
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:4160 ft / 1267 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 4000 ft / 1219 m; Extra: 160 ft / 48m
    Loss on way in:160 ft / 48 m
    Route:From Barclay Creek
    Start Trailhead:2240 ft / 682 m
Descent Statistics
Ascent Part of Trip: Gunn '14

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Peak 57602014-10-04 a360 ft / 110 m
2Gunn Peak2014-10-04 b4160 ft / 1268 m
3Tailgunner2014-10-04 c562 ft / 171 m
Total Trip Gain: 5082 ft / 1549 m    Total Trip Loss: 160 ft / 49 m
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by James Barlow
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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